When I was pregnant with my first daughter, Kalyra, I felt as if those around me were celebrating something other than the life growing inside me.
“So that’s the end of the travels, hey? You can’t travel with kids now.”
I felt as if I was walking a path to the gallows.
Why did I have to give up my dreams and turn from a life of joy and freedom to one filled with routine, rocking chairs, and labels?
I was determined to prove the naysayers wrong. I wanted to be like the family I had met on the slow boat from Laos to Thailand. They had an active 3-year-old and a nine-month-old baby and carted around prams and backpacks. It looked challenging, but they managed.
And they were happy.
“If someone else can do it, I can too.”
Kalyra, now aged seven has accumulated more stamps in her passport than the majority of adults. My youngest, Savannah, now three, has five. And as most of you know for the last 10 months we’ve been travelling around Australia.
What do you mean you can’t travel with kids?
Watch this video to see how my toddler boards a plane
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4 Reasons I travel with my kids
1. Close bonding times with happy parents
When you go on a family holiday, you leave all the worries of your everyday life behind.
There are no schedules to adhere to, no toys to pick up, no errands to run, no school to attend, no bosses to answer to, and no end of day exhaustion that leaves you barely able to mumble a “Hello, tell me about your day,” to your child.
You can even live a little dangerously, like having an ice cream every day, or staying up past 10pm.
What your children need most is loving, happy parents who spend quality moments with them. When we travel together we strengthen our family bond with shared memories of adventure, carefree living, exploration, laughter and play time.
2. Focus is on accumulating memories, not just possessions or achievements
There is nothing wrong with owning things, or achieving; it becomes an issue when we rely on for meaning or identity.
When children travel from an early age they learn to live from the present. Life is about enjoying experiences and accumulating memories — it’s what shapes who we are and is the only thing that we can take with us to the end.
3. The world becomes their classroom
Once a child enters school, their innate desire to explore, ask questions, and goof off slowly gets shoved back into a box of rules, regulation, and conformity.
When you travel with your children, all of this is removed.
The world teaches your child based on their curiosities and interests. It’s a natural absorption of knowledge and inner knowing and experiential based learning schools can never replicate with such enrichment.
The earth becomes their classroom and all its inhabitants with varying degrees of skin colour, languages and beliefs become their teachers.
Some would call it “The village raising the child.”
4. Anyone can be your friend
My children are quickly learning that strangers can easily become friends. All it takes is a smile to break down barriers, a common connection, a few stories to share, games to play, and a laugh thrown in.
They are learning about what truly matters: connecting via laughter, smiles, and spiritual essence not labels, traditions, and beliefs—these differences become something to celebrate, rather than fear or judge.
“It is because of fear that we judge, it’s because of judging that we hate, and it is because of hating that we hurt.”
My daughters haven’t had many opportunities to develop long-term friendships, but they never have any problems making friends wherever they may be.
Travel with kids is not an easy decision. There are the constant fears of the possible negative impact upon their lives. Staying at home and choosing a conventional life won’t take these fears away. You’re a parent and that comes with never ending questions and concerns. But, you can’t make your decisions based upon an imaginary future.
The challenges aren’t too different than what you would experience if you were living the settled life; its’ just in a different location, but this time you are managing it as a parent who is happy and fulfilled.
Watch this video and see the benefits of traveling with kids