1. Geography won’t just be a subject anymore
Have you ever been to Gilroy, California? They grow copious amounts of garlic and it smells like it. If you ever go, make sure to roll the down the window and let the scent of garlic fill your minivan or better yet stop at a farmer’s market and pick up some of the local specialty.
My kids have traveled in 27 states. They know these places by the way they look, feel, and smell not just by their shape on a map.
You can’t help but become a closer family through the fun you’ll have. I think of the memories we’ve made traveling, as a gift that my kids and my husband and I can open indefinitely.
3. Facts become experiences
Teaching your kids that Texas is the biggest state in the lower 48 is great. But, what if they experienced it? We drove I-10 across Texas with our kids this year. It is 878 miles from the New Mexico border in the west to the Louisiana border in the east. They have a much deeper understanding of how big a state Texas really is now. “Are we there yet?” “Um… no, still Texas kiddo.”
4. Connections between books and their experiences.
When my son read Percy Jackson this spring he was excited to tell me about the part when Percy jumps off the Gateway Arch. When we visited there this fall, he got to look down at the Mississippi River and the city of St. Louis from the top. Now, when he thinks of the book that experience is tied in there with it.
5. The people you’ll meet
In California, my son made a good friend who is first generation Indian American. We’ve been able to learn about people and their cultures through immersion. The language, the food, the families. There is no better way to understand the diversity in this country than to experience it.
6. Real Life
When we live in one place, we tend to start putting a bubble around our kids, which is not a bad thing, we want our kids safe. But, life isn’t safe. People are homeless, racism exists. When we’re static, we start to avoid places and sights that are uncomfortable. We make decisions to go the other way, to go around instead of through, avoiding what’s uncomfortable. Traveling has opened up our kids eyes to a lot of things, some a little raw. This has given us a chance to have some great conversations with them about real life.
7. It will instill a sense of adventure in your children that will last a lifetime
My wanderlust started with my father and our family road trips. He taught me a truth I have always held onto: the destination is sometimes less important than the trip along the way.
8. You’ll make them wise
Traveling allows your kids to find out new things about their world and to learn things about themselves through their experiences with those new things.
9. You’ll make them empathetic
Empathy plays a huge part in how your kids will live their lives and impact the people around them. Spending time in new places learning about people and their stories allows your kids personal ways to connect to others. It’s the difference between, “I’m sorry” and “I know how you feel.”
10. It’s FUN!
The most important part of traveling is having fun with your family, enjoying the short time we get with our kids as they’re growing up.
Traveling has been a joyful experience for our family. Watching the wonder on my kids faces and getting to be with them as they see and experience things for the first time is priceless.
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Thanks for reading,