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It is quite often said that leaders are not born but made. However, it is just mainly when we enter into the labor market that we start worrying about leadership skills development. It is never too late to learn as far as there are high doses of willpower and determination. But the younger we start developing skills, the easier it is to introduce and assimilate them in our lives. So even if often overlooked, childhood is the perfect and most appropriate moment to start a leadership path that will extend over a life long journey. And traveling is one of the funniest and more effective exercises for it. So no. Economic reasons are not on the top list of motives for traveling with kids. But this list of top 10 leaderships take-aways will surely convince you to put your family on the move.
1. Quality time
The modern world the way we know it is always following the fast path. We run, we act, and we often find ourselves having very little time to spend in developing high-quality and long-lasting relationships. When we travel with our family, after all the planning, logistics and implementations, we are more prone to find this ‘exclusive’ and ‘individualized’ setting for being 100% focused on just being together. Quality time is this time when our kids and partner do not have to share us with anything else in the world. No worries. No phone calls. No checking emails. Just time for being 100% present.
It is out of these created ‘quality moments’ that kids can experience and learn the power and the important of life-priorities. If as kids we never experienced the priority of human relations and a person-centered approach to everything that we do, it would be much more complicated as adults to understand the positive implications of work-life balance and personal development.
Travelling makes you exposed to other cultures. Exposure to other cultures, to what it is different, to what you have never seen before and even to those things that you do not clearly understand, is the perfect ground to develop open-mindedness. And open-mindedness is key to many leadership first traits as empathy, understanding, out of the box thinking and conciliation. Being open-minded does not mean to accept absolutely everything as good, or best. But simply to predispose the mind to never judge what we do not understand and to always put ourselves into someone’s boots and circumstances before coming up with our circumstantially biased points of view.
3. Self- reassurance
It is just by confronting our own values and beliefs with other ones that we can genuinely claim ‘we have chosen them.’ In a proper time and with a correct and adjusted-to-age level of exposure, facing others ways of doing can help our little ones to embrace their values and beliefs not just because ‘this is what we have been taught’ but because ‘this is right, good and reasonable’ for me and for others.
The world is not that scary.
One of the main barriers preventing people from traveling with their kids is the fear of the unknown. But with a bit of thoughtful planning, the chances for unexpected are not that high at all. And once you have tried, you will discover that, actually, it was much much easier than expected. After all, we are all humans. No matter the part of the world we are coming from.5. Social sensitivity and awareness
Leaders are always aware of the needs around them. Leaders care about people. Leaders look for win-win situations. They make whatever they can to fix what is wrong. They have a social vision.
Encountering poverty, lack of means and infrastructure and many of the limitations faced by the more of 70% of the global population living in developing or least developed counties, is the best way to enter in contact with the real world and appreciate the opportunities that we have been granted with.
After a trip to some of the most desertic regions of Africa, the founder of AUARA felt the responsibility to take action. Shocked by out-of-school children in a daily search for water, he started a social business from which every single dividend was invested in water and sanitation projects.
Traveling can be an excellent exercise to spot all those problems that require proactive action. Recycling is more truthful when we have experienced the consequences of climate change. Peace has a higher value when we have been confronted with the results of a war zone. Gratitude is more natural to live and understand when we have made friends with someone from this 80% of humanity that lives on less than $10 a day.
Traveling as a family is one of the most practical team-working experiences. Families are usually composed of different members with diverse age ranges, needs, and expectations. But as a unity, we all need to accommodate to the others’ circumstances to make a success of it. When we travel as a family, with parents willing to take some rest, teenagers ready to explore it all, and kids needing some basics of resting and organized schedule, we simply need to work together, as a caring team, to make it all happen. The strong help the weak and we all have to accommodate to each other to make the whole plan work.
Travelling can be more or less challenging. Despite all proper planning, as in general life, there are always bigger or smaller issues that need to be addressed. Sometimes things go beyond unexpected, and how do we react together to it, confirm the perfect ground for problem-solving skills development.
9. Value of Money
Travelling can also help us to teach our kids the value of money. It does have a positive impact that they are aware of the cost of things, so they do not take all for granted. Exercising their willpower by asking them to renounce to all those little things that they may want but are unnecessary helps strengthen their character. We can help them to put their focus on the landscape instead of on the intriguing possibility of having an ice-cream. We can help them to value the opportunity of being where they are preventing them from continuously asking for more. We should encourage them to save, so they also contribute to the organization of the next family adventure. We should help them to understand the value of what they get.
After all, traveling with our kids should provide them with the learning opportunity of being grateful. Grateful for all the experiences they can taste. Thankful for all the things they can learn. Grateful for all the chance to see, to develop and grow. Thankful for the opportunity to be.
June 4, 2019 at 11:12AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs