KarateKidOne of the biggest reasons I love family travel is the ability to see new worlds through the eyes of my kids. And I love the way their travels have opened my kids’ hearts to new experiences. Luckily, my kids have never experienced anything like Dre Parker (the character played by the terrific Jaden Smith in “The Karate Kid”) had to endure.


The movie, a remake of “The Karate Kid” I remember so fondly from my youth, will be released on DVD Oct. 5. In advance of the DVD release and our Sony-sponsored TravelingMom Monday Twitter party on Oct. 4, Sony gave some TravelingMom bloggers a special look at the movie. I watched it over the weekend.

What a different experience to watch the same basic story (boy gets bullied, boy finds mentor, boy fights back and boy wins) now that I’m a mom. I could barely watch the fight scenes. All I could think was “Thank God my kids have never gotten into such a violent sport.”

How Travel Enriches

But as a mom who loves traveling with kids, I also thought about how different Dre’s experience was from my own kids’ experience. I know there are bullies everywhere in the world–TravelingMom Founder Kim Orlando says her daughter was bullied on a cruise ship–but luckily, my kids have never run into them.

Rather, they have found new friends around the world–from fellow American travelers in Italy to the son of the laundress we met in Jamaica. My kids still text and email those kids, even though chances are they will never meet again.

I believe their lives are richer for having made those connections, just as Dre’s turned out to be richer for having gotten to know the maintenance man/kung fu expert Mr. Han, played by Jackie Chan.

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