After my dear friend Inácio Rozeira was the father of a beautiful Alice, I learned recently that two other friends and great travelers will be parents for the first time. In both cases, the pregnancy will still take time, and so they will have time to get used to the idea of having a child enter their lives. Of course, they will have to make your travels compatible with paternity and, where possible, bring together the best of both worlds and include children in their travels.
This is what I am writing about today, I have a new shoot at home. whom I hope will bring a lot of world - that is what I try to do with your older sister. And the boy's day will come to prepare his backpack with notebooks, books, toys and cuddly toys and make the world with his parents.
Remember the back to the family world?
Just over two years ago I was landing in Porto, on a flight TAP from Miami. It was the end of an epic family trip, including my five-year-old daughter, who lasted roughly 10 months and was being reported on the pages of Fugas magazine and on a blog what do we call Pikitim's Diary.
This trip was a mix of personal, family and professional projects, from which I learned a lot about the behavior of children on the road and, more importantly, about the importance of traveling for the development of our children. I wanted to share some with them.
Ice 7 Things You Should Know About Traveling With Children:
1. The road gives our children self-confidence
I have no doubt that the estrada gives children the tools to become more mature, to get out of the way, to get out of potentially difficult situations without collapsing into crying and screaming and appealing to the mother's lap. In a word: self confidence!
Two stories to corroborate this conviction, both passed in the second half of such a return to the world:
"Mother no there"
Fiji islands. We were in a Magnificent Coral Coast hotel self-described backpacker resort (seemingly contradictory name but that corresponded perfectly to the style of the accommodation). It had a very used social area, with tables, nationwide and swimming pool, and where they served wonderful scones and tea in the middle of the afternoon; had the bungalows geographically spread across paths and lawns; and, in a remote area, there was a kitchen and a small common room with sofas and television - partitions typical of a hostel.
One day, for some reason I do not know, we were in the kitchen without little Inês. I think he kept playing with little friends by the pool and then going to the kitchen. We were quiet, but the truth is that time passed and she was delaying coming back.
After a while, she appeared in the kitchen by the hand of an unknown lady. "So, Ines, what happened?" We asked. And then she told him that she'd gotten lost in the hotel gardens and stood there, not knowing which way the way was to the kitchen; that the lady appeared and saw it with lost air, to which she said to him:Mother no there [pointing in a direction], father there [pointing in the opposite direction], "and you noticed her and came with her looking for her parents.
Months earlier, the same Ines would have started crying as soon as she felt alone and realized that she had lost her parents. She had been 5 for years, she was in a completely unfamiliar place where no one spoke her mother tongue, but that day, with six or seven months of travel, had enough confidence to face and solve your problem. No dramas.
"More good for me"
The other day, in the same scenario in the Fiji Islands. Whenever we went to cook, little Ines used to enjoy to stay in the adjoining room to watch cartoons on television. Now, on that day, the television was "occupied" by a lady who quietly saw a type series Gray's Anatomy.
I explained to Inês that I would have to wait because you were there first, and we all went to the kitchen. After a while, Inês "disappeared". And time was passing ... passing ... passing. As my daughter would not come back, I went to look for her, and found her sitting on the sofa in the common room watching Cartoon Network. "So, Ines, what about you?" I asked. "You know, dad, I came into the living room and said, Please, cartoon, more good for me - and you changed the channel. "
Once again, he solved his problem. And without asking the parents for help.
Both episodes were points of change for us. That's when we realized, for things like these, that traveling was same to contribute to the maturation of our daughter. To make it stronger.
2. Speaking other languages becomes natural
As shown by the examples above, the fact that a child is exposed to foreign languages is an extraordinary asset. And having a taste for other languages - from English to Mandarin - is essential these days!
Little Ines is a good student. In addition to having a natural passion for drawing - which he develops at leisure, he enjoys mathematics, physical education and reading (he says he does not like it so much as patience). Still, he says that his favorite subject at school is English.
More. When we talk to someone from Brazil, she adapts the accent; you do very well in the portunhol; and even the basics of French Hello ao merci "You're familiar." And if you are asked how to say "good morning" in Thai, Indonesian or Filipino, you may have the answer on the tip of your tongue. Yes, being exposed to different languages from a young age makes speaking in other languages natural.
