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Inspiring The Travel Bug In Our Children

November 25, 2011

I travel a lot for work and, more importantly, for fun.  I admit it, I love it and I do not do anywhere near as much as I like.  If I had my way, I would be earning 1k status on United each year.   There is nothing better than visiting another country and I will take any excuse to do so with, or without, my son.  One of the most shocking facts about the United States is that majority of our citizens do not even have a passport which means they have literally never left the country, not just North America, since you now need a passport to go to Canada and Mexico.  The number of people who I have met in the states who have never left is just shocking, you would never see this in the European countries where travel is a way of life.  I am also not jus talking about the “99%”, sure a lot of people cannot afford to travel as extensively as I do, but many who can choose not to and instead spend ludicrous amounts of money going to Disney.  Yes, I know there is the international section at Epcot but anyone who thinks any of that is realistic needs their head seriously examined.  That would be a lot of this country unfortunately.

As I type this I am on a flight from Tokyo back home.  Why? I had an excuse to fly to Japan for a long weekend with my best friend.  Yes, a long weekend in Japan from the United States.  No, that is not a joke though most people at my office thought I was joking when I told them   Why, would I do such a thing they asked?  It’s simple, I had three days that I could get away with taking off, I needed a certain number of miles to retain my status on United Airlines, the flight was within my price range and I have always wanted to go to Japan. I also wanted to go for my son.  Yes, you read that right and no he did not go with me this time.

How, may you ask, is my gallivanting half-way around the world for a weekend for my son?  Easy, I knew that by going, I could come back and tell him what this culture and country was like.

He had never heard of Japan before but now he will go to daycare  knowing that in Japan they have bullet trains that go faster than any trains in the US.

He will also be able to tell his friends about the Tokyo fish market, many NYC blocks in size, where people start working at midnight to bring fish in from the boats and sell it to the restaurants and, if you get there early enough, 4am, you can have a breakfast of the best sushi in the world.

I will also share with him bits and pieces of the culture and photos of Tokyo so he can see how different it is and far too many pictures of trains!  While he may not have been able to go with me, he will have a picture painted of the culture that should inspire him to be interested in coming with me when he is older and can handle 36 hours, total, on a plane and a 14 hour time difference.   For now however the plane trips are either shorter or the full trip is longer as I know that adjusting to a time difference can be a little challenging for a pre-schooler.  Hopefully he has inherited my ability to not get jet-lagged.

So, to all of those who ask me how I be so frivolous to go off and leave my son for this type of trip – I say, how can I not be?  It may seem frivolous but if I do not go how can I teach him about what it is really like in other countries and inspire him to travel?  He knows mommy travels a lot and sometimes he gets to go with me and he loves that and looks forward to it.   He wanted to go to Japan with me and thinks it is normal to travel a lot.  This is what he has to grow up thinking or he will be just like so much of America and never leave.

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One Comment
  1. Spot on. This is one thing my parents did for me and I have been able to do for my kids. Result: What did my daughter ask for as a Christmas present this year: miles!

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