No parent needs to be told that kids grow up way too fast. Still we find ourselves wondering, where did the time go? If you took a snapshot of your family’s life right now, what kind of story would you capture? Grueling work hours, school schedules, soccer games, and homework assignments allow less one-on-one time with our kids. As parents, we invest in our children’s education. It’s just what we do. We want to raise thoughtful, well-adjusted, smart kids who will be successful in the world. So where do you start? Early education. It’s logically. But what about the value of time? Of family stories? Of moments? Of travel? Family vacations might get lost in the complexities of life, put on hold for the perfect time. Yet, there is no better supplement to our children’s education. Travel is the vitamin c of intelligence. When a family travels, the world transforms into a global classroom, one that shapes brighter kids.
Food for Thought: Shaping Minds
Take a snapshot of the dinner table, that precious hour or so when your family is actually gathered together. The kids are shoveling mashed potatoes in their mouth when the round robin starts: What did you do at school today? How was work? Do you have homework? When’s the next soccer practice? These questions aren’t tradition as much as habit. It might not surprise you, then, that according Elizabeth Buie, TES, two-thirds of family conversations are about daily routine. Our fast-pace world builds barriers around us, but travel can break down those walls like a swinging hammer. Away from schedules and distractions, unplugged and engaged with nature and culture, communication barriers fall. Travel provides a backdrop for real conversations. It’s in this uninterrupted time, in the far-off echoes of wildlife and faraway city markets, where we really get the opportunity to meet our children. No schedules or distractions. The benefits of travel are two-fold: kids learn by moving and playing, benefiting from new experiences. Parents learn to slow down and appreciate their children as individuals. It’s a win-win.
The World is Your Classroom: A Different Kind of Education
Take a snapshot of your kid’s weekly practice. Grass stains and skinned knees. There is value in the wear and tear of uniforms, because it’s proof of hard work. There’s value in teamwork. But sometimes the best lessons happen beyond our comfort zones, outside the classroom, fields and courts of school. Family adventures provide experimental learning: the world becomes the classroom. Kids learn the journey is just as important as the destination. Travel and adventure help break down cultural barriers and create social awareness. Kids learn a different kind of teamwork: celebrating differences instead of fearing them. A child’s global education will increase self-confidence, independence, and interpersonal skills—perfect for success outside academia.
Real World Lessons: Value in Experiences
Take a snapshot of all the toys and gadgets in your kid’s room. We all want the latest iPhone, game consoles, and fad toys. These days our identity is wrapped up too much in the pretty packaging of plastic. Traveling has a way of putting things into perspective. Children learn the most important education in life: priorities. They find meaning in experience over ownership.
Travel is priceless. The proof of its value won’t be seen in a uniform. It will be in fresh perspectives kids bring back with them. You’ll see it when your child ditches their tablet for a bike ride. Or when they ask to learn a new language instead of the latest video game. They’ll gain a fresh perspective on the outdoors, culture, and people. They’ll find a deeper appreciation for the world.
Austin Adventures is a family owned business for over 30-years. We know family adventures. We’re a family of adventurers who believe in the power of travel. Because in the end there’s just no better place to get your child to open up and blossom than on an adventure. We take care of the details so you can experience every part of the journey with them. So instead of worrying about what you’re going to do in Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon for 5 days, you’ll be ready to listen. You’re going to love what you hear.