We’ve never hesitated to tote our kids around the world. Our son made his first flight overseas before the age of one and our daughter before the age of two. We broke them in at an early age.
I remember one time, several years ago, my husband and I were sitting at P.F. Chang’s in Austin, TX. We were on a little kid-free getaway. Somehow, we started talking with the manager about some of the work we’ve done in Africa with orphans. He left our table and came back later. You could tell he had been pondering the conversation. He said, “I’d love to travel like that, but we have kids.” I countered him and said, “We have two little ones.” He was so blown away that he comped our meal.
Kids don’t have to keep you from traveling.
In fact, I think it’s important to travel with your kids. Let me tell you why…
1. It’s educational. Kid’s minds are like a sponge. They learn an incredible amount of knowledge in their childhood. How awesome would it be to not only read about the Rosetta Stone but to see it with your own eyes? Last Fall we were in London and took our kids to The British Museum, home to the Rosetta Stone. What is contained in that building is enough school history to last at least a year. Amazing.
2. It makes them well-rounded. I’m American, but people here’s a reality check. Most of the world does not live like us. I love that my kids have seen that and know that.
“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” ~ Gustave Flaubert
3. It lets you see the world through their eyes. Kids notice things that we, as adults, miss. I love seeing the world through their eyes. It’s so easy to miss things as we rush through life, but kids seem to find wonder in the most unexpected places.
4. It instills a confidence in them. Honestly I don’t know exactly how this happens, but even as I asked my 11 year old son recently why he thought it’s been good that he’s traveled at a young age, the one thing he mentioned was confidence. Maybe going on a long journey makes them feel like they can accomplish anything?
Look, I know traveling is not cheap and when you factor kids into the equation, numbers rise, but here’s the deal. Don’t let the fact that you simply have kids keep you from traveling. Don’t say, “Well, when the kids are out of the house, then we’ll travel.” You’d be cheating your kids and yourself and missing out on some great memories. I find that kids are more adaptable than we give them credit for, and there’s nothing like a grand adventure to get them excited. Maybe it’s time to start planning that trip that’s been on the back burner, even if it’s only to a neighboring state. Your kids will love it and some sweet family memories will be made in the process.
Happy trails to you!