Why travel is a gift for kids

Why travel is a gift for kids

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me we should “stop gallivanting” around the world with our kids and “wait until they’re older” to travel because they’re too young to remember or get anything out of it, we’d have enough dosh to travel with our kids full time.

And that’s exactly what I would do because, as I’ve written about at length before, I couldn’t disagree more.

Not only do I believe in living in the moment – and travel moments are quality family time that makes all of us extremely happy – I’ve always believed that travel broadens the mind. And when a mind is open as that of a young child,  travel is a gift that provides parents with an unbeatable opportunity to stuff it full of wondrous things while teaching them amazing life skills like flexibility, patience, humility, empathy and respect.

I’ve been called selfish for dragging my poor kids all over the place. I have been charged as irresponsible for not focusing more on the accumulation of material things. I have been accused of stupidity for jeopardising their education by taking them travelling (and fair enough too because we have had the kids out of school for travel a staggering four whole days this year). And let’s not forget my favourite sledge to date, that I am “a dirty bloody hippy” who should be shot for “peddling my idiotic views” on equality and tolerance to my poor, poor children.

On Friday, 3rd-grader Raffles stood up to speak at the NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre alongside 13 other absolutely brilliant Year 3 & 4 students, each of whom had already competed against a staggering 2,042 local and regional finalists in the State Final of the NSW Education Department’s Multicultural Perspective Public Speaking Competition.

Needless to say this idiot hippy parent and her idiot hippy husband, doused themselves in patchouli oil (well, we would have if it didn’t make us gag), donned their best tie-dyed harem pants (and by tie-dyed I mean black and by harem pants I mean skinny jeans) and stopped “gallivanting” long enough to sit in the front row with their education-starved daughter to listen.

Poor Raffles, exhausted as he obviously must have been from all that ridiculous travel I force on him, then stood on a stage in front of around 100 strangers and a camera that was linked live to over 100,000 school students and confidently spoke in words of multiple-syllables  – despite all that education deprivation. Indeed with more lucidity than 50% of current American Presidential candidates, he delivered a prepared speech that he wrote by himself about why he believes multiculturalism is a wonderful thing and how grateful he is for all the experiences and cultures his selfish parents “dragging him all over he place” had exposed him to.

Why travel is a gift for kids

He spoke about his first hand experiences with people of multiple religions and cultures and how he had observed that whatever language people spoke, what they looked like or what they believed in that, in his experience, people are more similar than they are different. And they are good! And all while admitting that his poor undereducated brain was pretty much located in his stomach.

After a short break he was whisked away with the other kids, each of whom had to prepare a 60-90 second speech in isolation on a topic they were given exactly five minutes to prepare. And instead of “going for the win” he took the opportunity to share how, on his travels, he had observed heinous cruelty to wild and endangered animals at popular tourist attractions and pleaded with people to stop supporting them … in the hope that one person might listen.

Clearly all that “gallivanting” around the world has had zero impact on him. Because he’s too young. And we should wait until he’s older.

Oh, and incidentally, he won!

Raffles and his trophy

And his family are incredibly proud of him. And you know what? We would have been even if he didn’t, because he is a wonderful, empathetic, respectful, confident, humble, respectful little man who is wise beyond his years. And we believe that, along with the education he is receiving from the amazing teachers at his school, travel can take a lot of the credit for that.

So there.

Oh, and if you’re still not convinced that travel is a gift for children, click on the (slightly dodgy) video we made for you all of his prepared speech below, and maybe he can change your mind…

36 Comments on Why travel is a gift for kids

  1. Amanda Kendle
    November 1, 2016 at 9:48 am (5 months ago)

    Go Raff! This is fabulous, Aleney. So proud of him and you.
    It really looks like all that travelling has been just terrible for him 😉

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 1, 2016 at 10:32 am (5 months ago)

      I feel soooo guilty Amanda, He is clearly lagging way behind his peers. 😉

      Reply
  2. Maxabella
    November 1, 2016 at 10:50 am (5 months ago)

    He’s a little legend. Raffles for PM!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 9:20 am (4 months ago)

      I’ll be his campaign manager! Vote 1 Raff!

      Reply
  3. Christine
    November 1, 2016 at 12:57 pm (5 months ago)

    Little legend ❤️ Eco warrior in the making!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 9:21 am (4 months ago)

      He is already there! I can see him chaining himself to trees in the not to distant future

      Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 9:22 am (4 months ago)

      We shoudld ship him over to the US for a week to give the folks there a bit of a talking to 😉

      Reply
  4. Hugzilla
    November 1, 2016 at 2:14 pm (5 months ago)

    This makes me so BEEPING happy!! Congrats to Raff and the entire family. May you continue to ruin his life with lots of soul-enriching travel experiences! LOL.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 9:19 am (4 months ago)

      I’ll do my best! I’m going to ruin him by sending him back to New Caledonia in a few weeks. Nasty thing that I am

      Reply
  5. Kathy
    November 1, 2016 at 2:28 pm (5 months ago)

    Congrats Raf – I can’t believe you have any detractors – what a worldly, wise and happy son (and daughter) you have.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 9:19 am (4 months ago)

      They are happy. And that’s the most important thing of all!

