Traveling, I think, is a wonderful experience for us all. Children can benefit from travelling even more than grownups, because travelling expands their knowledge, ideas, beliefs and boundaries. Many people ask me, “Why take kids on expensive trips if they cannot remember all the details?” So I ask them, “Do you remember all the things that made you who you are today?”
We live in a very special era. We are exposed to things today that 100 years ago we could only dream of. Think for example, 100 years ago, only lucky people living next to the ocean knew how a whale sounded. Today, every 3-year-old can tell you how a whale sounds and looks.
Technology has helped a lot to bring the world to our homes. In the beginning, there were photos, then moving picture and now live telecasts, showing things as they happen. We heave reached a point where we do not leave home and we think we can experience life through the screens of our TV and our computer.
But we cannot!
We are also raising a whole generation of children who sit in front of these screens for hours every day and think the movement in front of their eyes is a reality.
But it is not! And the visions they see are not even of a happy or positive reality.
The truth is that watching a high mountain and climbing a high mountain are not the same experience at all. They involve different physical and emotional mechanisms, therefore watching will be remembered less than actually climbing a mountain.
To understand the effect of travelling on children, ask yourself about your first camping trip with your family or the first time you saw a movie with someone camping outside. Which one do you remember?
We all design our identity based on the experiences we have in life. Travelling has a great potential to build a positive, happy and stimulating experience that will be develop the right mindset and attitude. This is the reason why many people work the whole year only to allow themselves a holiday and some travel time to recharge their batteries. Most people consider it a holiday only if it is away from home because of the need to change the routine.
Children are very much the same. They need to see other places than their homes, schools and friends, and the more different it is, the more exciting it is for them. If you live in the city and travel to the beach, you allow yourself a different kind of experience. Walking on the hot sand along the beach is nothing like watching someone else walking on the beach, because you cannot feel the heat through your screen.
Technology has brought the world closer to us, but sent the experiences farther away and distorted our perception of reality. Let’s take advantage of the technology that allows us to physically travel to far away places, meet different people, eat different foods, feel different types of weather and raise a whole new generation of kids who are appreciative, flexible and tolerant towards others.
I say, let’s invest in our children’s education by taking them on as many trips as we can, because this way we can help broaden their horizons and redefine in their mind the meaning of “living“.