When we announced that we were going around the world with our two children for a year, many said we were “game” to do so with such young kids.
Some say that we’re crazy. Haha! That’s another story. ?
But I understand the looks and interrogations from others.
People say, and I now say it too: children adapt easily to all situations – when we support them properly.
Are some days more difficult than others? Absolutely!
Here is, without further ado, how my two children have adapted to this family trip of a yearlong around the world!
HOW IS THE ADAPTATION OF OUR CHILDREN ON THIS WORLD TOUR
I think that when children as young as ours (two years and three years old) and are travelling around the world like we’re doing, their biggest attachments and their principal reference are their parents.
Their only real interests are mom, dad, brother and sister.
We did not feel like they were missing their bedrooms, the house, their toys or anything.
The only thing they miss is their grandparents. We feel it when the kids talk to them on video; they’re very happy to see them. I can already picture the big hugs and the shouts of joy my kids will make when finding their grandpas and grandmas after this one-year-long trip around the world.
HOW OUR DAYS GO
In general, my kids are really good. We usually explain the big changes before they happen. For example, tomorrow, we’ll take two planes/ we’ll sleep in the plane/ today we’re changing house/ after we’re going to walk and see statues.
We’re simplifying it, we’re telling them what is coming in the short term, and I think it helps them.
We also adapt outings, excursions and others according to their needs to sleep during the day and depending on how the last night or last couple of days were. If we had a few days with fewer possibilities to make some good afternoon sleeps (ex: a PM sleep in a bus), the following days, I’ll do everything to offer them a bed so they can get a better afternoon rest.
Likewise, if we feel they’re more tired “these days,” we’ll adapt our agenda to do less and “change” homes less often. We realize that by listening to their needs, we also do ourselves good because it gives us these rest times to recover.
HOW ARE THE NIGHTS
This is what scared me the most. Not Ely (two years old), but my Teo (three years old).
This child always had a special relationship with sleep.
I will tell you that since Teo was six months old, he’s been waking up in tears or asking for something at least once a night (if not more). Putting him to sleep has always been difficult, he has an extremely light sleep #TheEarsOfHisMom, and he had (until recently) a hard time falling asleep in the same room or in the same bed as another person.
It’s a good way to have the worst night ever when you’re travelling around the world and constantly changing rooms. You’ll have to get used to falling asleep with everybody in the same room and to hearing the sounds of everyone all night long.
I won’t lie, the first three months we’re demanding. Teo was taking a good hour falling asleep (like at home). He would get up all the time (like at home) and wake up several times during the night crying / to ask us something (like at home). So, we had more exhausting nights (like at home), but we survived. (Haha)
And what’s nice about it is that since we’re travelling the world, we could adapt our days depending on the night we had (unlike when we’re at home with our job that can’t wait).
Likewise, with this “field” practice (haha), it forced us to find solutions on the spot rather than if we were at home since we’re constantly in a “new” situation.
Now I can say that Teo’s sleep is better, not perfect, and with our reality, we’re continually working to improve everything.
Also, let’s face it, co-sleeping helps us a lot around the world. Maybe that’s even what we would have needed at home. Teo clearly sleeps better when we’re all together. Some will say that it’s because he must be a little anxious, I rather say that it’s normal to want to sleep with his pairs (what do you do when you have a boyfriend? #Spooning) and that we’re naturally built like this as mammals. #We’reMonkeys
And travelling around the world just helps us to see it all.
NOW REGARDING FOOD
In terms of food, we’ve always found something for our children to eat. Whether it was in the Sahara Desert, in a remote region in Myanmar or in a homestay in Sri Lanka.
Is it always healthy, and does it include multiple food groups? Not always. Haha!
But I assure you that I make sure I always have chewy bars, nuts, dried fruits and more on us. So, if the kids are hungry and we can’t find anything, we’ve got this to help us out, just like if the food is too spicy.
At this level too, we’ve always managed to find food not too spicy for our kids, but there are a few times that we had no choice, our thought was that it would develop their palate. ? haha! #NoOneDiedEatingSpicy
ENTERTAINING CHILDREN WHILE TRAVELLING
I’ve been asked how I entertain my kids while travelling. For our part, we travel very light.
A colouring book, some coloured pencils, two cars and a few figurines fill our backpack.
Then, and quite often, other children, other children’s toys or even what’s around occupy them. And for last resort (ex: for long flights or long bus ride), we have movies on the iPad. It’s a lifesaver.
I’m an #AntiTablet when it comes to our kids, but I couldn’t do without it in my one-year-long trip around the world.
I probably have a lot of other things I’d like to tell on the subject, but I forget many (haha).
Don’t be shy if you have questions in the meantime!
Finally, to complete, I’ve also written several articles on tips for travelling with a young child, tips for waht to pack travelling with young children, and what to bring as a stroller when travelling. For even more tips on family trips, this is where it happens – don’t hesitate to read it.
This post was translated from French to English by:
Hello! I’m Cassandra, 23 years old and in my second year studying translation at Laval University in Quebec City. I’m learning to translate three languages: French, English and Chinese, which is both exhilarating and challenging! I love jogging, reading and travelling. I’ve just got back from a one-month-trip through Europe.