4 lessons I learned while traveling with my family
Traveling with your family is a great way of exploring the world together. There are so many places you can choose from, and so many fun activities to enjoy in each and every one of them, that you will never run out of options.
Of course, it can get more comfortable to sit around at home and take the kids to the mall or to the park at most... but then again, what about your desire of not settling for a life less lived? What about the incredible feeling of discovering new places, of enjoying the outdoors in Germany, of relaxing by the sea in Italy? Life doesn't have to be resumed to the surroundings of your home if you have kids. They're not breakable goods to be kept and cared for in the house all the time, and neither are you. Besides, you very well know that time has the “bad habit” of flying, so...an honest advice: start your new family adventure as soon as possible and learn a few useful things from it:
1. Babies, toddlers, teens are... made for walking
This means that yes, you can travel with a baby. Nothing is going to happen to him/her. You will be just fine, and you can breastfeed your baby just as easily in a new and interesting place rather than home on the couch. Then, toddlers... they are not made for sitting inside and playing on the computer or so. They're made for walking... walking in the woods, enjoying the huge (and free) playground that the outdoors has to offer to them. Believe me, it's easier than having to try to get them to spend all their energy indoors. Teens... yes, they can be tough sometimes. So why not expand their horizon with traveling? Give them a few days off from the daily distractions. Give them the chance to freely express themselves without writing it down in a text message or on Facebook. You'll be surprised at how much of a difference in communication this will make.
2. You learn from the world...
And you learn so much. From history to geography, from math to art and foreign languages... you have so much to learn from the world. What you learn in school is of course very important, but so is what you learn from traveling, as you and your family are faced with new situations in new places every day. The most important thing of all though is that you face them together. Traveling in a foreign country does actually bring you closer.
3. Enjoy the simple things
Having a TV, video games, phones, social networks and many others theses days, is surely useful at times and also entertaining. Yet keep in mind that you do not need these things to make you happy. You'll be surprised at how many games kids can create from elements they find among nature (such as rocks), and how much fun they can have with them. Traveling gives you the chance to take on new challenges as well, as a family: whether you are trying to communicate in a foreign language, or go sailing off Sicily's coast, maybe learn how to dive in France or try canyoning in the Italian Dolomites... practice is the mother of skills. Don't be afraid to test your limits.
4. It's much easier to keep fit and happy
Moving around with the kids when on a family holiday will make it much easier for you to keep fit, healthy and happy. A cycling tour in the Netherlands or a hike in the Ardennes, long walks along sea promenades and exploring cultural and historical attractions in beautiful cities will surely have an impact on keeping you in shape. You will create great new memories together as a family, and you will have plenty of photos, videos and journal notes to testify for them. There's no more time to waste at home.
If there is one thing that probably all or most parents can agree upon is the fact that children grow up way too fast. So why not make the best of it while they're around you? Enjoy a family vacation together as often as you can and please do share with us your fun adventures or any tips on them you might have.
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