A family that travels together stays together and bonds better! Being a traveller at heart I always wanted my boys to develop the passion for travelling. I knew it won’t be easy as their father is not much into travelling, but to my surprise both the boys love it- or should I say they developed the taste for it! Yes, while for some travelling comes naturally and is a must to live a sane healthy life, for others it could be an acquired taste. I wasn’t sure about my boys so decided to work towards it. For the past four to five years, each trip we did, I would include my boys in the planning age appropriately! It all started with me showing them the picture of the destination in the beginning to sensitize them and develop the interest. Gradually they started helping me with the planning and research as they were growing up, and now that they are 10 and 13, they help me with the complete planning, budgeting, packing everything! For us every travel experience begins way before the actual travel happens! What I soon realised that travel became a source of learning and bonding between mom and boys…both the planning and the real travel!

For the past four to five years, each trip we did, I would include my boys in the planning age appropriately! It all started with me showing them the picture of the destination in the beginning to sensitize them and develop the interest.

I still remember how we loved our village trek around the hills of Mukteshwar- just mom, boys and our guide walking through the mountain trails, meeting the people busy doing their daily chores, eating berries, plums and peaches gifted by the villagers, playing with goat kids, singing and laughing and bonding with the nature. I remember my elder one saying “Mom, their life is so difficult, yet they’re so happy and smiling.” Yes, we learned happiness is not about worldly comforts- it comes from within.

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It took my mountain lover boys three trips to Goa to finally fall in love with the sand and sea and how! Our last trip to Goa was all about creating memories for life! We would be out for early morning walks by the shore. We would walk for hours collecting seashells and exploring the beach and then would get stuck somewhere due to high tide and then coming back to the hotel was an experience of its own! The gastronomic adventure- exploring the famous eateries like Fisherman’s Wharf to the small shacks and the Flea market food stalls- what else does a foodie family want! If that was not enough the water sports sealed the deal! Have you ever seen your child jet skiing? They would start from a feet’s distance from you and within few seconds would become tiny dots in the sea! A part of me was really scared for my boys don’t know swimming- but I so wanted them to enjoy and to win over the fear! Travel helped me grow up in my motherhood journey.

Our last trip to Goa was all about creating memories for life! We would be out for early morning walks by the shore. We would walk for hours collecting seashells and exploring the beach and then would get stuck somewhere due to high tide.

Travelling across the country and abroad helped us learn and appreciate the diversity of art and culture in different places… and children gradually start taking interest in the cultural diversity and like and explore the same. Much to my surprise they were equally keen to watch a kalaripayattu or kathakali performance or follow me in the rain to the tea gardens of Munnar to see how the tea garden workers work just as they would enjoy the rides and attractions in Singapore! While the later would any day appeal to their age group more, I have seen them equally excited for the other!

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What I earned and learnt as a mother? Many things! Earned my childhood back- be it the crazy rides of Universal Studio or a barefoot walk by the beaches or fishing with my boys in our Kerala houseboat- I relived my childhood time and again! I found my travel buddies- Yes, my boys sure are my travel buddies. I earned memories with my boys that are going to stay with me when they will be off to new heights from the nest, and I learnt a lot about my children, myself and about parenting. How I must let go at times, how simple things like a trek or ride can help me understand their strength and weaknesses, how travel can be a means to teach finance management to kids and they would enjoy learning this. All of these and much more!

Sometimes we get so used to of our mundane, day to day life that we desperately need a breather- breaking away from the daily routine- a visit to a new place, meeting new people, being in a new environment, enjoying the local cuisine or culture can help with the much needed oxygen to our soul and can help the family bond better. My travel experiences with my boys confirms the same. As we believe in the saying- “the journey is the destination” – the wanderlust in us will continue to drive us for more and more.

Feature Image Credit: Shampa Moitra

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Shampa Moitra is mother of two preteens, an educationist, writer and artist. She’s passionate about three things in her life- her work, kids and travel . The views expressed are the author’s own.

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