Featured Writer: Happy Impermanence
Recently, I met someone who asked me where I live. She was intrigued and asked about the place I lived before that and then before that. Then she asked The Question.
Do you have any kids?
Oh, that’s why you can move all around the planet like that.
Conversation got side tracked and I didn’t get the chance to tell her:
*that there’s a reason for bassinets on planes
*that children are extremely adaptable beings; at times more so than adults
*that most of my colleagues and many friends have lived globally for many years with kids
*that the world is becoming more transient as we speak and children do not hinder this
In fact, I had just read a post by Almost Fearless blogger, film-maker, mom, Christine Gilbert about this very topic. She culminated her family’s 2011 experience abroad in a clever montage of photographs called “Baby’s First Trip Around the World”.
Looks to me like Cole and parents are doing just fine going from India to Cambodia to Thailand. And this is a family who doesn’t have the assurances that we do in the international school realm. As an international teacher, your child’s tuition is included. When sick, the school guides you to the nearest pediatrician or hospital. Health insurance is a given and sometimes, day care is provided.
What makes Christine and her family extraordinary is that they figure out how to make their transient lives work without a guide book that lays it all out for them. They’re examples of people who have a vision and go for it, with baby in tow. And this is just one example. There are many traveling families going on adventures world-wide.
- Family on Bikes: follow a family of 4 who bike from Alaska to Argentina
- Jenss Family travels: A family traveling the world and writing about it for National Geographic Traveler’s blog.
- Travels with Baby: Adventurous guidebook author offers travel tips to new and veteran parents alike.
- Soul Travelers 3: A thoughtful family three years into an open-ended round the world journey, currently in Spain.
Just when my husband and I wondered if we could have a baby AND step out of the safety that is international teaching, I find blogs like this that say:
Yep, sure you can.
photo credit: Christine Gilbert
Absolutely, go for it! I’m about to take that step in a backwards little town in Tanzania but several of my friends have taken the leap and they’re doing great! In fact they have amazing lives and their babies jet set all over the place having great adventures with them! It’s so good to hear someone say ‘just do it’ I really think the children benefit from a bit of madness!
Thanks for your message, Melissa. It’s great to hear about folks doing this. And I agree…a little madness of travel adds so much to the lives of kids.
I would love to live and travel abroad with my family, but I can’t imagine doing it with a baby. At the moment I have a 3-month-old and I can hardly leave our apartment because she freaks out every time she meets a new person. But maybe thanks to the links you’ve provided, I can convince my husband to help me plan some adventures in our future!
Yeah, I can totally imagine how hard it may be to take a little one on a trip like that. Hope that you do get that chance to go on a family adventure one day. Thank you for your comment.