Imagine waking up to a breathtaking view every day. That’s what it is like for me when I travel.
I have been travelling for as long as I can remember. When I was five, my family took me to Peru. And when I was six, we went on a trip around the world. We visited 29 countries that year alone. Every day I learned something new.
Here are a few things that travel has taught me so far:
Before we left on our first trip I was very timid. If we went to the playground I would hide behind my mom’s leg instead of playing with the other kids and I wouldn’t say what I wanted to. During the trip, I realized that if I didn’t talk to others, I wouldn’t make any friends. With time I was telling my family what I wanted to see and do, instead of cruising with what my brother wanted or what my parents wanted. Now I’m 13 years old and I have my very own YouTube Channel (Cameron Travels)!
So, yeah, I kind of got rid of my timidness.
Try new things
On my travels I have tried a lot of new things, from mountain biking in Whistler, B.C. to zip-lining in Costa Rica to camel riding near the Great Pyramid of Giza!
When you travel to certain places and start to learn about the different cultures, you are kind of forced to eat their way as well. Don’t get me wrong, I ate a lot of pizza in a lot of different countries but I also learned to cook Pad Thai in Thailand, ate curries in India, and tried dumplings in China. It taught me that food is great in different countries. Now, I’ve eaten all kinds of different things from duck confit in France to unique flavours of Oreo cookies in Asia.
Learn in a different way
When I travelled for a year, I missed grade two at my school. Instead, I learned in a different way. (The better way! Don’t tell my school.)
For example: I learned about King Tut’s tomb, The Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal, but instead of reading about them in some book and wondering what they were like, I was actually there to learn about it! I got to touch the pyramids and “kiss” a sphinx in Egypt while learning about their roots in Persian, Egyptian, and Greek mythology! Isn’t that awesome!?
Also during our trips, we used Khan Academy – a wonderful educational site – to learn more about the places we were visiting. We learned about the tunnels in Vietnam first by reading about it on Khan Academy and then by going in the tunnels ourselves. Only a few of us made it the whole way and I was one of them!
Be more independent
My trips also taught me how to become more independent. How you may ask? Here’s how: When we’re planning to travel I always have to pack my own suitcase. Before, of course mom or dad would check it but now my brother and I are always in charge of what we bring. If we forget something, it’s on us.
Also, when we were traveling I saw a lot of families that really had to depend on each other to survive. That really motivated our family to allow my brother and I to take on more duties at home. Now we do dishes, our own laundry, make our own lunch, cook and more. I don’t love these chores but we have learned that this family is like four gears; if one stops working it is harder for the other three. But if all four of us work together, it runs smoothly.
The biggest thing that travel has taught me is that sometimes you will have to take risks. When I was in Vietnam, I was playing with a little boy when out of the blue, he bit me. I still have the mark! It made me wonder if I should go back to being shy, but then I realized that not being shy allowed me to meet a lot of great people.
I learned that there are both good and bad risks. Take the good ones.
Ready to learn some lessons of your own and take a trip? Intrepid Travel offers a whole range of trips that are perfect for both parents and kids.
(All images c/o Cameron Davis.)