Whenever my heart says, lets go.. travel... Budget, time, schedule, etc etc always say No. But there’s this undeterring attitude which always raises its head and asks why so?!
There's more to travel than fancy pictures, shopping, taking a break from the monotony of life. It is this desire to wander, experience, observe, absorb and learn!
In my version of existence, travelling comes with a deeper meaning. As I have moved through life, with each trip I have found myself a changed person, no matter how slight. I have found a deeper connect with this life and this world.
Travel. The word itself is music to the ears! The excitement to see a new place, new people, the food, their way of life, language they speak, their culture..everything seems to ignite a spark. It is like each and every place in this world has a different sunset and sunrise. As I stand and witness the beauty of the surroundings, I feel I have come a step closer to Mother Nature.
Having these overwhelming experiences myself, it is sheer pleasure to see my children reflecting a positive bond with the natural world. Rivers, animals, trees, birds and even the insects, my little one says are his friends! They have loved the shades of orange with the glow spilling across the horizon with the rising sun. The encounters with the tiny creatures making their way out of soil after rain while building little mud structures have given them lessons to understand the natural order of things and admire life irrespective of size and origin.
But it had not always been like this. There was once a time when I perceived travel a hassle with kids. Having travelled as an independent adult, no wonder the added responsibility of a toddler seemed to create a lot of chaos. The diaper changes, the feeding patterns, stomach upsets.. upset me a lot. I started to think that it wasn’t the right thing to travel with kids and maybe we could pursue that after kids had grown up a little. But thanks to the die-hard traveller I am married to, he did not let this happen to us. He was always there to push me out of my comfort zone and that is what travelling is all about, moving out of the comfort zone. We wandered around different climates with the little kids. Forests, seas, mountains, deserts..our kids have trotted all along.
Travelling is a great learning experience for children besides adults. It ignites their curiosity world of why’s n how’s. At a young age, they get to see the glimpses of the bigger picture of life. That life is not just confined to the school, to the house, to the parents. There is a lot to be explored. There is a lot to be learned.
Though school education is very important, there are certain things that cannot be learned in a classroom setting. While planning and packing to go on a trip develop their organizational skills, visiting different places gives them an insight into different cultures. They become flexible individuals, respectful of others. Collecting seashells from the sand, listening to the sounds of the rainforests, they learn to admire the beauty of life that lies in simple things. It also makes one learn how to be tolerant if something goes wrong, to let it go and look at the brighter picture.
As a parent, it is my preference to instill in them an adventurous streak, to go for it, just do it. Travel makes you a strong, fearless creature. After all, life is all about risking, taking chances, following your instincts. Travelling offers endless opportunities to explore ourselves, pushing us to our limits. And I have experienced this myself. Having had developed aquaphobia as a child after a drowning incident, it is with travel only that I have been able to overcome my morbid fear of water, wherein just a scant amount of water pouring over from the shower was enough to make me gasp for breath, gathering all my strength and courage, much to my surprise, I did manage to pull off a sea walk!
Quietly watching the sun go down or a mere walk in the forest sometimes prove to be a life changer. And believe me, this writing bug, which gives me immense pleasure and creative satisfaction, nowhere to be found in years’ of working in an office setting, bit me only while travelling. So explore and let your children explore the endless opportunities that are out there for you to discover!
And as they say, fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show!
In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.