5 great reasons for traveling with children...
We hear many different opinions about traveling with a small child. To take him out of his familiar everyday life with kindergarten, favourite playgrounds and friends, and then take him with us on the road for a much more “vagrant” life, with new surroundings every single day.
And although there are some disadvantages, I am convinced that the advantages by giving your child a long journey, being with the parents 24 hours a day, by far outweigh the negatives. Here are 5 really good reasons to take your children out, discovering the world around you:
You travel in a slow pace! You cannot expect to be able to make long distances in the same pace as when you are traveling by yourself or as a couple. Children need more time and cannot stand more than 4-5 hours of traveling a day. Having said that, Anton did in fact do 8 hours of driving very well on a few occasions, but only when absolutely needed. Of course there are also the long-haul 12 hour flights. In the days following such a “marathon” you should take it easy and give the children time to be... well, children. Let them hang around a playground and play.
Advantage for the parents: Your experience of the surroundings becomes much more intense, and you have more time to let impressions “sink in”. You take more breaks and you simply just SEE more!
Children will open doors! Grown ups have far more inhibitions than children and need more time to overcome the hesitation to make contact with locals and other travelers. Children do not really care. They go straight to other children that seem like having a good time, and ask to play along.
Advantage for the parents: It is much easier to make contact with other parents, and thus you can make connections where you would otherwise never have a chance.
Children see more! Countless times Anton has been aware of things that we would never have noticed, had we been just the two of us.
Advantage for the parents: Again you SEE more than if you just race through the country in a high pace focusing only on “getting there”. Now you can relax and enjoy the ride. This will also give you more of those small, precious and memorable moments!
The world simply IS the best school of all! Needless to say children will learn a lot of good things in a kindergarten or school. This is not by any means to be underestimated. But a walk along the beaches of Australia, studying the glaciers in southern New Zealand, or seeing the Statue of Liberty in New York up close can be far better and memorable elements in your children’s education. And with far more “presence” than just reading stuff in a book, watch some good and educational films or discuss a collection of sea-shells in a biology-lesson. We have established that Anton, in many ways, is far ahead of his friends. He has learned by playing and experiencing.
Advantage for the parents: This will also be educating for you, and it never hurts anyone to get smarter and get a better understanding of the world surrounding us!
You “grow” as a family! We have been together 24 hours a day, every day throughout an entire year. Many families would break into pieces, because the parents simply aren’t prepared to live a life much more on the children’s terms and not focusing on the next board-meeting, a bigger company car or the next promotion. Children only want you to be PRESENT and it is not about handing them an iPad or a new set of LEGO Starwars. It is about looking into each others eyes, feel the heartbeat of one another and simply just spending time together without any everyday distractions. Time to wake up slowly in the morning. Time to linger over breakfast, while gazing over the Great Barrier Reef. Time to not care about what weekday it is!
Advantage for the parents: The life that you thought was ever so important to you, suddenly seem not to be. Children do not care about materialism and social status, as long as they feel safe and loved. This really puts things into perspective and is by far the most important lesson to bring with you further on in life!