Expert advice recently viewed on Babycenter has got me thinking about when to travel with kids. The article was subtitled: “Now’s not the time for a real adventure”. It recommends waiting until at least age six for foreign travel. I have to disagree.
Here I am in China, about as different a culture as you can get, with two five year olds and a 17 month old. And for me, waiting to come here would have been neglectful. My kids will grow up bilingual and bicultural. And that’s very important to me.
Even before I had kids, I knew they would see the world as I had as a child, and adult. Those experiences have made me a richer person. I didn’t know what form it would take with my own kids and I would have found the time and money for travel if I did not live overseas.
But I realize it’s not for everyone. And there is of course a difference between traveling and living. A small child may not benefit obviously from a brief sojourn overseas. But they may in ways you don’t see, and certainly I don’t think parents who have the time, money, and (most importantly) inclination should feel they have to postpone merely for the age of the child. The expert advice is somewhat misguided.
What do you think?