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Travelling with Kids Makes Them Better Humans

Thursday 4th October 2018
By Dave Eddy
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By Dave Eddy
Written by Bec Lorrimer from Trip In A Van.

Living on the road with three rambunctious and energetic kids sure can be bloody hard, but I’m not here to chat about how hard it is - because that’s just parenting! But, in fact, it’s actually so fantastic being with my kids 24/7, we’ve continued to travel indefinitely. Ya see, the good certainly outweighs the bad. What I am going to tell you about is why traveling with young ones will make them well-rounded kids and put them in good stead.

 Photo: Trip In A Van 

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When we told our family and friends we were heading off to travel the country we had two reactions, “Wow!” and “you’re crazaaay”, however, we just knew we were making the right decision! Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had loads of hectic moments. Moments where I’ve questioned my sanity, but we’ve also had some amazing ones too.

I’ve watched my daughter take her first steps, my son rides without training wheels, my other son learns how to swim, I’ve been there when they’ve come off their scooters, been their school teacher and best of all, watched them grow. Now you see me writing ‘I’ and ‘my’ but all of this I have experienced with my husband Justin. He too has witnessed all these moments and been around for all these little events. Now, not many kids have had both their parents around for their first years of life and if you’re not aware the first five years are the most critical in a child’s life. Their brain develops the fastest in these early years than at any other time in their life. They develop social, emotional skills, behaviour, and communication. So to spend these early years with our kids while traveling is really solidifying some fantastic qualities that they will grow up with.

We left when our kids were 6 months old, 2 years and 3 years and, now into our third year on the road, our children have developed some amazing qualities. They’re very social and communicate well with all sorts and ages of people. One of my favourite qualities they possess is resilience! They recover quickly from tough situations and they cope really well in uncertain circumstances. They're always up for a challenge and their capacity to deal with these challenges is admirable at their young ages. Their strength really does blow us away at times and we’ve watched them complete 6km hikes and 10km bike rides through their willingness to finish the activity. Due to their ever-changing environments, we are forever amazed at how adaptable they become, it’s like they have a ‘get on with it’ attitude which we admire!

When traveling the country, we live very simply. We don’t have an abundance of clothes or toys, nor do we have a high volume of water on demand at times or electricity. Therefore our kids have learned about the importance of saving water, especially when showering. There are no long showers in our van! We also live in a confined space, so dealing with living in small quarters actually forces you outside. This means our kids spend most of their days in nature. Exploring, hiking, swimming and basking in the sunshine or playing at the beach. They’re learning about Uluru as well as riding around it instead of seeing it on their iPad and learning about it in four walls. They’re making memories related to experiences they’ve learned and from that, will make them well-rounded people.

Photo: Trip In A Van 

So how do we handle being with our kids 24/7 you ask? I believe it's a misconception out there when traveling. We follow the sun, so if we’re having a down day in the caravan we don't all sit inside the whole day. We’re out bike riding, grocery shopping, playing lego, busting some moves on the jumping pillow or swimming. The kids are forever occupied. Or they entertain themselves, a fantastic quality they've learned while traveling. We often receive messages asking how we manage to entertain our kids while traveling and to be honest, we really don't have to. They make so many friends and their imaginative play is out of this world! They really are happy just playing with sticks and sword fighting, throwing stones or building sandcastles.

 Photo: Trip In A Van 

I understand our kids don’t really appreciate or comprehend that having both their parents around from such a young age is hugely beneficial for them. Being a mum, having an extra set of hands around all the time to help with meals, bath time and getting them off to bed, definitely makes me more chill. It’s also unreal for them to see how it's not always mum doing the dishes, washing, nappies and brushing their teeth, it is dad too. We really do play an equal part in parenting our kids and we both help out in ALL areas related to parenting our kids, which our little ones wouldn’t realise is pretty special. Not many families have this opportunity to travel full time as a family, instead, they’re dropping their kids off to daycare and school to make a living. We really do feel grateful that we can do this and know we are on a serious parenting win!

 Photo: Trip In A Van 

People often mention that “the kids won't remember the trip” and I couldn’t disagree more! It’s like saying that they won't remember a book they’ve read or a funny story they’ve encountered. It blows our mind some of the things the kids have reminisced about from 2 years ago! But what I’m most proud of is that they’re spending their youngest years with us, and you never get those years back! To be traveling Australia, laughing with them, schooling them and being there to love them will absolutely make them well-rounded people. Living a simplistic and nomadic life, I’m certain will put them in good stead!

So if you can, get out there and travel Australia with your family - I hope this has inspired you and I promise you that you definitely won't regret it!
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