Day 11 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge – Thoughts on Being a Nomad
When Mark and I were nomads with Kali and Darwin in tow, I would tell my parents how we “worked around” having the dogs. We would skip islands where they weren’t allowed, pick anchorages based on shore access, kept sailing trips short, anchor close to beaches (not a bad thing!), stock up on dog food in western countries, locate veterinarians in remote areas, make sure all their paperwork and vaccines were up to date, and deal with agriculture formalities at the border. “I think your lives would be easier with kids than with dogs,” my mom used to say. She might have been right. Children don’t need a health certificate or approval from the agriculture department to enter a country. They could just board a plane with us or join us in restaurants, museums, stores and the bus. But, we wouldn’t be able to leave them alone on board!
Traveling with dogs is possible. Exploring the world with kids is not only possible, but eye-opening and enriching. Being a teacher and having observed families traveling by sailboat, I would highly recommend adventurous and alternative parents to take on a multiple year journey like this, by boat, with a camper or backpacking. There is no better education than a “worldly” one, experienced firsthand. Children are usually homeschooled by their parents and everything that happens around them in the natural and cultural world can be turned into a practical, interesting and memorable lesson. Children attract attention from the locals, which invites curiosity and communication. Little ones are hands-on, spontaneous and flexible to meet other kids from all backgrounds, beliefs and regions. The language barrier is low and families are highly respected, and encouraged, in most cultures. Traveling families also tend to stick together, so the children always have playmates around (while the adults can share drinks and stories :-)) and babysitting duties can be exchanged.
I always thought it would be awesome to have my own children in tow while roaming the world, but unfortunately that was not meant to be. It would have been amazing and satisfying to raise children as world citizens with the respect, tolerance, kindness, awareness and critical mind I would want them to possess. Now, I encourage others to do so and enjoy watching young travelers grow into well-behaved, curious, considerate and smart adults.
Have you traveled with (your) children? Did you travel as a child? What do you think about the concept of (long-term) traveling with kids?
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