When Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum was growing up in Georgia, he never had much desire to travel the world. It wasn’t until the singer and his bandmates began touring that he realized how wrong he was.
“I had never really seen the world until Lady Antebellum,” Kelley told PEOPLE. “You can have pride in your country, but when you get to go and travel and see all these different places, it’s so eye-opening. There’s so many different ways of living.”
Over the course of the band’s ten years together, Kelley has circled the globe, seeing much of what the world has to offer. But it’s been the last two-and-a-half years that he’s enjoyed the most. That’s because his wife Cassie and son Ward get to join him out on the road.
“I thought, ‘Buddy, you’ve seen more in two and a half years than I ever saw in my 24 years of existence until this band,’” Kelley shared of Ward, who he estimates has been on over 100 flights and multiple continents. “I still love the South, I love Georgia, but there’s just so much beauty in the world.”
The singer, who hopes to one day retire in a place like Positano, Italy, admits that much of his desire to have his family on the road is ‘selfishly’ to watch Ward grow up. The precious moments are all the more important after Charles and Cassie’s struggle with fertility.
“It really did feel like kind of a miracle,” he shared of welcoming Ward. “And I don’t want to miss a thing.”
“My wife and I have such a strong relationship that it’s just so much better when they’re out with me,” he added. “Having them with me is so cozy. I also don’t want Ward to grow up [and] be like, ‘I never got to see my dad — he was always traveling.’”
Sharing the world with his son is a vital part of Kelley’s life on the road, one he hopes Ward appreciates as he grows.
“I want him to grow up knowing how privileged he is and to not take it for granted. We’ve brought him along and really wanted him to be a part of our lives — not just this kid that you see every once in a blue moon. I want him to be proud of what I’m doing and hope I’m a good example for him.”