The other day I was chatting with my daughter about traveling the world. We were getting ready for her first-ever media interview, where she was going to be asked a few questions about her travels over the past 7 years.
Not wanting to influence her answers, I simply asked her; “What have you learned while traveling?”
While this is a difficult question for most adults to articulate, it’s even more challenging for a child. And for children who are traveling the world with their parents, it’s nearly impossible to separate traveling life from just, well, life.
So imagine my surprise when she started recalling moments from our family travels over the years. Her thoughts ranged from very specific moments to general feelings and emotions while traveling.
Here are 4 reasons, straight out of the mouth of a 7-year old, why traveling the world with your kids is more important than you think.
#1. “I don’t laugh at people if they speak a different language.”
She went on to explain “sometimes people who don’t speak English have a hard time knowing what word to say. I just give them time to think of the word before I say anything.”
For a 7 year old this is pretty powerful. She recalled a moment on our family beach vacation in Mexico last year where she spent the day playing with a little girl who didn’t speak English. They had a blast anyway despite no verbal communication.
But this also translates to home. She mentioned this happens sometimes at school too where there are a few students for whom English isn’t their first language. This understanding and patience was clearly cultivated for my daughter while traveling.
#2. “I am more confident to ask for help if I’m lost.”
Here she recalled the time when we were living for a few months in Telluride, Colorado and she got lost. While a very scary situation for her, she followed our plan and found a “mommy with a bunch of kids” and calmly asked her to call my cell phone number. We were quickly re-united and all was well.
But clearly this experience made an impact on her.
Getting out into the world, and encountering scary situations, has made her more confident and self-aware.
#3. “I love doing special things with my family when we’re traveling.”
That my girl! The answer I was hoping for:)
Think back to some of your earliest travel memories, they probably involve special moments as a family, right? That is what your child is experiencing RIGHT NOW and you have the opportunity to create lasting positive memories for them with each family travel experience.
Making special memories together as a family is one of the most important reasons to travel the world with your kids.
#4. “I know that some things will scare me at first but in the end I will have lots of fun.”
Regardless of age, when you’re out in the world traveling you’re exposed to new, and potentially scary situations, every day. But by adopting a healthy and open mindset you’ll grow and thrive from these experiences.
I’m incredibly proud that she’s come to understand this at such an early age.
I know how difficult it can be to travel with kids.
Whether you’re on a road trip a few hours from home, or traveling around the world with your kids, it’s worth it. The planning, the packing, the slowing down, comforting cranky kids, carrying more luggage than you’d like, it’s all worth it.
Have you traveled the world with kids? How do you think travel has changed them? How has it changed you?
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