By Caroline Eaton from Traveling 9 to 5
I aim to travel like a child.
I want my eyes to forever be open and willing to learn.
I hope my life experiences and opinions take a backseat to my curiosity.
I crave my compassion will always overshadow my distrust.
I will put my caution aside and strive for adventure.
I never want my achievements to suppress my humility.
I long to find happiness in peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and oreos dunked in milk.
Children walk through life with a joy and playfulness that adults tend to lose in the process of growing up. Everything is new and exciting to children, and traveling like a child is a practiced skill that is a true blessing once mastered.
I learned to travel through these children I met in Southeast Asia.
How to Travel Like a Child
Look at everything with a new perspective
The beaten path is usually pretty beaten down. Tourism has slowly chipped away at the unique and beautiful sights around the world.
Instead of going through the motions, or avoiding the tourist traps all together, try approaching travel here from a different perspective.
Inspiration is not your guide’s responsibility, only your own.
Adults are trained to accept and comply. Rules are rules, we walk on the sidewalk, we stop at red lights and we eat in restaurants with English menus…err…you know what I mean.
If you meet a local ask them questions as to why their society acts like it does. Question and compare what you are accustomed to and be open to the new way of living.
Not every question will be answered, but at least you took the time to question.
I am not suggesting that you hand them your wallet and ask them to watch it, but if you travel with a wall up around you, your experiences will be limited.
You will leave feeling unfulfilled and unattached to the area due to your lack of engagement. You are in their world, so take the initiative to get uncomfortable and hopefully meet a stranger or two in hopes of making a new friend.
There are no limits to a child’s dreams. When asked about their dream jobs, they answer astronaut, not based on anything practical, just that it is the coolest job they can imagine.
Kids don’t play by society’s rules, but believe anything is possible. They don’t ask if it can be done, but they figure out how they can make it happen.
Be in Awe
The smallest bug can quickly turn into the biggest monster, while a simple hill can become Mount Everest in a child’s eye.
After seeing a handful of temples and markets, seasoned travelers can quickly become jaded and avoid venturing out when visiting new locations because, “it’s just another temple”.
The fantastic part of traveling is discovering the subtle differences each country, culture and people offer. Each sight is unique and by putting yourself out there you are opening yourself up to serendipitous situations.
As you travel, color outside the lines, be spontaneous, learn by imitation and enjoy the simple pleasures of life!
How can you travel like a child?
Bio: Caroline Eaton is a former corporate ladder climber currently traveling the world in search of a location independent lifestyle and writing about it on Traveling 9 to 5. She is an exercise addict and a healthy eater with an insatiable sweet tooth. She hopes to inspire you to travel and to write a better story for your life.