Giving your children the best education you can is incredibly important to any parent. I’m not talking about the merits of private versus public or even which school, for me, there’s a more important decision. The education children get at school is a great foundation, but there is a way to nurture well rounded, self-confident and more importantly – empathetic young adults.
I grew up in a blinkered society with fixed views. I can still vividly recall the day a single conversation, at age 16, called all of those views into question.
I’m talking about what you can teach your children about the world at large, and their place in it, by travelling with them.
Having got a taste of travel in my teens, the plan to spend a single year overseas after uni failed.
Ten years on, I had settled in Melbourne. By that stage, I’d lived and worked in 4 countries, and had a short stint working in a fifth. With that as background, I’ll admit to being biased here.
I can tell my children about the pyramids, I can show them pictures, we can take a virtual walk around them on google earth, but nothing prepares them for walking out of an airport into a 48c afternoon and pushing into a chaotic traffic jam en route to those same pyramids, where everything they know is different. I can’t do them justice by explaining what India sounds like, how Swiss mountain air feels or the sense of adventure, feeling like I’ve stepped back in time, looking at 60-year-old cars in Cuba.
Sounds like a travel brochure, why write about it in a money blog? Quite simply overseas travel isn’t cheap, below is the estimated cost of a three week trip per person excluding flights based on data from https://www.budgetyourtrip.com
Trips like these require planning, saving. You might even need to invest for those once in a lifetime trips.
If travel is important, other things may need to be put on the back burner, but if you were looking for a way to justify the travel bug, I think you’ve just found it.
More than the novelty, I hope to show my children is that there’s merit in being outside your comfort zone, away from your home language and daily routine. I want them to understand that the way we live is a choice, but not the only way. I want them to understand and value what they have, that where we live is quite simply as good as it gets.