Updated: May 16
Home life is hectic. Not a day passes when I don’t stand in the middle of the kitchen and say out loud: ‘what am I meant to be doing?’ Life is a continuation of spinning plates. Keep everything spinning, don’t let anything drop, or if one does drop, make sure it’s a plate that’s been in the back of the cupboard for a while, and doesn’t really matter. Everyday is like an adrenaline sport just getting to bedtime, and that final bedtime story.
But when we step outside our homes, take the opportunity to switch off the every day, something magical happens. Families become closer, we appreciate the little things, and our cultural education widens.
Regardless of where we travel, creating memories and experiences are key to the fabric of your children’s make-up. In fact, in a recent study by the Student and Youth Travel Association (SYTA) traveling with children can affect them in many positive ways:
· Desire to travel more (76%)
· Increased tolerance of other cultures and ethnicities (74%)
· Increased willingness to know / learn / explore (73%)
· Increased willingness to try different foods (70%)
· Increased independence, self-esteem and confidence (69%)
· More intellectual curiosity (69%)
· Increased tolerance and respectfulness (66%)
· Better adaptability and sensitivity (66%)
· Being more outgoing (51%)
· Better self-expression (51%)
Simply by removing the everyday norm we see a huge shift in the family dynamic. Parents and children have the opportunity to bond more and create memories together. My two children have fond memories of a trip to Italy two years ago before the start of the pandemic. Three and four at the time, they recall the holiday not because of the beaches or the pool, but because Mummy got stuck in the toilet (on the first day, in a public restaurant!) and the snail which was in in Daddy's burger. These 2 events alone give them a huge amount of pleasure when they retell the stories. The relationship between parents and children becomes tighter and as parents we start to understand our children's perception of the world better.
We all benefit from new experiences, and exposing children builds self-esteem, confidence and adds fun to your adventures. If you’re not familiar with a country, place or attraction with a little digging around the web you will be able to find some excellent tours and experiences. A great example is kidslovegreece.com, they offer an exceptional tour for all the family – ‘Mythology Food Tour for Families’. The kids will love the fun activities and quizzes by the expert storyteller and the sweet traditional Greek treats, whilst you as Parents will love time spent with your children trying new flavors and walking through the most traditional streets of Athens’ center.
We as families have uninterrupted time when we holiday, the most precious gift that you can give. Whether that be a game of cards on a campsite or a dinner in a tavern, your family has 100% of your focus. You will feel a lift in your mood and you will start to appreciate and notice the little things around you. On a recent camping trip, my five year old daughter took it upon herself to be in charge of the kitchen, every morning she would wake up, set the table and organise the breakfast options. I never realised how much she wanted to help me, I always saw her as being under my feet in the kitchen at home, as the kitchen is the central hub to survival in my house, but there, in that camping field, I could see she just wants to get involved and find her place in the family makeup.
What we create by traveling with our children, are global citizens. We provide them with a cultural education and provide a platform to build their own understanding of world events, whilst they can explore their values and what is important to them. We can allow them to take learning into the real world and challenge ignorance and intolerance.
We have a responsibility to show our children the world, through making memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.