If we had a dollar for every time someone asked us about why we travel with our children, we would have a nice chunk of change. Traveling with children is not easy by any standard. It can be tiring, frustrating, and require logistical planning that puts the most type A person to shame. So why do we those of us who choose to travel with children do it? Here are some of the reasons that make it all worth while.
One of the main reasons why we choose to travel with our children is that it exposes them to other cultures, races, and religions. They learn that the way that our family talks, eats, lives, and prays is not the only way. It also teaches them that these differences are not necessarily wrong. They are just different.
Both of us grew up in households where great importance was placed on education and learning. What better way to learn about geography than to travel the globe? What better way to learn about history than to visit the places where history was made?
We truly love the fact that we can expose our children to the things written about in textbooks.
One of the best ways that we have found to build relationships is through shared experiences. Weather it be skydiving, swimming with stingrays in the Caribbean, or experiencing the call to prayer in Dubai, these shared experiences have bonded us together as a family. As our children grow, we hope that these experiences will cement a foundation for the future.
Speaking of shared experiences, few things bond people together as quickly as when things go wrong. When you are traveling with small children, things go wrong … a lot! Mishaps and mayhem are unavoidable, but they do provide an amazing learning experience for little eyes that are watching you. There is not better moment teach children how to handle adversity then when you are in the midst of it.
One question that we get frequently is why we bother doing all of this when our children are so young and likely will not remember the experience. There is a lot of truth in that! Our now 3 year old will not have any memories of our trip to the Middle East when she was 13 months old. Our 7 year old does not remember when we took him to Iceland when he was 3 years old. What we do believe they will remember are feelings. They will remember the excitement, fun, and togetherness that we experience as a family.
As parents we do so many things that our young children will never remember. Who here threw a birthday party for their one year old?
Who here gives their toddler a timeout? As parents we do both of these things even though our children may not remember it. Why? Because we believe they are learning something whether they remember it or not.
Traveling also provides a wonderful chance to relive our travels through pictures. Our 7 year old loves looking at pictures of all of us together and hearing stories about the adventures we went on before he was old enough to remember. Sure, bringing young children when you travel makes it harder, but the rewards are worth it to us.