Why You Should Travel With Kids
One of the questions I get asked all the time is, why do you bring your daughter on so many trips and visit so many countries? “She won’t remember any of it!”. “It’s too dangerous!”. “You can’t take her out of school again!”.
This blog post will explain the reasons why we enjoy travelling with our daughter and how we believe she benefits from it!
Meet New Cultures Head On
I firmly believe that if kids experience different cultures at an early age, it makes integration within their communities as they get older, a straight forward transition. When Megan is away, we encourage her to speak and play with kids her own age. This is particularly important when away for longer periods.
Try New Food
Now I wont lie, this is a constant battle with Megan. As she has got older she has hit a phase were she has become less adventurous with food. She once infamously commented “I have tried local food, I’ve have had Panama chips and Costa Rican chips!”. She normally takes a couple days to settle in when we go long haul. During which time, we do allow a grace period when chips and garlic bread is her staple diet. However, she does warm to local food eventually.
Not a chip to be seen in a local Thai restaurant in Chiang Mai. Megan has been a fan of Curry since she was 2, as long as its not too spicy.
Learn How to Handle Difficult Situations
I wrote before about our “Longest Journey Ever” in Thailand. Taking in four different forms of transport covering 27 hours, with our only bed being on an overnight train. Megan now handles any long journeys with minimal fuss. We recently took an incredibly uncomfortable 5 hr bus journey in Costa Rica. Megan took it all in her stride, watching her Ipad and colouring in.
We know it’s been a successful journey when the person in front stands up and says, “I didn’t realise there was a young child on here!”
Megan now understands that some journeys can be long and sometimes boring, but once you get past them you can enjoy the rewards. She always looks forward to seeing the hotel we are staying at, and getting some play time!
Learning New Skills
Megan will always have a map in her hand while abroad. Her map reading skills at her age impress me! Megan fully understands that to find where you want to go to, you look at your surroundings, then match them to the map and guide yourself by being aware of what is around you.
Develop Linguist Skills
Megan speaks English and a tiny bit of Spanish that she has learnt from her Granda. However, in foreign lands she constantly enquires what others are saying. She also attempts to mimic how others speak so she can be like them.
I will be the first to hold my hands up and say I’m petrified of heights, and there was no way I was going to do this challenge. But while visiting Costa Rica, Megan (5 years old) was desperate to go zip lining, she just wouldn’t let it drop, so we took her to The Original Canopy Tour.
Megan loved every moment off it and showed no fear at all. Not even when she had to go across the first line, with a complete stranger, and wait a good 5 minutes on a tiny narrow platform high up in the trees, for mummy to join her! She completed the full loop of 14 zip lines some of which were very high and long, not to mention the Tarzan swing she completed and was brave enough to go first.
Megan’s school report she got at the end of P1 stated:
“Megan has a real interest and knowledge of the world around her. She enjoys sharing stories from her travels with her friends.”
So taking Megan out of school for “Real world experiences” has had some amazing benefits which far outweigh the few days she has missed of school. Not all learning is done in the classroom!!
I have seen Megan develop more and more as time goes by. She has become much more confident. Her speech and conversation skills have improved. She has a real thirst for knowledge, and is not afraid to ask questions (lots and lots of questions).
I believe a lot of this has come from being away. From spending time with Mummy and Daddy who work full time, and pushing herself to do and experience new things.
And, she remembers it all!!!!
Thanks for taking time to read this, I hope you will take something from this and start eyeing up an adventure of your own!
The Lewis Family.