Photo of the Day: Varadero, Cuba

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Dreaming of sunnier climes in the midst of a spring snowstorm in St. John’s, NL

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Photo of the Day: Hluluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, South Africa

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Searching for the Big 5 in South Africa

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Photo of the Day: Milltown Malbay, Ireland

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Enjoying an orange juice and some tunes at a local pub during Willy Clancy Week. Happy Paddy’s Day, everyone!

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Top 6 Reasons to take your child with you on a trip (Part 7)

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We published this piece in Newfoundland Quarterly’s Summer 2013 issue. NQ is a fantastic publication! We thought it would be fun to publish some excepts from our article on the Trip For Three blog.

Click here to read this series from the beginning.

6. You Will Travel With a New Sense of Fun and Wonder

One of the coolest things about travelling with a young child is that you spend time doing things you would not otherwise choose. Taking pictures of dandelions. Hanging out at a local playground. Chasing dragons in castle ruins. Going to water parks and having long discussions about which is the best water park to visit. Conversing with cows. Getting buried in the sand. Running around just because there is a big, open field in front of you.

Now that our son is five, he loves to talk about where we have visited and what we have s, he turned to t in Portugal today, where it is warm and sunny all the ”

Travelling with our son has simply magnified our enjoyment of seeing the world. Our recollections of Machu Picchu are as much of the playful alpacas as they are of the vista of the sun rising above the magnificent ruins. Our memories of Prague go beyond the Charles Bridge and spectacular Prague Castle and include the abundance of pigeons, perfect for chasing, in the town square. The imagination, excitement and anticipation of a child is a fantastic thing, creating an almost Peter Pan syndrome where we are given the privilege of the perspective of innocence and youth and sheer adventure.

Amongst all that advice that you will undoubtedly receive as a parent, take this one nugget from us: embrace travel with your kids! They are much more adaptive and resilient than you might think. And so are you.

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Top 6 Reasons to take your child with you on a trip (Part 6)

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We published this piece in Newfoundland Quarterly’s Summer 2013 issue. NQ is a fantastic publication! We thought it would be fun to publish some excepts from our article on the Trip For Three blog.

Click here to read this series from the beginning.

5. They will learn to adapt and appreciate difference

Even if the experience is that the mayonnaise tastes different in Ireland than it does in Canada; that can be a critical lesson to a young child. Meeting people, eating food and even feeling climate that is different from what you are used to, is good for all of us.

Discussing future trips is a great way to introduce history, geography, foodways, and other customs in a fun and exciting way. Talking about what we will eat, what we will see, what the country looks like and seeing where it is located on a globe or on a map sets realistic expectations and creates excitement about what is to come, as well as informally teaching about the wonders of the world. Even though the trip itself may be years past, our well-used guide books are still around our house, as Declan will return to them regularly to remind us of the diverse places we have visited.

We look at travel in part as a way to stretch the mind, and we think that all these new experiences, even those that our son will not remember, are helping to shape him into a tolerant, adventurous and flexible person. These qualities balance out any minor and temporary inconveniences like battling jet lag upon arrival or having to stay indoors in some countries at midday, in order to avoid the sweltering heat.

to be continued…

Posted in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America, Top Ten Lists, Travel with Children | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Top 6 Reasons to take your child with you on a Trip (Part 5)

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We published this piece in Newfoundland Quarterly’s Summer 2013 issue. NQ is a fantastic publication! We thought it would be fun to publish some excepts from our article on the Trip For Three blog.

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Waltzing with our server at 8.5 months in Chinatown, Vancouver

4. You will meet more locals and have better conversations with them

We could never have predicted how much more we interact with local folks when travelling with our son. And our little tow-headed boy’s blonde hair is always a focus of interest and conversation.  On our first trip, we were greeted with embraces and coos of “el nino!” on a continual basis, our first indication of the amazing power of travelling with a child to connect with people everywhere. From waltzing with the waitress at a restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown, to a first-hand look at cooking on the coal ovens in the Muslim Quarter in Sarajevo, to an invitation to hang out in the kitchen (and make friends with the family’s pet turtle!) of our lodge in the middle of the Amazon jungle, travelling with our son has opened up doors that may have not otherwise been available to us. And what comes from those encounters is that our son is able to meet people from across the world and from all walks of life, giving him an expansive world view, even at the tender age of five.

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Watching lunch being cooked over a hot coal oven at 2.5 years old in the Muslim Quarter of Sarajevo, Bosnia

…to be continued…

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Feeding banana to the pet turtle of our family-run compound at 3.5 years old on the Amazon, Peru

 

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Top 6 Reasons to take your child with you on a Trip (Part 4)

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We published this piece in Newfoundland Quarterly’s Summer 2013 issue. NQ is a fantastic publication! We thought it would be fun to publish some excepts from our article on the Trip For Three blog.

3. The Travel Industry Can Be Very Accommodating

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Making our way through a busy airport en route from St. John’s to Durban, South Africa

Sometimes you get little perks when travelling with a baby. You are allowed to pre-board with all the first class passengers, giving you extra time to get your youngster settled before the cattle call onslaught of your economy class brethren. You are ushered into the ‘special’ security lineup, where you don’t have to wait as long and security personnel actually smile while your child proudly walks through the metal detector all by himself.

When our son was in the midst of the toddler tantrum years, we never spent more than 20 minutes in any customs lineup. Unfortunately, that was because he was likely vocalizing his displeasure at being made to wait, be still and be quiet. Although we were consistently embarrassed at these displays, we gratefully accepted the bumps to the front of the line so we could move through and into more open spaces where our son could roam around a little more freely and everyone – us, our son, and the other weary passengers – were a bit happier.

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Enjoying some local blueberries given to us by a market vendor in Sarajevo, Bosnia…eaten on the spot marking the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand (which led to the start of WWI)

We have also had numerous encounters where proprietors of accommodations would go over and above to ensure that our family was well taken care of. Our room in Cuba was upgraded to a suite free of charge, since we had a bulky stroller with us. A B&B owner in Ireland brought down the toys of her now-grown children for our son to play with. A rental apartment owner in Cape Town drove across town and back to deliver a crib for us. And we have lost count of the number of times that restaurant servers and shop owners have given little treats to our son, from ice cream to blueberries, not only enhancing our experience, but also making connections with people wherever we go.

…to be continued…

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