I don’t think that I have properly dictated just how freakin’ excited I am that school is nearing an end. The main reason being that I am sick of homework as I am sure my little genius is as well. I was discussing the concept of “Un-Schooling” with my aunt who was swearing up and down that it’s a great way for kids to learn; where the structure is reduced and experiences are turned into learning moments. I love this, but why am I telling you this? Because this is how I view travel and why I love traveling with my kids.Traveling teaches kids how to respect the past, live in the moment and plan for the future. Click To Tweet
When you travel with your children you are teaching them that there is life outside their bubble. They get to experience new cultures and test the limits of their senses.Traveling teaches kids how to respect the past, live in the moment and plan for the future. It teaches them skills that are important well into adulthood – communication, critical thinking and problem solving are skills that I know we have all employed in the airport, on the wide-open road or in the planning stages of a trip. We use these skills throughout our trip and being able to communicate with someone from another culture is important to learn respect and teach diversity. It also teaches confidence and independence. To be able to traverse the unknown wilds of the world changes their view. Situations that seem so far away become a life event. Time contracts; when you’re walking in the foot-steps of Pharaohs or sitting on a Civil War Battlefield the past doesn’t’ seem quite so distant.
Being a traveling family we all have learned a lot by way of budgeting. The kids understand the value of money and the importance of saving in order to be able to enjoy our activities and keep traveling. They are learning to make good choices in regards to value and compromise. They are learning to plan for the future and how to invest in it in the process.
Our travels have taught them responsibility. Being responsible for packing their own underwear (and one trip without it) is enough to make a 7 year old remember to put some damn underwear in a suitcase. Life experience is what they’re getting. Invaluable.Time contracts; when you’re walking in the foot-steps of Pharaohs or sitting on a Civil War… Click To Tweet
Travel teaches compromise. Not everything always goes as planned. Flights get cancelled, vehicles break down, luggage gets lost, we get lost. None of these things are the end of the world and how we teach them to react to unfortunate situations during our travels will carry them into their adult life. It will dictate how they react to disappointment in the future. It also gives us the opportunity to teach them to be resourceful in situations where sudden change of plans occurs and how to ask for and accept help when needed.
By traveling we are teaching them to prioritize. Our list of places to go is long and growing longer every day. Where do we go first? What do we want to get out of it? Can we make this work around work? School? With our budget? They’re also learning that not everything is a necessity. They don’t need to pack 700 toy cars for a weekend in the Rockies but you do need a jacket. Choices – they learn to make good ones.
What are they learning when we travel alone? Who knows, that’s grandma’s deal! (Kidding) They’re learning that spending time together is valuable, that they can and will do okay without mom and dad holding their hand. They’re also learning that if they don’t get to go on a trip they get key chains, candy and T-shirts because we are weak.
Traveling also is teaching kids to be careful and mindful of their own safety and the safety of their family. Traveling to new places puts kids in a situation where they have to pay attention to their surroundings. Traveling teaches this with abundance and we teach them skills to remain safe during our trips, no matter the destination, and these are important skills.
It doesn’t matter the distance or destination – whether you fly to another country or drive a city over – these experiences teach valuable lessons that can’t be taught in a simpler or more fun way. These travels offer experiences of sense and emotion that can’t be felt watching a video, looking at pictures or reading a book. Traveling feeds the imagination and builds a sense of adventure and fearlessness that all children should have the opportunity to experience.
It’s time to Un-School in the big, wide world.