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Nine life lessons children learn from traveling...

Evelyn Hannon

Journeywoman Theodora Sutcliffe has been travelling the world with her son, and educating him on the road, since January 2010. They've dived undersea volcanoes, trekked into the jungle to meet hunter-gathering nomads and seen many of the Wonders of the World. You can find Theodora blogging at www.travelswithanineyearold.com and Z's intermittent musings at www.kidventurer.com. After almost two years on the road, Theodora says, 'If I'd known how much children learn from travel, I'd have started travelling sooner. Here's nine key lessons I believe travel teaches children.'

1. To Keep an Open Mind...
Spending time in different cultures teaches you how very much is relative. From the small things � places where it's rude to put your feet up, but normal to spit � to the apparent absolutes of religion, politics and life values, travel opens minds.

2. To Learn From What's Around You...
Children are born curious, and new environments bring out that natural curiosity. Whether that's learning about genocide from someone who's lived through it, discovering how volcanoes work by climbing a live one, watching coffee being made on a coffee farm, or teaching yourself a new skill just because you can, children learn constantly through travel.

3. To Understand Others...
Travel brings you into contact with people whose lives are vastly different from your own. If an urban, Western child can interact with nomadic hunter-gatherers, Buddhist monks, Asian politicians and the rural poor, sometimes without even a common language, they can understand and interact with *anyone*.

4. To Have Confidence In Themselves...
Travel gives children confidence. Whether it's achieving a climb that adults fail at, diving 40 feet below the sea, making their way alone across a big, new city, or making new friends when you arrive in town, the confidence that comes with these gains lasts a lifetime.

5. To See The World Globally...
Every country teaches the world and its history from its own perspective. Often (though not always), we present our own countries as the best. Learning the stories of other nations, in other nations, gives children a rounded perspective on the world � its present, its past and its future.

6. To Keep A Sense of Proportion...
Witnessing the hard lives that 99% of the world lead � and how many maintain happiness throughout � provides a sense of perspective on your own life. Small challenges feel just that � small.

7. To Be Resilient...
Longterm travel is an amazing lifestyle, but it isn't always easy. Whether it's emotional challenges, like meeting suffering children, physical challenges, like extreme cold or long, long hikes, or frustrations like being stuck on a broken down bus for 28 hours in searing heat, travel teaches you patience and strength.

8. To Try New Things...
From eating insects, flowers or wild spices through to surfing or crafting silver, travel brings children new experiences to try � often, every single day. This reduces any fear of the new and builds a bank of life experiences some adults will never acquire.

9. To Be Wise...
To understand the needs and sensitivities of different people, the history and beliefs of different cultures, and the elaborate workings of a big and complex world is, I think, wisdom. And travel brings kids that in spades.

 

Women's words on children ...

The reason most people have kids is because they get pregnant.
(Barabara Kingsolver, 1989)

If you don't have children the longing for them can kill you, and if you do, the worrying over them will kill you.
(Buchi Emecheta, 1979)

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.
(Elizabeth Stone, 1985)

The most sensitive, most delicate of instruments -- the mind of a little child.
(Henrietta Richardsen, 1929)

One hour with a child is like a ten-mile run.
(Joan Samuelson, 1991)

Few things are more rewarding than a child's open uncalculating devotion.
(Vera Brittain, 1940)

Why kids will love San Francisco:
www.journeywoman.com/kids/KidFriendlyFuninSanFrancisco.htm
Why kids will love Chicago:
www.journeywoman.com/kids/chicago_kids.html
Why kids will love New York:
www.journeywoman.com/kids/ny_kids.htm

 

 

 

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