Travelling as a family with kids can often raise a few eyebrows- "What about their education?" or "How would they become more social?" are the most common questions. But what if travelling as a whole family can help kids be more tolerant, learn from real world, be involved in decision making and make friends wherever they go?
Have you heard the word Hiraeth? It is a Welsh word that Welsh people swear cannot be translated. If one must try, it roughly means the longing for a home that one never had. Then is it fair to say that travelling is a near-synonym of Hiraeth?
Whether you are a regular traveller or not, you must have felt that sudden pang to be someplace else at some point. You must have been in a moment when your heart was at another place and, as clichés go, home is where the heart is. We grow up with a very poky idea of home confined to a particular space and a handful of people. So, when you travel to a place that your heart’s been longing to behold with the people you call family, you are automatically home. And it may just so happen that the home turns out to be on wheels! Just like in the case of the handsome little family of Dan and Poppy. Having embarked on a world tour last August, with their 4-year-old and 2-year-old in toe, they currently call a motorhome in Australia their home.
Parenting on the move has really sparked joy in this vegan family from the UK! Dan feels that travelling as a unit yields better energy in the household, that has made them much better equipped to handle the kids and blow-ups. He is glad that they never thought twice before undertaking this journey as it has truly changed their lives!
We were in a bad place before we left. We decided that instead of just existing, we wanted to live. Many would say our kids would struggle socially and education-wise, but they socialise all the time with kids and adults of different ages and nationalities and we always learn. Now we are free!
The mere notion of travelling with a young family makes people overwrought in anticipation of the chaotic schedule ahead of them. But if you really ruminate on the nature of your day-to-day routine, is that any less chaotic? Moreover, there are days on which you hardly get to bask in each other’s company, be it owing to some trifling matter or attending to one of the many ‘important’ responsibilities! While travelling with your family, you get to not just explore the unknown with fresh pairs of eyes, you also get to spend all your time together strengthening the bond you share. However, be prepared to keep the kids entertained with all sorts of activities starting from board games, books, songs and whatever seems to capture the fancy of your little munchkins! Nicola says travelling has made her daughters Jetlag and Mayhem (if they were not travellers, who would have been!) decisive kids who voice their unfettered opinions on the itinerary their mother plans before any trip. Nicola makes certain to loop them in the process to let them know that their opinions matter. Charlene, or Red Travel Folder, does the same; “Our kids now help us choose destinations that they have an interest in learning the history about.”, she says. Travelling plays a major role in responsible parenthood!
Travelling is synonymous with the broadening of horizons as one gets to blend with people belonging to some alien culture and also gets the time and space to reflect on life in a holistic manner. Most people attest that travelling with family, specially kids, can eat away into that precious time and space. However, contrary to popular belief, it’s quite the opposite
Kids are a great ice-breaker and we have attracted a lot more attention and conversations than without them!
says Katie who travels with her husband and two kids aged 9 and 3. Her 9-year-old Aidan says that while it can be somewhat tiring at times, the tropical water snorkelling and horse riding make even the early morning flights worth the while. It’s simply staggering how resilient these tiny humans grow up to be, courtesy none other than travel!
Natalie and Camilla are two sisters from London, who discovered their perfect travel partners in each other over the course of a month-long trip in India. They are quite the adventure enthusiasts.
We have abseiled down a cliff in Mallorca, surfed in Bali, went white water rafting in Vietnam and Camilla also went skydiving in Australia last April!
says a proud Natalie. Most of you would think that incorporating adventure into the itinerary is possible only for people who don’t travel with kids. Allow Matt, or @flatoutrelaxing, to bust this myth. His family, including their little son, travelled to way out in outback Australia to visit the Mt Augustus. They drove on tiny dirt roads, both on their way up and down, where they did not encounter a single other vehicle or person. In Matt’s words,
It was over 45 degrees Celsius, we were near the great Sandy desert- so, if we broke down or ran out of diesel, it may have been a life or death situation. Scary but exciting!
Even in the middle of this, his son was getting his distance education. But he probably learned much more on the trail itself.
Kids will be kids, there will be meltdowns. But, rest assured, even trips that may seem cataclysmic will do more for your family than an unvarying routine ever could! There is something very pure and heartfelt in seeing your kids grow into themselves with each travel destination and imbibe the virtues of mother nature that escape so many of us in the vapid bustle of life! .