Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why Travel?

Grandson, one-year old, at Black Sands beach Hawaii—he may not remember the caviar-black sand, the warm pools, the delight he had that day, but I do.

Clark Vandeventer answered a question that had been rattling around in my brain for the last few years. Could the world become a school house for your child? For our child—for my grandchild? What about traditional schooling? What about making lasting friendships?

My friend June said she attended 13 schools by the time she was in the 6th grade. Did that help or hinder her development? June is one of the happiest, friendliest people I know. She in ninety-one years old and most every day her answering machine will say, “I may be here or I will be out in the Universe having fun.”

I am reminded of something Pat Parelli, a horse trainer I admire and consider a mentor said, “Whatever the general population is doing, do the opposite.”

This was after he got what he called a “macho-ectomy.” “It’s like being a dance partner with your horse,” he said, “You ask don’t tell.”

Now he is a master trainer who can ask a horse to pirouette, and within that horse’s abilities, he will do it. Soon it will be without a bridle or ropes. Now isn’t this contrary to established ways of training horses where you jerk them around by the mouth?

Oh, I’m not encouraging anyone to be a rebel–rouser, or a non-conformist just to be obstinate or obnoxious. I mean to look at the way things are done, and consider that they might be different. Be reasonable!

Here is the blog title that motivated me:
Why I Took My Daughter on a Trip She Will Never Remember
We’ve loaded our kids up on planes, trains, and automobiles to far corners of the world for a reason. I know my daughter Abigail will never remember this recent trip to Thailand or any of the other trips we take in the next few years. That’s not the point, though. I want our travels to shape the woman she becomes. I want her to see, before she is able to develop an idea of what’s “normal,” that America isn’t the world. I want her to see people living differently than we do in America and speaking different languages and eating different foods. That’s no judgment of America. I just want my kids to understand the world is bigger, and if I have the power to expose them to these things (and I do), I want them to see this while their view of the world is still very much being formed.

There is another reason, though, that we travel with our young kids.
My daughter will never remember this trip, but
I will.