Why Travelling With Kids Might Make You A Better ParentPosted on Jun 28, 2012 | 8 comments
This is a guest post by Nancy Harper who is shamelessly and justifiably promoting her new book: Travellin’ Mama: A Parent’s Guide to Ditching the Routine, Seeing the World and Taking the Kids Along for the Ride. Very Great Family Escapeish - I like it!
Is it wrong to feign interest in Facebook, Twitter and all that jazz when one’s true purpose is simply to shamelessly peddle a few of one’s books?
Surely it’s better to own up.
Because after years of preaching the evils of Facebook, I have become a pathetic turncoat who really just wants everyone to do me a favour and go to my author page and “like” it so I can feel like Sally Field and be done with all this self-inflicted torture.
As the author of a book about long-haul travelling with kids, here’s what I’ve found to be true:
1) That learning about social media in order to promote the book has been far more torturous than writing the book itself.
2) Although I remain a technology-averse simpleton — a veritable stunned rabbit in the glare of the social-media headlights — I yearn for the day when a bunch of people will actually buy the book and then I can kick back and experience the following trajectory: Fame. Riches. Oprah. Afternoon chardonnay. Drug habit. Public meltdown. Shame. Rehab. Organic farming.
3) That shameless self-promotion by social media does have unexpected merits, one of which is finding out I’m not alone in this insatiable thirst for family adventure.
Having discovered The Great Family Escape just a few weeks ago – inspiring, entertaining, and yes, social media-savvy — I now realize I’m just one of many, many parents looking for ways to take the kids on the road and stay out there as long as possible.
What we all agree on, it would seem, is that traveling with kids rocks (even when it TOTALLY sucks!)
And here’s why I think it matters most:
Because the altruistic mom (or dad) who gives and gives without getting that regular gig for herself wakes up one day to realize the children she so painstakingly raised are not only completely spoiled but utterly incapable of knowing what it is to be considerate of, or even vaguely aware of, another persons place in the universe.
I was very fortunate indeed a few years back to experience a long-haul adventure with my Kiwi husband and kids across Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and southeast Asia.
It reaffirmed for me something that most Great Family Escape readers likely already know:
That going after what we want doesn’t make us bad or selfish parents, it actually makes us happier people … and therefore better parents.
I dig this philosophy so much that I had to write the book.
Travellin’ Mama is about the funny stuff that happens on the road with kids. It’s also about the unbelievably annoying shit that makes you want to start smoking again.
Mostly it’s about showing parents who yearn to travel that it’s not only possible to travel with kids, it’s amazing to travel with kids. And it sure beats living with the regret of having put off one’s own dreams to faithfully toe the modern parent’s sacrificial line.
So let me leave you with my favourite Mark Twain quote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
And let’s be reminded that it’s better to regret something you actually did than to regret something you didn’t have the audacity to try.
About the guest blogger: Nancy Harper is a Canadian mom, writer and travel junkie who lives on a farm in Ontario. She is the author of Travellin’ Mama: A Parent’s Guide to Ditching the Routine, Seeing the World and Taking the Kids Along for the Ride, and the instigator of her family’s upcoming odyssey through Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.