I recently read an article by Mariam Navaid Ottimofiore (via Kitty) about the benefits of traveling with young kids:
“If I had a penny for the number of times, well-meaning friends and family have looked at me and asked “why do you travel so much with young kids? It’s not like they’ll remember any of it!”
The words between the lines are of course this idea that travel is wasted on their young minds. That all they will have, are photographs to look back upon when they are older. That they won’t remember hiking up temples in Cambodia, or riding on mules to explore the lost city of Petra. They won’t remember feeding giant tortoises in the Seychelles, or visiting the memorial church in Berlin. That the true benefits of travel can only be enjoyed as a young adult. That the money spent on traveling the world with them is somehow wasted.
To this I usually respond tongue-in-cheek “well, then why take them to a playground or push them on a swing? Why read them a book or cuddle with them at bedtime? They won’t remember any of that either.”
Travel is the same. Except wait, it’s even better. It’s about the experience. Of making memories together. And this is the part they will remember.”
Overseas travel with young kids is insanely hard but we’ve found it very worthwhile. We’ve taken our young children to Malaysia (Junior Pixels), Los Angeles/San Francisco (Junior Pixels), Sri Lanka/Singapore (Junior Pixels and Little Bear), Auckland (all three) and San Diego/Palm Springs/Los Angeles (all three), and we still have fond memories.
And it’s not only about the kids: it’s about us having fun too. Why wait until the kids are old(er) to have fun ourselves?
We’re taking our three boys to Malaysia (via Singapore) at Easter this year to experience another culture, and we’re all looking forward to it already.