Saturday, December 29, 2012

Why travelling with kids is important essential!

I was born to travel.

Well, maybe. It might be a combination of nature and nurture. My parents made a big deal about taking us travelling, as regular readers will know from trips like our six-month campervan tour of Europe when I was nine. We were just a normal average middle-class family, certainly a long way from particularly wealthy, but they decided it was important. No doubt one of their goals was to nurture a love of travel and for me it absolutely worked. My sister - not so much, although she does still travel far and wide on occasion, and was brave enough to take a three-year-old to Spain for a few weeks last Christmas. But me? I don't remember a time when I didn't have itchy feet, when I wasn't interested in geography and history and facts and figures about foreign lands, and I guess by now this travel addiction is one that is here to stay.

My sister and I in Greece. Excuse the fashion.
And now that I have my own son, I want to add some travel nurture to what I hope is his genetically-inherited travel nature, and I think I have made a reasonable start.

Tasmania and toddler
We made it to Germany and Switzerland when he was a baby, and have since toured Tasmania and had some mum-and-son time in Melbourne, too, all before he turned two. While some people argue that there's no point taking kids travelling when they're young, because they won't remember much, I disagree on two counts: one, travelling at any age helps them get used to all the oddities of travel - the plane trips, the different beds, the unusual sights and smells, all the new experiences in general; and two, although they might not quite remember it directly as they get older, you can help them create memories of it by looking at photographs and talking about the trips, giving them the feeling that travel is a great thing and also something they enjoy.

Giraffes in Germany!
As our son gets older, we will certainly be spreading our travel wings far and wide. Of course, there will be the obligatory (but still very welcome) visits back to Germany and Switzerland to see his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, but that won't be all. I think it's important to show him countries quite different to our own - parts of Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America to name but a few! - because that kind of travel is a fantastic teacher. He has the very good fortune to grow up bilingually, but I still think it's important to expose him to other different languages, to let him taste amazing different foods across the world, and most importantly to meet and get to know people who live in completely different circumstances to him. I really believe that these kind of experiences can shape a personality - and hopefully one that is tolerant, understanding and open.

And of course, taking him travelling is a pretty good excuse for me to travel, too! I'm in the midst of planning some exciting 2013 travels so stay tuned to find out more ...

8 comments:

  1. I totally agree with you! Travel broadens the mind and makes us more tolerant. You were lucky to have been exposed to travelling from such a young age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, very lucky - and planning to do the same for my son!

      Delete
  2. I love the track suits, velour I should imagine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spot on, Rae! Sewn by my dear mother.

      Delete
  3. Love this and it's so true! Changing environments even at a very early age helps kids adapt a lot more, and builds a sort of "I can thrive outside my safety box" resilience.
    Happy New Year and hope we cross paths in person soon!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lola, and I'm sure you're right. My son's quite shy at times but he seems to blossom when we head off to new places and I think that's so important. Must check if any of our 2013 European travel will coincide with yours!

      Delete
  4. You have inspired me to get on a plane and take my 5 yr old to see his aunts, uncles and grandparents in Portugal! I have been putting it off since he was born because I just couldn't contemplate 'traveling with a toddler'! But your tips for traveling with kids has inspired me to give it a go. My husband and I are getting itchy feet again so we need to bite the bullet and book a trip. Thanks for the push!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay Kylie!!! I'm very excited to hear that. A five-year-old will be FINE! (Especially a boy. Travel is all about transport; boys love transport stuff. Easy!) Very glad I could inspire this. You'll all have a ball. xx

      Delete

I love to hear from you ...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...