Tuesday, May 24, 2005
The World Beyond
This is a sketch I did when I used to live in Sicily. My husband was stationed there, this was after I had already gotten out of the Navy myself, and my son and I went there with him. It was a fabulous three years. I learned Italian, learned to cook the wonderful food, learned a lot of wonderful things. It made me appreciate a lot of things I hadn't before (like the price of American fuel, and having things like a washer and dryer and telephone in my home) and gave me a taste for things I hadn't had here (I miss the way everyone sat outside at night at talked to their neighbors, and outdoor mercados).
I want travel for my children. I love them and would miss them if they left (I miss them when they are gone for the night, much less living somewhere else) but as a parent I want what is best for them. And I truly believe that seeing more of the world you live in helps you grow and learn in a way nothing else can. We are more than a product of the neighborhood we grow up in.
I have family members that have encouraged their children not to go away on trips because it would be too far away. They managed to keep their family close to them, but at what cost?
My oldest boy, Logan, wants to go to Japan. He'd like to learn the language and the culture. If I could secure him a spot at a University there I would let him go tomorrow. It'd break my heart to say goodbye, but I'd be joyful at the prospect that he'd have that opportunity.
Aside from the fact that he'd get to see and do things, he'd have the opportunity to hear the views of others beyond his own borders and let them get to know him and his own values. We had a wonderful exchange student last summer from France, Aude. She loved it here so much she has a journal she calls I love America. How nice it would be if we could have more interaction with others and they could come away with that sentiment. My friends don't like me because I live in the same city or neighborhood. They like me because they got to know me, and vice-versa.
Travel also has the added bonus of opening your mind for possibilities. I think if my kids travel they'll come away with the sense that nothing is beyond their reach, be it another shoreline, or a career they wish to pursue. I can't think of a better lesson to teach them :)