We asked travel expert Amy West to share with us how she inspires a love for travel in her daughter. Check out Amy’s 3 simple ways below!
When I was fourteen I caught it. That itch you can’t scratch, a curiosity that won’t be tamed, an unquenchable desire they call wanderlust. I took my first trip overseas on a youth group trip without my parents. It was scary, it was thrilling, it completely turned my world upside down, and ultimately defined my future.
When our daughter was born, my travel thirsty husband and I knew we wanted to raise a world explorer. How to do that in the “bubble” that is our little beach community was the question. It’s not always possible to take a small child overseas. So how do you show them the world? My philosophy has been to create a culture in our home that embraces the world. Here are 3 Simple Ways to Inspire a World Traveler:
Lead by Example
The best way I know to inspire my child is to blaze the trail for her. Sometimes it’s more about what’s caught than taught, and in my willful young one’s case, she wants to be just like mom. That’s why instead of letting my limitations hold me back, when my daughter was two I launched my own travel brand. Pushing my own limits, setting off into the world, and continuing to travel (most of the time without her) teaches my daughter that the world is bigger than our neighborhood, and proves to her that if mom can do it, so can she. Not everyone can jet off into the sunset, but we can all start with the small things, such as enjoying a diverse ethnic meal. Use that meal-time as a chance to discuss the culture it derived from, and what that part of the world is like. Show your kiddo that there is a world of flavor out there and it’s exciting to try new things.
Surround them with the World
One of the things I love about Little Passports is the giant map that comes with the subscription. We immediately put our daughter’s up on her wall and every night we talk about where we live, and where other things are happening in the world. We’ll relive a history lesson, talk about major landmarks, and tell her stories of the far off lands we have visited. You can incorporate travel and exploration into your home with small accents like decorative planes or trains, globes, posters, or enlarged pictures of your own travels. These little suggestions seep in and ultimately those things won’t be foreign, but comfortable and nostalgic.
Take Advantage of Every Little Moment
Window shopping is a great opportunity to talk about items we purchase and how they gain inspiration from the world around us. Where did that pattern originate from? How was that made? Or, does your family visit the Zoo often? We love pretending we are on a safari when we visit the African animals. At the library we make sure to visit the non-fiction aisles and pick up a book on a foreign country, even if it’s just to look at the pictures.
Raising a world traveler is about creating a culture within your home that makes it normal to explore. Inspiring adventure with every moment you can seize, and ultimately by practicing what you preach. Keep getting out there, keep enriching your young ones with a diverse knowledge of the world, and one day, they’ll be inspired to set off on their own adventures, and hopefully catch wanderlust for themselves.