A: Preethi (main contributer here), Daniel, plus 5 kiddos, aged 9, 7, 5, 2, & 1 very cute month.
A: It is really important to us to not just explore or travel to have fun; we have no interest in being perpetual tourists on permanent vacation. Rather, we choose to explore both at home and abroad in order to learn, serve, and build bridges, empathy, and curiosity. All mixed in with family connection and, of course, FUN!
A: To us, exploring local means that our adventures…
…sometimes are budget friendly, and occasionally are a splurge.
…sometimes involve “just” going grocery shopping, especially if you have kiddos in tow!, and especially if we’re in another country.
…sometimes include reading and learning at home.
…sometimes are go go go to get as much into a day off as we can, and sometimes are taking a day to relax.
…sometimes have us popping into a museum for just an hour to get a taste, and sometimes mean losing ourselves for an afternoon because we can.
Basically, it means that we try to travel to other places in ways we’d behave at home, or ways that others would in their home cities that we visit. We like to get a taste of what it would be like to live in a place, to understand the culture and the language and the food and the history. It means we try to connect with the people as much as we can in whatever timeframe we have.
A: I guess this depends on what you mean by “kid-friendly”! We believe in exposing our kids to lots of “adult” interests – museums and hikes and culture. They’re interested! And often, they help us see those things in a new way. One of my favorite memories from our many trips to New York is taking our kids to the Met and the Cloisters – they noticed things in the unicorn tapestries and in the ancient pottery that opened our eyes to their mystery and importance.
A: We have an Instagram Stories series where we’re learning about different countries. We’re starting with ones we hope to visit soon. We’re learning in little kid-sized bites about geography, literature, art, music, history, science, language, and, of course, food. We’d love to have you join in!
A: Does traveling with kids have its challenges? No question about it. They need naps and sometimes can’t walk as far or as quickly and can’t always carry all their own stuff.
But we’ve found that they also bring so much good into our travels. Kids tend to be much better about being open to new experiences and cultures. They have fewer inhibitions, and are great about starting conversations with locals (and build bridges for their parents to do so, too!). They do a great job at appreciating even the failures in travel – if something goes wrong or doesn’t work out, they get excited about the smallest adventures, and tend to be fairly easy to please. And there’s something about distilling knowledge to teach it to our children that helps us understand and appreciate it more.
Overall, we really love exploring with our kids and hope to share what we learn with you.