Travel abroad with young children? Are you NUTS? All the crying, nagging, and the money!! They won’t even remember it.
Why on EARTH would I do that to myself? What will they eat over there? Fried monkey eyeballs? No thanks! I get these responses all the time. I have been traveling with my children since they were infants all over the world. -- all over Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe, Russia, China, Africa.
Here are my two cents. First: young children are often more portable than older children. They still think you know something and they actually want to be with you. Second, until age 2, they can ride in your lap for usually 10% of the cost of a normal ticket. Third: with all the ipads/iphones electronic gadgets, keeping them happy with videos, games and more is much easier today on a plane than it was even 10 years ago. Fourth: You're right, they may not remember all of it, but YOU will. Are •your* memories worth anything? Life is short, you never know what could happen. Take the chance while you can. Additionally you'd be surprised what they *do* absorb. Young globetrotters don't take for granted what Perreault Magazine - 80 - language, music, dress or food is the norm.
They pick up on languages much faster than you do. Their palate is developing: at this stage and their capacity for learning, of course, is fertile.
Fifth: Interestingly they have fresh fruit, veggies, rice, and chicken, freshly prepared and usually not processed all over the world. Sixth: Traveling with a child is the greatest ice breaker there ever was. With the exception of a few Western Countries, most countries view children as a loveable, non-political human with whom to interact rather than as an irritant. Many more people will stop to talk with you simply because you have a child with you. Not too different in some ways than walking a puppy in the park.
Safety: I know some are worried that to travel with a young human is to dangle bait in front of human traffickers. But it’s all about common sense and where you go.
This topic deserves a whole chapter, but the sum of it is, staying safe abroad is usually not much more complicated than staying at home, it just takes knowing the danger zones. Seventh: because you will love it. Seeing your kids react to roaring lions on safari, or learning the joys of giving while building an adobe stove in Peru, or seeing food delivered by mini trains at Japanese restaurants in Tokyo is quadruple the fun. Bon Voyage! JOURNEYS 4 GOOD: CAMBODIA Journeys for Good is an original television series about transformative travel which inspires and uplifts. Each episode profiles a group of voluntourists, who travel the world to make a difference and reach across cultures to connect in a meaningful way. They go far beyond the tourist track to experience the heart and soul of a place, as was the case in 2012 when Journeys for Good traveled to Cambodia.
Voluntourism combines the adventure of travel with the purity of true charitable work.
Emmy award winning husband and wife production team Joanie and Steve Wynn have traveled the world together, producing stories that touch the heart.
Their mission is simple- they believe that engaging in a service project working alongside locals creates a unique opportunity for understanding and exchange, that volunteer traveler helps young people develop self-confidence, empathy and leadership skills, and that by sharing in sweat equity a deeper connection is forged between the volunteers and the communities visited.
Inspired by an earlier visit to Tanzania, the Wynn’s decided to develop Journeys for Good as a vehicle to spread the message of the importance of volunteer travel and to focus awareness on important underlying humanitarian issues and challenges facing communities globally.
In 2012, the Wynns embarked on another volunteer trip with their son Ryan. This Journey took them to Cambodia with the non-profit volunteer operator Globe Aware (www.globeaware.org). On this journey, the Wynns and a group of dedicated volunteers built wheelchairs for landmine victims, taught English to local school kids and worked on several short-term construction projects.
The result "Journeys for Good: "CAMBODIA" is the pilot for a series that the Wynns are currently developing for public television. After its original airing in 2013, the film garnered two regional Emmy awards, including best cultural/ historical program. Journeys for Good celebrates the everyday heroes who connect to the world in a meaningful way through voluntourism.
View half hour program on Vimeo HERE