Before having children I traveled. It was something that I had to do. Few people understood why. I felt a burning sensation inside that pulled me like a magnet all around the planet. Thankfully the people in my life always encouraged me to follow my heart and go. Once I had children, stopping that lifestyle was not really an option. For me, exploring is as much a necessity as breathing. Traveling with the kids is a much different experience, but that's ok. Before many more nightclubs were involved, with the boys we see far more parks. They have caused me to slow down. Dude's little legs don't allow me to speed walk around the world's most beautiful cities. Thanks to him I get to completely soak in the beauty around me. Zane's interests are much different from mine and cause me to step off the path of an already unknown road. I get to see the world from my perspective and from the eyes of a child.
During our travels they learn responsibility, flexibility, and respect. We teach them these things but the traveling itself is the greatest teacher. Only pack what you need; they learn the difference between needs and wants. Pay attention to your surroundings; they learn self awareness, international street smarts, and culture. Different doesn't mean inferior; they respect others and learn from them. Carry your passport copy at all times; they learn responsibility and safety. The list goes on and on.
People give me many excuses as to why they cannot or will not travel with their children. Any excuse you give me about your child's behavior has its origins at home and is not a result of the traveling that they have never experienced. As easily as you can correct bad behavior at home you can also correct it on the road. You are equally likely to be in danger while traveling, as being at home. If you are American you are probably in more danger at home than in other parts of the world!
For those of you who have traveled internationally with your children please comment on how they've benefitted from traveling. If you are a parent who wants to travel with your children what do you hope they learn from the experience?