Travel is more than the beautiful places we visit. Travel is the apogee of past experiences that linger within our soul connecting us back to the beautiful and culturally diverse, non pretentious and magnificent way of acceptable social norms. The very bare bone of our existence- the wonderful unique individuals within us that thrive a longing for connection, through the different distinct languages within the same existential desire- to be accepted.
Children bridge that gap. They are the very innate nature of our barriers clouded by social paradoxes. We gesture an approval- they break a smile. We try to contain our behavior, they break out a boisterous laughter in the public. Unfiltered yet undeniable.
Here are the five reasons traveling with children bring out the child in us. The very unique, idiosyncratic, alluring human complexion that hinder any prejudice.
At the Noi Bai international airport in Vietnam while waiting for boarding, Joel meets a boy around his age. He pulls out a few of his toys from his backpack and starts a pantomime play with him as the characters come to life with extended arms reaching high, tiptoeing till laughter’s fill the room. There is no language barrier. There, the very foundation of our connection is stripped down to the very basic human bond and genuine interaction.
ice cream in the charming danish town of Solvang, Calfornia
Vilash is a boy we met in our bus tour in Europe. On our way down a street in Paris he sparks a conversation with Joel as they share an empty row of seat in the bus. His deep Indian accent accentuate his vindictive tone of voice as he’s trying to tell Joel a story that only resonate within their own understanding. An undisputed connection of two humans in the very simplest form of a casual conversation igniting a deep passion in story telling and genuine connection. By this time the tour bus is half empty as most passengers have either joined a different tour bus route or has ended their tour. Only the echoing- distinct, audible and unfiltered dialogue between the two resonate as the more formal adults listen in secret, desire in secret, avid to join in the conversation.
Joel and Vilash | Seine river, France and the wonderful bond of friendship made
The universal language
A simple bonjour in a small tight cafe in Paris on a busy hectic morning bring a collective smile to the very busy waitress. How about the wonderful sawadikap greeting to a welcoming Thai taxi driver as the kids gesture with their palm placed tight together followed with a simple gesturing slow bowing motion in Phuket. A very polite danke in a Swiss kitchen to a fine and generous chef making them a special breakfast treat. The children’s sweet salamat po as they are handed a sweet homemade sorbetes by a local ice cream vendor in the very quaint streets of the Mestizo district in Vigan.
The universal language passed along to the little ones as they learn quickly the accent of gratitude in its very native tongue and simplest form.
The joy of giving
A trip to the wet market in my hometown Butuan City, in the Island of Mindanao, was one of the most memorable account with the kids. As we are accustomed to taking a sikad (tricycle) for transportation, we took the kids for an experience first ride. The fare is very cheap and can be labour some for the person as they pedal you with all the grocery and your total weight together. As we approach the house we handed the kids extra cash to hand over to the driver. As the driver realizes the amount he has in his hands, he beats his chest in gratitude and bring out a sincere joy to the kids. This small gesture of charity has been passed on to me the same way we are passing it on to our children. The joy in receiving this moment first hand is an incredible joy as a parent.
The language of smile
While this play a role in everything that is tackled in this article so far, the essence of a child’s authentic smile echoes within the language of being inviting and affectionate. I revere a child’s empathy towards another human being as they gracefully and genuinely express them in the form of a simple smile. Their eyes speak a more solicitous expression far greater than a calculated and more reserved adult’s concerns.
My son visits grandma and grandpa one sunny morning by the beach and a little girl, timid and reserved on their first meeting, approaches him. He breaks a smile and offers her the little excavator toy. The rest is a beautiful memory, a reminder to stay connected especially during these tribulating times of isolation.
This is by far the best memories undocumented as we travel the world. The many delays in flight bring out the most unexpected sweet hugs and kisses. The late night cuddles as we lay silent in the cool serenade of the the very remote towering red wood trees camping in Big Sur. Or the long 16 hour connecting flight both the brother and sister celebrate with a tight hug just after the final plane disembarks in Vietnam.
The floating market in Phuket Thailand
There are many more misadventure that awaits us as we continue to plan our travels around the world. Misadventures that bring the sweetest memories and the best laughs. Thank you for supporting this site. Thank you for the coffee.