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Why don't we Travel to Change 'Kids' World's too?

“Rio!” yelps my child, ‘Rio’s got my track!” goes the wail as a large puppy gallops past followed by a three year old boy.

“Rio!” yelps my child, ‘Rio’s got my track!” goes the wail as a large puppy gallops past followed by a three year old boy.

I prise the piece from her jaws and survey the mangled plastic.

“Mummy, it’s broken. He sobs of his day old birthday gift.”

Indeed this racing car piece is for the rubbish tip and without it, so is the entire game.

But I won’t buy another one. Because I want to teach kids that not everything can be resolved by a trip to the toy shop; And that sometimes life just plays out like that.

I am a parent; I am privileged by birth; I live in a country free of suffering; I am in possession of a passport. I can leave my country any time I choose; I can travel.

My husband and I are trying to mindfully raise emotionally intelligent little people, who appreciate their life, because they’ve seen and been impacted by other lives. And yet to know this they have to experience it.


Kids will be kids, the world over…

I want to travel to change my world, my kids’ world’s and the world’s of the people I meet along the way. A two way exchange.

So we have a holiday coming up – to a small non-western country. And we have a conundrum – because I want to walk my talk. But how?

Let’s look at the options. I punch some hotel options into Google. Up pop lovely photos of mums and dads, lazing on sun-loungers, cocktail in hand, kids at their feet. Nice. I need a break.

Yet the reality is whilst I sip my cocktail, some woman will care for my kids for $3 an hour.

‘Well-hell, it’s better than most of the wages those people get.’

I justify it to myself.

But on a trip like this a few years ago I spoke to ‘those people’ and was told sadly by the carer of our children that she had four of her own but she only sees them on weekends, because she lives so far from the hotel.

Which put things into perspective for me.


Next I consider swapping our holiday for a life changing safari or to visit a sanctuary set up for deforested orphan orang-utans. But with little kids? Not for this trip.

Okay, let’s try again. I punch into the search engine, “Interesting things for families to do in [insert country here].”

Up comes a list of forts and castles families can visit, a village tour to ogle at locals who ask for hand outs in return for photos. There’s even a local water slide.

But this doesn’t change my world; it doesn’t change my kids world; it doesn’t even slightly float my boat. This calls for serious research. I look for organisations that are doing humanitarian work in my destination.

This looks interesting. Help build a village school. Sure, three year old and seven year old kids lugging logs through the jungle will impact them, but more in the ilk of the trauma kind.

Dear god please don’t offer me a tour of a local ‘orphanage’ Yes it just listed four.


Saroo – the main character in the film Lion

Most recently and thanks especially to the brilliant, yet utterly heart wrenching movie ‘Lion’, we’ve heard the horror stories of faux orphanages, which exploit local poverty stricken stealing them from their very not dead parents.

When your tour bus honks to leave, these kids tears are real – because when you go, these kids they’ll be starved and beaten.

“I’m pretty sure when I last looked, this is actually called child trafficking.”

It seems that in order to actually travel to change all our world, this is going to takes a lot of effort, hours of research, fact checking and a thorough understanding of local NGOs and who funds them.

I really do want my family to impact the world for the better. But how?

At it’s most basic I hope to meet even one person in the country we visit; to connect, human being to human being, to learn about them and have to have them learn about us.

To experience life as it is for them in some small way. So that we may break down barriers, dissolve stereotypes, educate on another and expand our hearts.

It’s so much more than chatting to the local family who serve us our meal on a night out of the hotel to the local village. Of course this is a start, but there are other ways, surely?

I’d love to hear your ideas.

What do you think? Do you have great family tour options to share? Have you or your family been changed by travel in some way? Share your thoughts below.