More Hot Chocolate please,” As I beckon the waitress over. “This soup is exquisite – what are the ingredients?”
In my mind I’m sitting in a New York brasserie (I’m guessing New York have French style cafés – right?!) elegantly poised over my warm mug as I look out on the bustling street, people watching as the city hums with the day’s worker bees enslaved to producing that day’s worth of honey.
Alternatively, knowing me, I’m more likely to be drinking my ‘Elma Chai’ from a beaten cushion encamped on the floor. Its perimeter following the sea of Persian Rugs that are decorated with Shisha pipes and other eastern delicacies.
The reality is neither, (although one of those dreams has been accomplished!)
On the contrary, the soup is merely water, the waitress – my daughter. Poised: I wish! Definitely hunched as I cram into a space I can’t even sit up in, whilst playing tea parties with my toddler as the baby chews on the wooden spoon I’m supposed to be stirring my ‘soup’ with – Que sera!
But the point is, most of the time, we do normal! But also, I could have been in any of those places, and most importantly I could have been with THEM in any of those places, so why?!
Here are my ‘Top 5’ reasons why we choose to travel with our children:
- Travel gives you a sense of direction
I’m not just talking about a geographical sense of direction (although who doesn’t love looking at a map for hours!) it gives your soul’s compass moments to digest, unpick and work out where you want to go / want you want to achieve in life and I believe children who experience their parents vulnerability in this way can also learn to understand themselves better.
- Travel invites you to question
The way you look at the world isn’t necessarily the way everyone else looks at it. As parents, we’re passionate about building a solid foundation of truth in our children so when they come across barriers, opposition, trials or challenges, which inevitably come with meeting new cultures / perspectives / religions they already know their own identity. And what a better way to start this journey than with Mom and Dad?!
- Travel develops imagination
Let your children dream… Pooh sticks become kayaks coursing down a raging river, afternoon tea becomes a journey into an Aladdin’s cave or, in our house; a foam Leek (yes the vegetable) became an ice cream – dead imaginative, eh! But on a serious note, I believe travel shows children dreams can come true! If they’ve seen it: they’ve experienced it and if they’ve experienced it; they can imagine it!
- Travel teaches
I’m a primary school teacher and let me tell you, there’s no learning like experiential learning! So put that TV remote down and get your children telling those stories they’re experiencing! Although try sticking more to ‘Round the world in 80 days’ rather than ‘Life of Pi’ (your children really don’t need that experience, ever!)
- Travel because you can!
We live in an instantaneous, instant-gratification western world (well most of us) and I want to teach my children a deepened sense of understanding, patience and value. We are inevitably blessed to be able to give our children an opportunity to see nations that a larger percentage of the world can only dream of – and I want my children to meet these people!
So come on our journey as we live with purpose, direction, conviction and truth as we travel the world with our gals, one nation at a time, where the world is our classroom!
PS – Know someone who has kids / likes to travel / into the outdoors / just wants to dream? Please, feel free to share our page!