Travel to Learn Kindness
Food and culture are a huge reason why we love to travel. But there is much more to gain in our family travels that feeds the soul.
When we travel, we understand the world better. With all the differences and hate that seems to go with having contrary opinions today, we found that traveling and eating together with friends we meet changes perspectives. We try to raise our family to embrace and appreciate cultural and domestic differences; how we eat, think, believe politically, and live. I’ve learned a great deal from traveling the world. Plus, it would be boring if we all felt the same.
Just as Clive Davis could identify the good in all kinds of different music, my gift is the ability to see good in all people (including myself!). Maybe this is why I work so passionately to help foster and orphan kids. Learning differences teaches kindness and reminds me that each child/ soul is unique and important.
Growing up in a super small town, I couldn’t wait to see the world! As a child, my world existed within a 2-hour radius and inside the Bible and adventure books. Somehow, I knew that if we traveled we would find so many different things that God made and experience all the foods and cultures and ultimately, find bits of truth all over the world.
It reminds me of the Disney movie UP. The old man looking back at his wonderful life with his wife and how they want to go to Paradise Falls, but life just gets in the way. So… you modify and appreciate the journey you make.
We decide to save so that we can stay a month and really experience the culture of a place. That means Daddy usually comes for a week or two and we stay the rest.
Homeschool Program with Travel
We begin to study the language and culture 6 months to a year in advance. Our travel rules are simple:
- NO STAYING IN TOURIST LOCATIONS!
- Get involved with the neighbors as much as possible.
- Dress like the locals, live like a local, and…
- Learn, learn, learn!
Thus far, we have been able to learn so much and it truly has changed our perspective. Shopping locally, we are able to live for 4-6 weeks for less cost than our friends who do the typical tourist travels and stay for a week or two. Plus we are not being served in glamorous hotels; we are experiencing the culture and people.
Experiences to Date:
School in Costa Rica. Very open and friendly culture. The kids all brush their teeth outside in the huge sink after lunch.
Explore the cockpit of a real jet.
Farming in every nation we visit. Honored professions displayed in statues in Puerto Rico (cover photo, bottom right) and in Peru.
Discover new foods like this yellow rambutan.
View the magnificence of a Rain Forest in Puerto Rico.
Find different creatures; like this 5-inch poisonous caterpillar.
Acquire new skills with different weather and waves- surfing in Costa Rica.
Correct wrong assumptions;
- The Sea of Galilee in Israel is a giant freshwater lake, not a salty sea. Also called Lake Kinneret.
- The Great Wall of China is not one upper level as you walk on the inside; there are different levels and many stairs.
View amazing “man-made” feats like;
- The Panama Canal Zone Locks and
- The Great Wall of China.
With time meeting folks around the world, our family has a greater appreciation for other perspectives and cultures. Knowledge is power; mostly in the sense that our children seem more kind and accepting.
This article is also shown in part on a beautiful Mom’s Expat site, And Here We Are.