      Reply
  6. Barbara
    November 2, 2016 at 3:45 pm (5 months ago)

    My children have such an enlightened way of looking at the world thanks to travel – books, whilst important can never be as memorable or meaningful as actually being there!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 9:18 am (4 months ago)

      I think he will Amy – kid is on a mission

      Reply
  7. Tanya
    November 2, 2016 at 6:32 pm (5 months ago)

    Well done Raffles! I have a son your age who also loves to travel. He also is ‘supposedly’ raised by hippy parents, deprived of routine or structure and doesn’t know what a regular bus route is. Yet, somehow by a small miracle he also thrives!! Or could it be from all the travel and hard work homeschooling parents do? Hmmmm … We may never know!! Life is what we make of it… Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 9:23 am (4 months ago)

      We ‘hippy’ parents are on to something I think. 😉

      Reply
  8. Hayley @ Middle Class Mamas
    November 2, 2016 at 9:32 pm (5 months ago)

    Wow! What an amazing feat! Good on you, I love your tongue in cheek post and think there should be more travel for our students, getting out of the school gates and seeing, if not what the world holds, at least our own back yards. Well done, from one ‘hippy mama’ to another!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 9:24 am (4 months ago)

      Thanks Hayley! Hippy parents unite xx

      Reply
  9. Suzy @ In the Lyons Den
    November 2, 2016 at 9:56 pm (5 months ago)

    So fabulous! I couldn’t agree more that travel is the best thing you can do for your kids. It is so important that how we live our every days lives isn’t how everyone else does. Congrats on the achievement!!! Super proud moment.

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 9:18 am (4 months ago)

      I agree that it’s a lesson easily learned from travel. Thanks Suzy x

      Reply
  10. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    November 5, 2016 at 8:14 am (4 months ago)

    What a legend! When can he apply to be PM? Raffles is living proof that there is no such thing as too much travel!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 9:17 am (4 months ago)

      I don’t know but I would vote for him, with complete unashamed bias

      Reply
  11. Julie
    November 5, 2016 at 9:33 am (4 months ago)

    Travel is a classroom on the move. The best and most engaging way of learning. I travelled with my parents for 6 months and my father was told he was irresponsible leaving his job and taking his child out of school. Travel has defined me and I don’t feel I missed a thing. Not only did I learn so much but I have an amazing relationship with my parents from the shared experiences. Go Raff!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 12:16 pm (4 months ago)

      Julie, you are living proof of what empathetic, broad minded and intelligent people a childhood full of travel build. xx

      Reply
  12. Kirralee @ Escape With Kids
    November 5, 2016 at 9:40 am (4 months ago)

    He is destined for great things that boy. Imagine the positive influence he must have on his peers now and in the future. You must be such a proud mama. And bloody hell you cop a lot of shit! Why can’t people have their own opinions in the privacy of their own minds?

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 12:14 pm (4 months ago)

      He is a good influence I think. His teachers say that he comes out with a lot of big ideas and is fairly philosophical in class. And as for the whiners, they’ll always find something to judge. They don’t phase me at all. Clearly. Because we just keep doing what we do.

      Reply
  13. Jules
    November 5, 2016 at 10:30 am (4 months ago)

    Such an am amazing , inspiring speech! I can’t wait to take Miss Moo traveling.Fantastic speech Raffles

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 12:12 pm (4 months ago)

      Thanks so much Jules!

      Reply
  14. Eva @ Tree Hut Village
    November 5, 2016 at 10:50 am (4 months ago)

    I absolutely love what you do! I think your family is so brave to lead this lifestyle and the lives of your children are obviously benefiting from it tremendously! I almost got a bit angry when I read the judgemental comments you get from other people.. perhaps they are just like me and wish they were doing it!

    Reply
    • BOYEATSWORLD
      November 5, 2016 at 12:11 pm (4 months ago)

      Most of the judgemental comments come from people I know in real life as opposed to people online, and yes, I think some comes down to jealousy and some to ignorance and a fear of the unknown.

      Reply
    • Kate
      January 25, 2017 at 7:16 pm (2 months ago)

      I’d go with jealousy … and an inflated opinion of their own standing in the world as self-appointed ‘dispensers of wisdom’ … oh dear.

      Reply
  15. Shari from GoodFoodWeek
    November 5, 2016 at 2:38 pm (4 months ago)

    What an amazing job you’re doing. I only hope I am able to do half as good a job as you! What an awesome kid!

    Reply
  16. Denyse Whelan Blogs
    November 5, 2016 at 10:42 pm (4 months ago)

    Way.To.Go. Education is all around us ..not just in schools! Congrats to your son from…a retired K-6 school principal and proud NSW Teachers Fed member!

    Reply
  17. CameronRobertson
    November 11, 2016 at 2:16 pm (4 months ago)

    I should think that kids are very, very blessed if they are able to go travelling anywhere outside of their home country before the age of 10. I barely travelled when I was younger and only when I was much older did we move to Sydney. But I think I appreciate it more now that I can understand the significance of going to a different place now than compared to if I was a kid.

    Reply

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