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Travel talk

Fat Mum Slim /

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I remember this moment vividly. We were sitting in the shade, trying to find some relief from the heat of Singapore. A little boy played beside us and Lacey, who was just 4 at the time, had stopped dancing around and became intrigued by him. He didn’t speak a word of English, yet slowly the two of them connected and started to play their own way. It was kinda magic, to see the friendship blossom and two different cultures collide.

It happened again in America where Lulu played with a little Mexican girl and Lacey tried to act as translator. It was a little bit cute, and also a little bit funny.

As a kid we didn’t travel. I took my first flight at age 18, and that was to the Gold Coast for Schoolies. My family didn’t have the means or desire to travel, not within Australia and not around the world either. I grew up with no desire either. It’s just not something that wasn’t on my radar.

And then I got the bug, being blessed with being a blogger and having opportunities come up. I now want to see it all. I’m constantly dreaming about where and when and how.

Earlier this year, when Lacey started in her new class for the new year with her new teacher, I knew I had to talk to the teacher about the year ahead. I knew it would involve Lacey missing school, and I was anxious about how the information would be received. It’s not that Lacey’s teacher is scary, she’s the opposite; super lovely and an a-grade teacher who cares about education. Lacey’s principal is the same. I had the conversation, and it went better than expected. In fact, her teacher encouraged it. She suggested that Lacey was learning things that couldn’t be taught.

She’s absolutely right. Over the year I’ve seen Lacey learn and experience things that she might not have known from being in a classroom. Because we’re going on famils {travel opportunities like we do are called famils, which is a familiarisation with a country/area/region} rather than holidays. We’re not sitting on deck chairs, having people wait on us for days on end. It’s not like that. In Dubai we visited Mosques and learned about the history of the country, the laws, ventured through the souk, learned about the foods {and sampled them} and stopped outside the Sheikh’s {the Prime Minister of the UAE} palace to learn more about what goes one behind his gates.

After learning about sea horses in class, we visited the only sea horse farm in Australia whilst in Tasmania and Lacey got to see it in person. She got to see the breeding cycle, learn about how the male’s carry the babies, and also hold her own sea horse too. I watched as she asked the leader questions, arming herself with information to take back to her class when she returned back home.

There are moments, when it’s all about play and joy though. I can’t pretend that it’s all about education. There is also a lot of weighing up whether it’s worth taking her out of school, or whether it’s time to stay home for a while {which I did for a lot of this year because my gut said it was the right thing to do}.

I know we’re lucky, and I’m grateful for the experiences that we have. I’m grateful that I get to share this with my family, and my mum as well {I’m taking her on her first overseas trip today, and she’s so excited}. To be honest, my biggest challenge is trying to teach Lacey while this is our normal right now, it’s not the real normal {and it might all stop tomorrow, who knows}. I am able to teach her about the world through our travels, but my challenge over the coming months and years is teaching her about privilege and perspective, and keeping her grateful for the experiences we’ve been given.

 


 

I’ve written this post probably eight times over this year, and I never share it because it comes across as obnoxious and privileged {exactly what I’m not trying to portray}. But I wanted to share it because it’s on my mind a lot. I work hard at what I do {too hard sometimes} and these trips are work for me, but also a super joy. I love doing them, and love that I get to take my family to work with me. I hope you take this for how it is intended, a sharing of the inner-workings of my mind, and thoughts about kids and travel.

Do you think travel and experiencing the world is important for you and your kids? Also, how do you teach your kids to be grateful?

@Fatmumslim