Today, I spoke to an old friend who worked for World Vision – a humanitarian aid organization with projects all over the world – until recently. He and his wife have a 4 year old and an 18 month old. The 4 year old has already been to 20+ countries and his 18 month old has been to 14. They are a family that has truly embraced travel as a lifestyle. These children will barely remember the Republic of Congo where they spent a few months ministering among the poorest of the poor, but they will remember it in their bones. It will form who they are, what they care about, and how they view life.
I confess, as a family, we have an addiction to collecting passport stamps. But it’s beyond just collecting passport stamps for the sake of parading it around as a status symbol. Okay, in the interest of full disclosure…there is a tinge of that. But ulitmately, the reason why we have made travel so central to our family life, is because we want our children to grow up having tasted, seen, smelled and cared for a world and it’s people who are as different as the colors of the rainbow. We want them to see that there is no one way that people should live, no one way to express joy, sadness or love. We want to challenge their sense of entitlement and to instill a sense of compassion for those who have experienced grave injustices.
There are lots of ways to travel. But today, I was re-inspired by our dear friends, to be undaunted by the challenges of traveling with kids. I was also challenged to not disregard the impact that our children could have caring for other children in an orphanage in Nicaragua. World, here we come…one passport stamp at a time. We’re slower, but we are coming.
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