Let’s keep it real for a minute. Traveling with kids is not for the faint of heart! Navigating new cities and cultures can feel a little like walking around in the dark. Each family has unique challenges- and when those challenges present themselves it can hurt. Bad.
But if you determine to get out of your comfort zone and explore the world in new ways, you and your kids have some of the most tremendous, life altering times ahead.
If your globetrotting experience turns out resembling anything like ours, you will have some trying times along the way. Your patience may wear thin, expectations get a dose of reality, and you may even wonder what the heck you have gotten yourself into.
It’s true that kids can be loud, precocious, difficult to manage, and moody(they are smaller versions of us after all), but if we let their worst moments (and our biggest fears) determine the level of interaction our family has with the world around us- most of us would be confined to the same four walls until they grow up.
I hear about kids who don’t throw tantrums in public. I did not bear them.
My kids don’t care who is watching. Meltdowns can happen just about anywhere, at anytime. And not only does it try my patience, it can be really embarrassing.
In the end, The Man and I purpose to live free of fear. Fear of looking foolish, fear of what others think of us, fear of what bad things might happen…..basically all the thoughts that suck the life out of you, and tempt you to shut down.
Because, you know what I fear more than those things? Living a lukewarm, passionless life — and raising our children to do the same.
Years ago I heard a phrase regarding raising children- especially young children- that has stuck with me to this day. “The days seem long but the years fly by!” Isn’t that profound? Our kids aren’t going to be small forever. And this little bit of time we have with them will help mold the kind of people they will be their entire lives.
Weighty stuff, right there.
Life is meant to be LIVED. You have to protect your time, fight for it even. Despite their size, our little ones have the same innate need to discover, question and explore as we do. More so even. And if we don’t fight for the time to get out there- we lose it.
Exposing our kids to new cultures/subcultures and experiences helps them form a worldview that is more centered in reality. They discover the beauty in difference, become acquainted with the struggles of the needy, and learn that fear is a liar.
Exploration is an essential part of life. Of growth.
So even though traveling with children is profoundly exhausting and difficult at times, I think it’s important to step back and try to see it from the bigger picture.
Because it may take a lot to raise little world travelers, but it takes everything to raise WORLD CHANGERS!
And that’s what I’m after.
Yes, they can be loud, precocious, difficult to manage, and moody. And, yes, leaving the comfort of home can be super hard to pull off. But, trust me, seeing them light up by trying something new, discovering things they never knew existed, overcoming something they were previously afraid of, or having new empathy for the poor is worth every bit of effort and inconvenience.
Those things are precious and worth fighting for! And a true sign that they are going places!
*Read about how my kids’ interaction with a Pink haired girl named “Gypsy” made me realize that our efforts were paying off!