Currently, we are planning a trip for the inaugural senior graduating class for our local high school. As a result, we have had the opportunity to speak to more high schoolers than we normally would in this business. A recent conversation struck a cord with me. One student was telling me about a student who should be a junior, but currently is a sophomore because his parents took a year to travel the world with him. Talk about hashtag #RaisingGlobalChildren. Amazing! Now before everyone gets their britches in a bunch this kid will still graduate on time… at the end of his junior year. Yes, there are ways this can happen. Many students forfeit their senior year to head off to college. I digress. This story was so awe-inspiring to me I decided to write a few reasons why you should travel with your kids. It could be the best experience of your lives. Read on…
- An interactive learning experience. Sure textbooks are good tools for teaching our children culture, science, math, you name it, but there is nothing compared to actually seeing, touching and hearing about the actual locations where historical events took place or future events will take place. It is bound to create a permanent knowledge “nook” on your child’s brain versus the memorized jargon we learn from textbooks just to get a grade.
- It will potentially create a travel bug. In our family, we love having the travel bug. We have no desire to rid ourselves of it or figure out some remedy to slow its growth. We want it to manifest and become contagious to anyone in our presence, virtually or in-person. We have a targeted manifestation rate and currently seeking to increase its spread rate by multitudes. Once you expose your children to a healthy love of travel, they will more than likely pass the trait onto their children and so on.
- It will encourage critical thinking and independence. It is so disheartening to meet children who have never left their parents side until they are pushed out the door for college. Completely unprepared for the separation. And parents are so perplexed why their kids have such a difficult time adjusting in their new surroundings. Often times, when I ask how far away their kids have gone away to school it is usually right down the road. I mean you could get there and back while listening to this post. It is quite sad and, quite frankly, a huge disservice to our children. It is our duty to prepare them adequately to be adults. The time does not come magically when they graduate from high school. It is a process over 18 years. So head out on a hiking or trekking adventure with your kids, give them some independent duties, give them several instructions at once, teach them to work well within different cultures. You will thank yourself immensely when graduation day arrives.
- You will grow as a family. This is the most important reason in my book. These days many families are like ships passing through the night. One parent shuttling this child here and the other parent shuffling another child some place else. Dinners are eaten “drive-thru” style. Schedules are so overloaded that one calendar just does not suffice any longer. Taking time out to go on a cultural adventure with your family can improve your families focus on one another. It can improve everyone’s mental well-being increasing one’s ability to focus and increase productivity as a result. Just try it and see. You may just catch the travel bug too.
Of course, there are many more reasons to travel with your kids, but I wanted to give you a few too stew on. Maybe I will decide to re-visit this area with a lengthy list. Let me know what you think. Traveling with kids is just as important as taking that annual couples getaway and Mom’s taking at least one girlfriend getaway each year to stay optimized and productive members of society.
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Do you travel with your kids? Have your kids ever traveled without you? At what age did your travel without you?