Learning Through My Children

Boys KohLanta
“Once the indigestion has passed, the real answers will come to you.

There is nothing in the path of life that we don’t already know before we start.

Nothing important is learned; it is simply remembered.”

I was reading a book by one of my favorite writers, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and this quote resonated with me. It obviously has very broad meaning but I applied it to what my family is experiencing on this journey. It’s now been 8 months since we started out.This trip has been like a good bottle of wine that has gotten better with a bit of age and perhaps a little reflection. What seemed to have no framework (other than a list of countries to explore) at the beginning, has now morphed into a full fledged adventure. It keeps surprising and developing with it’s litany of events that range from sheer frustration to moments of near perfection. All in all, this was to be expected. What was not, is how this journey is making my enlightenment and my children’s go hand in hand.

Children are much wiser than we give them credit for. They have an innate sense of life. This may be why babies and young children are revered so much in many emerging nations. I can remember my own very young childhood, when I had a much clearer understanding of basic values like love, compassion and true happiness than I ever had as an adult. Seeing my children on this adventure all day, every day, has reawakened these feelings in me. It has given me a new understanding and a new appreciation for life.

We have now been to over 15 countries on this trip and I can tell you, people are the same in their core values. Yes, they have different languages, cultures, traditions, religions etc. but they all share the same love for children and family. You can believe this in your heart but experiencing it daily really hammers it home.

When we started out, I wanted to teach my children about different cultures and hoped they would gain something from the trip, maybe just that they liked traveling and would want to continue doing it when they got older. This trip for me, has been a metaphor of life in the above quote. Now that we are 8 months in, I am remembering things long forgotten. My childlike appreciation of life had been destroyed long ago. My children on the other hand have always known this. This time they are the teachers and I am the student.

Now, we are in Asia and we have seen both extreme poverty and wealth. What doesn’t change between the economic classes is their love for children and in most cases, their kindness to strangers. When people see our children, they are overwhelmed with joy. This is universal and does not differentiate by age or sex. It is a pleasure to witness and it makes me remember these simple emotions from long ago.

So far this journey has taught me many things but nothing more precious than the value of childhood joy. Moving forward, the trick will be to hold on to these memories and never forget again.



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