There with their children. How? Well, think about

There are several ways to look at
traveling. You could look at it as a chance to nip home and visit old friends
and family. You may choose to stroll around a dusty, old town, taking in
ancient art and architecture. Or you could choose to go on an adventure and use
the experience to learn a thing or two about leadership and adaptability, all
the while passing it on to your little ones.

Matthew Karsten, adventure traveler and
photographer, once said, “An investment in travel is an investment in
yourself.” While you may think Matthew is talking about an investment in
memories, he may have very well been talking to all the young adults trying to
improve their career and even more so, parents, who are keen on sharing
important life skills with their children.

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How? Well, think about what a holiday
to an unknown destination would entail. According to Donald Roberson, who
studied 20 individuals who went on 98 trips across Europe as part of an
educational programme called Erasmus, Roberson’s study found that there are
various leadership and resilience qualities that one can gain from travelling:

Planning and organising

It’s a given that any trip will require some preparation.
This allows you to learn how to plan ahead and isn’t that the same as
forecasting? When deciding on budgets, travel dates and the type of outfits
you’ll need, you start juggling a variety of factors to ensure you reach a
happy medium. The more your travel plans go smoothly, the more your confidence
increases, making you feel like the Grand Master of Preparation. Soon you
arrive at a place where you’re so comfortable with your impeccable skills that
you feel confident enough to share with your little ones how it took you
countless hours or research and preparation to find the perfect little chalet
but now you see how much it was worth it. But unfortunately, sometimes, plans
change due to unforeseen circumstances, which leads to your next skill.



Whether it’s managing time, finances or stores that shut down
much earlier than you’re used to, when you’re in a foreign land, you learn to
manage it all and come out a survivor. Even if you’re almost never able to
arrive to work on time or you developed an extravagant shopping habit in your
early 20s that you haven’t been able to shake off, the fact that you can make
it on time to catch your flight or tip your waiter in a foreign currency
without going bankrupt, is a testament to your untapped abilities. But say you
miss your inter-city train and now have to spend two hours camped at the
station surrounded by unhygienic restrooms and hungry children, what do you do?
You find the nearest convenience store, create a DIY sandwich and pack in
another skill, of course.



Somewhere in between misplacing your expensive weekly bus
pass and forgetting to pack an umbrella in the middle of monsoon season, you
learn to cope. When you’re unable to change a situation and know you only have
a few days in a country that you may never visit again, you often try to let go
of the inconveniences so that you can make the most of whatever’s left of your
holiday. After all, you’ve already invested loads of money on the trip and since
you’re traveling with family, being a perpetual sourpuss can’t possibly be
tolerated for too long. But what happens when you’re forced deal with something
as dire as a medical emergency? There’s a fourth skill to learn.



While dealing with emergencies can be quite traumatic even
when you’re at home, crisis management on a holiday is a completely different
ball game. Language barriers, knowledge of emergency numbers or not having your
regular support system all add to your reasons to panic, over and above the
issue at hand. Learning to depend on limited resources while conducting any
necessary formalities in a foreign language not only brings about trust and
confidence, it also builds highly effective communication skills. While we
surely hope no one ever has to deal with an emergency on holiday, it is to
these moments that children grow up and think back to when facing a difficulty
of their own, often recalling how their parents remained calm while carrying



Out of all the skills you could pick up and pass on during
your travels, responsibility is probably one of the most important. Being a
responsible adult is probably what enabled you to venture out and make plans,
not just for yourself but for your family. When it comes to ensuring everyone
makes it to the flight, and making decisions on how much time to spend at the
beach versus the museum, and where to have an authentic dinner, you showcase
your ability to take responsibility and ensure everyone is not only safe but
having a good time. It is through being responsible enough to make the right
decisions and behave accordingly throughout the trip that you teach your child
important lessons on embracing different cultures, becoming independent enough
to trust your own decisions and being open to a variety of situations, many of
which may be unexpected. More importantly, you teach them that it’s okay to
make mistakes along the way and that as long as you take both, responsibility
and action, everything always ends up okay. For in the midst of it all, you’ll
stumble across that iconic piece of history, the tastiest ice-cream and perhaps
some of the best photos you’ll ever post on Instagram and will have all these
great memories to tie to valuable life lessons.


So the next time you plan on nipping home instead of going on an
adventure, think about the skills you’d like to put in action but more so, how
much you can shape your child’s future.