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Travel

TRAVELING WITHOUT BORDERS

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I get a lot of emails in my inbox asking me to write or comment on a variety of topics.  Yesterday I was asked my thoughts on traveling to foreign countries with kids, given the recent state of affairs.  This one made me stop and think.  How did I feel about the dangers of traveling abroad with children? I can tell you exactly how I feel: scared… and I think that really sucks.  I think it sucks that when I was their age our biggest fear was a lost suitcase.  I think it sucks that my parents told their grandkids they would take them anywhere in the world when they turn 10 and both my sister and I could not bear not being with them on non-US soil.  I think it sucks that one day, and probably too soon, I’m going to have to explain the word terrorist to an innocent boy and girl.  I think it sucks that when I walk around an airport, I question the size of a suitcase and notice when passengers travel alone.  I think this is all really, really, sucks.

But here’s what I’m not going to do: I’m not going to keep my kids at home because of this fear.  I’m going to swallow my fear whole.  I’m going to take a deep breath, hop on an airplane, and show them the world.  I’m going to do this because I refuse to let fear stand in our way.  I refuse to let fear make our world small. I believe a small world has the potential to breed bigotry and prejudice. I believe bigotry, prejudice and fear was responsible for those hateful acts.  I refuse to let them wonder what it feels like to stick their toes in a body of water other than the Atlantic.  I refuse to let them wonder what it’s like to be submerged in a completely new culture; to let their eyes digest new sights, their ears hear new words, and their tongues taste new foods.  I want to teach them that there is life outside their own town, their own city, and even their own country.  I want them to be prepared; so when they hear something negative on the news they can say “I’ve been there.  And I remember the good.”
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-MIM-

The purpose of life after all is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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