I never expected to find my "village" abroad. It's not just the strangers we come across, but also the experiences of world travel that are teaching my kids what I, alone, can't teach them.
We just celebrated our ONE YEAR anniversary of when we started traveling the world full time (Go us!!) and my heart is so full when I think about all the memories we've made. We often find ourselves reminiscing with each other about one of our countless experiences and I knew that would be a huge perk going into this. The quality of our lives has improved tremendously this past year, but I'm going to focus on three specific ways our lives have been enriched by traveling the world.
1. Accept Other Ways of Life
When you travel, you get the opportunity to observe and participate in many cultures. It is an amazing, and sometimes humbling, experience to watch families all over the world live their day-to-day lives. While in Bali, we saw men and women carry heavy loads on top of their heads. In Thailand, there are families of 5 riding on one scooter. In Hawaii, shoes are always optional. Because my children have been exposed to so many cultural differences this past year, they embrace individuality instead of passing judgment. I love this!
2. Learn to Expect the Unexpected
I would never be able to count all the times our plans have changed due to unforeseen circumstances, everything from activities to transportation. It can be frustrating for anyone when plans suddenly get changed, but we quickly learned that it always works out in the end. When we make plans, we always accept the possibility that something may pop up (and by 'may', I mean 'most likely'). When this happens, we work together to come up with a new plan. Our kiddos get involved with this process just as much as us adults. They are learning to be quite the problem-solvers - what an amazing life skill to learn!
3. Oh, the Things You Can Live Without!
Once you're out getting hooked on the thrill of travel, it's easy to simplify your belongings to only what will fit in your backpack. Anything extra is too much of a hassle. So, you happily wear the same outfits over and over, you wear the same shoes until they fall apart, and jewelry becomes something of the past. The best part is that you won't even miss the possessions you gave up. Traveling the world teaches you to cherish experiences more than things. How amazing will it be if my sweet kids can bring this lesson into their adult lives!