Since as long as i can remember, the summer vacations was my most favorite part of the year. Not because i would get to skip school, but because it meant my mom and dad would take me somewhere new. The trill and curiosity i had while i packed my bags dreaming of the things i would see, was beyond words. I really don’t remember much of the toys my mom bought me, or the things my dad refused to buy saying i didn’t need them, may be because it was out of his “budget” at times. I don’t remember the multiple times my mom tried to pacify me that it was ok to not have a big birthday party. All i do remember is the trill of discovery, the trill of travel, the trill of running to make it to the station, to catch the train on time. The little games me and sister would play to pass time, the snacks dad got for us at stations, it’s a memory I just can’t put into words. We (the parents of the present generation) have become so involved in the rat race of giving the “best” to our children that we forget to see their actual needs. Each child needs something different, each child is unique. If one wants a new book to read, the other wants that new remote controlled car in the market, while one may just want to play around in the dust all day. This doesn’t make any one of them wrong. The fact of the matter is our children want experiences. They want to experience new toys, new books, new places to play…..and when we try to give them these things we are gifting them these experiences. So why not every once in a while give them the experience of a totally new place. It does not always have to be a new country, it can be a new city, a new part of the country they haven’t seen before. You will be surprised at the many times you realize,your children may not always want the best in “things”, they want the best in “experiences”.
” I believe its better to clutter our children’s mind with memories, rather than clutter their room with toys”
Here are my top reasons to “gift” your child travel this year:
Travelling exposes kids to new cultures: Each land or a civilization has a different way of living. It shows them that there are other ways to live other than like their own. It makes them more accepting human beings.
It gives them a classroom in the real world: Children learn new things when they see them. Like names of animals, what do mountains really look like etc etc.. They will remember better if they see a cow eating grass,rather than when they are judt told that it is so. It fans their curiosity to learn new things. As we all know “curiosity is the best teacher”.
It shows them new things: Kids are amazed when they see something new, that they haven’t seen before. A child from the European countries will be curious about the way people dress in East Asia or a child from India will be fascinated by how people in African countries worship nature just like in their own country. It shows them that we as human beings are not very different from each other and it teaches them to respect others.
Real life Maps: Kids who travel to a new place, remember the location and geographic aspects of that place much better.
Teaches them to adapt better to a situation: We encounters many experiences during travelling, not all of them may be pleasant. Travelling teaches the child to adapt to that situation and move on.
Bonds of the family are strengthened: Travelling families are known to be closer to each other. And children of such families are better able to express themselves and are much more confident as they grow up.
Respect the nature around us: Travelling teaches the children that there is more to this world than just their home and city. It teaches them that we as human beings are only a very small part of the vast nature. They learn that it is “us” who needs the trees and the wind rather than the other way around. They grow up to be more environmentally aware human beings.
See new things which are not in their routine: A child living in a populated, polluted city may not see stars every night. But take him/ her to a village and the pitch black darkness exposes them to the full glory of the shining night sky. Do you think they will ever forget that view? I don’t think so. Looking at someone cook their simple meal with effort in an “almost about to go out” light bulb, makes the children appreciate the things they so easily get in the city. This gives rise to a generation of humble and grateful humans.
Kids grow up fast, capture the moment: A day turns to a month and then to years in a blink of an eye and your kids will be all grown up. They will have a life of their own and may not even want to travel with you one day. Capture each moment you have now and fill it with happiness. Travel with your kids. Not necessary that you go on a month long vacay to Europe, just a small weekend also counts in memories.
” The world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only one page” – Augustine of Hippo.
Gift your child the whole book.