In short, it will certainly be very beneficial for your future if you speak good English and want to learn other foreign languages. And I I have for myself that this taste for tongues is not the result of chance...
3. A motivated child aligns in everything (even in trekkings)
South Island of New Zealand. Being in a country like New Zealand, with glaciers like Franz Josef, breathtaking scenery and hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails, it would be a crime not to do at least one trekking in one of the "Great Walks".
We opted for a section with 12 km from Abel Tasman Coast Track, between Bark Bay and Torrent Bay. The worst that could happen, I thought, would be to have to carry my daughter to hell.
The truth is that she demonstrated a thirst for adventure that surprised us. Along the way, he made a point of going ahead with an incredible sense of discovery, "indicating" the path, warning of "dangers" (a rock, a log in the way) or sighting mushrooms and the like, and never, never asked lap, piggyback or even to stop or give up. We stopped just to eat, drink and rest a bit, and nothing more. When we reached the destination and waited for a boat taxi who would take us back to Kaiteriteri, fell asleep, exhausted. It was a great day.
In other words, it was a great lesson: if motivated, a child aligns in everything; even in trekkings.
4. A child needs little to be happy
Wii? Nintendo? iPad? Yes, all the tools have their place, and in fact, in situations like a tiring day, a long caravan trip, an intercontinental plane or a night train, Gadgets as Nintendo are very useful. The same applies to card games (they know the Geo Family? - was much played on the trip) or others.
Otherwise, a child just needs the company of parents or - even better - of other children to be happy. And play, play and play. Basically, be a child. And this is for the comfort of home as well as for any trip.
That is, keeping kids happy is simpler than it looks.
5. A child does not understand the urgency of adults
It is in a unique place that can only be visited at that moment, because the next day it starts or the place is closed or whatever, and your son says disarmingly: "But I prefer to stay here and play." Or to draw. Or do nothing.
A child does not understand this urgency, does not understand how something can be so important that it has to be done now and already - when, for her, the most important is simply playing or being with the parents. Yes, will get frustrated many times because he wanted to do things and does not, but there are ways to minimize frustration.
First, you need to adjust expectations and internalize the idea that, traveling with small children, can not do everything he wanted. And then it's a matter of getting the travel slower. Because it will take a lot more time to get to know a city, to take a walk, to everything. Because the your child's rhythm is different from yours.. Because their resistance is less. Because sporadically it will make tantrums. And because, often, your child will not feel like doing things. Which is normal and understandable.
6. Children and museums are not incompatible
I will never forget what happened in those days in Manila. We had read about a children's museum called Pambata Museum and we decided to visit him with the girl. Loved it! We even got kicked out when they wanted to close the doors. So that the next day, the question about what he wanted to do the answer was ready: "I want to go back to the Pambata Museum." And we went through the museum all day again.
It was a children's museum, that's for sure. But I have more examples.
Still in Manila, the little girl loved the story of the national hero José Rizal in a museum in Intramuros. Months later, in Australia, Ines was fascinated by the open-air museum explaining what they were stromatolites, considered as the oldest living beings on the planet. During our stay in Wellington, on the North Island of New Zealand, we Te Papa Museum. And we went. We spent hours there and our daughter loved it.
Does this mean that you can and should go to all the museums in the world? No. Just want to say that you should not miss going to museums just because you travel with your children. Motivate them. It can happen that they surprise and adore the experience.
7. The travel bug stays there.
I often say that I have no idea what my daughter will remember about her return to the world when she was five. It's the truth. But I'm sure there was a germinating seed there that will make it citizen of the world, without fears or borders, curious, tolerant and respectful of differences between peoples. And willing to travel - this school of Life.
Of course, it already has a list of countries that it claims to want to visit, including Morocco, India, Brazil and Japan. world map on kitchen wall it helps to maintain this spirit of living traveler, this Invisible bug which everyone who travels says to have within him and who is certainly already in the blood of my daughter.
Therefore, traveling friends and future parents, do not stop traveling when the family grows. And, most importantly, let your little children travel with you.
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