After writing several blogs over the past few weeks I started wondering: Why should parents travel with their tots? Sure, parents need a break, the family needs a change of environment, it’s a great bonding experience and you want to explore new places (great basic reasons to travel, don’t you think?). But does traveling help your tots grow and learn from their exposure to new cultures, new people and a whole new world? Traveling with your tots can cost a few $’s, is this a worthwhile investment?
I still remember the first time I visited Switzerland with my son who was barely 1 years old then. I remember the amazement on his face as he checked out the goats and the roosters on the Swiss mountains, as we swished down the snow in a tube at Mt. Titlis, as he saw the fleeting snow capped mountains from the Glacier Express, as he experienced his first boat ride at Lake Geneva, tasted cheese at Gruyeres and had his first chocolate tasting at the chocolate factory at Broc. While I am not sure how much he learned from his experience, I know that he thoroughly enjoyed it.
On researching more on this topic online I came across several blogs written by parents that have taken up traveling as a full-time passion. One very inspiring story is captured beautifully in a blog: “Family on Bikes” by Nancy Vogel. The Vogel family is rightly our inspiring story of the month and here is short video on them:
The Vogel family (of four) recently finished an epic family bike ride from Alaska to Argentina. Nancy’s two, twelve year old, twin boys have become new Guinness World Record holders as the youngest people to cycle the Pan-American Highway. Nancy, a teacher by profession, wrote an article for The Washington Times titled “Children learning through family travel”. And she talks about “How can travel help kids learn?” My favorite excerpt from the article is as follows:
“As we travel, our kids are always in new and stimulating environments, therefore their brains are always growing dendrites that make it easier for them to learn anything. It appears as though their brains are so stimulated by everything that is going on around them that they just pick stuff up – it goes in through osmosis.”
It was a very interesting article, Nancy talks about how her youngest son, a weak reader for years was able to learn to read flawlessly while on the road, so please take a few minutes to read it.
Nancy has authored several blog posts and articles on this subject. I will like to reference one more article she wrote for examiner.com titled “Families travel to give children better education”
“As families travel throughout the world visiting historical sites, children gain an understanding of what life was like on the fields of Gettysburg or in ancient Mayan cities. They visit museums and national parks and natural wonders. Roadschooling parents encourage their children to learn from everything surrounding them and the kids learn in a natural learning environment.
When children engage their five senses in their learning they learn more. They truly understand when they see, smell, hear, and touch. Many families have come to the conclusion that there is no better education.”
Nancy’s experiences give us great insights on what our tots gain from our travels. We continue to research more inspiring stories about traveling families and learn how they add value to their lives from their pursuits.
Happy bonding on your travels during the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. The Shah family will be staying in New York waiting for daddy to return from the West Coast. If you plan to travel this weekend, do share your exciting stories with us. – TitterTot