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Moana: Princess of Travel

Written by Just Heather


I had the chance to see Disney’s Moana last week, and now I can’t wait to take the kids. Moana is not your typical Disney princess. Well, except for the part where she wears a dress, sings, and hangs out with animals.

Moana is the very first Disney movie that doesn’t feature a love story at all. Instead, it is solely about her journey. It’s about home and heart and the deep-seated need to travel. Moana’s longing for the ocean resonates with me so strongly. I want to see things and go places and dip my toes in the ocean. I want to explore and get to know new cities and meet interesting people.


But we’re so tethered by family and home and responsibilities. Moana has a responsibility to her people, while her heart calls her to the sea. I have my own tethers here in the real world, between the kids’ activities, school, our jobs, and the many pets at home. It’s so hard to get away and travel and see the world. I feel her on such a very deep level.

On the surface, Moana is the next great princess in a long line of lovable Disney female leads. But she’s so much more than that to me. She’s the inspiration I needed to stick with my day trips plan. I just can’t leave my responsibilities behind as often or for as long as I would like in my quest to see the world.

But we can at least see the parts within driving distance.


Now that it’s colder in the midwest, our options are more limited. I’ve been wavering a bit as the warm weather disappeared, but we’re making lists of indoor activities and cold-weather destinations. (I want to see the St. Louis Arch covered in snow!) In the meantime, we will find things to do and enjoy movie nights closer to home — and live vicariously through Moana’s island life.

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