You would have read a lot of stuff on the internet relating kid’s travel with emotional, psychological and even physical growth. You will read how kids who travel at an early stage learn to be more social and do better in school. This is not the reason why we travel. We travel because it brings us closer as a family (imagine spending 24 hours a day with the husband and baby for 2.5 weeks!). We travel because it’s extremely fulfilling for us. We travel because nothing matches the rush of exploring a new place (no not even shoes- doesn’t even come close!). We travel because we are foodies and love trying new food items. We travel because it has turned us into dreamers, it has enriched our lives in ways we can’t explain in simple words. We travel because that’s the only thing that keeps us going- at work, at home, in life.
Anyone who has a toddler knows it is anything but easy to travel with them. Especially when they are away from their comfort zone, no one knows how they’ll react to situations. We’ve had our trying moments. She is a delight to travel with (95% of the time) but the times she loses it, she loses it completely. We’ve had our share of melt-downs and dealt with it how any grown up would- offering bribes (candies and ice-creams), false promises ( if you behave you are getting a pet dog tomorrow) and when push comes to shove fake crying (where do you think she learnt it?). But, with all her strong façade, she is actually a softie inside. The hint of a tear and she forgets her tantrums for bear hugs and sorries!
Kids are stronger than you make them out to be. They can stomach the change in climate, water (we drank tap water throughout our trip and so did Iy) and their routine. They adjust to the limited resources situation better than us. ( Iy had only a couple of toys books with her on the trip). And they also learn to fend for themselves. ( Iy is a slow eater at home but she was always first one to finish her meals on the road!).
We are happy Iy loves to travel as much as we do. She enjoys the unknown, the unexplored, the unseen. She loves walking up to people and starting a conversation (even if she doesn’t speak their language). Leaving her behind to vacation without her is a thought that has never occurred to us. She makes our travel experiences more fulfilling with her own POV. She completes our travel story as much as she completes our life story :).