Will Jimmy ever remember that he played with Isaac, preparing their favorite foods in the sand at Eau Claire, Wisconsin and that when it was time to leave, he wanted to send Isaac a thank you card? The next day, he still talked about Isaac and coincidentally, met another Isaac while climbing a boulder in a playground in Huntley, Illinois. Will Joshua remember Jade and Neo who roasted mashmallows with him in Lapeer, Michigan? Will Jimmy remember talking endlessly with Kai’s mom while swinging? They may or may not but this blog will.
People have asked me why are we choosing to travel with our kids at this age (7 and 4) when they probably won’t remember any of it. I posted this question in our Worldschoolers group page on Facebook and got tons of answers that if anybody asked me that query again, I’d have plenty to fish from or I’ll just share them this link for convenience.
Hi Guys. I was wondering if some of you encountered this comment — “Your kids are too young to remember any of these travels. Why don’t you wait until your kids are older?” How do you reply? Just wondering. : )
Karen King I have. And I know it’s true because my daughter doesn’t remember things we did when we first started travelling in 14 months. But traveling for us is not just about seeing the world, but loving our lives, experiencing new things and being happy. She will remember all the time she got with us when she was little. And she will remember growing up in a happy family where we have time for each other.
Sein-yat Chew My son was 4 when we went on a long trip, we were surprised how much he knew and remember from the trip after more than a year, I guess involving him during planning stage helps.
Bob Mahan So why do anything with your kids?
Marca Wesen Bondurant Yes, perhaps we should just lock them in a room until someone decides they are old enough to remember. lol
Marca Wesen Bondurant They may not remember the specifics, but the things they do will help shape them and how they see the world and others as they grow and develop.
Fiona Fernweh I read an article once and it said you say “then why read them bedtime stories or build sand castles with them because they don’t remember that either?”
Tamilla Cordeiro I have the same thoughts! But I always think back to my own childhood. I was born and raised in Russian until I was 7, when we immigrated to the States. People always ask, what do you remember about living in Russia? Well there was the cool trip we took to visit the Ukraine, and there were the summer vacations to Azerbaijan, and that time we went up on some mountains in who knows what country. My memories of my actual home in Moscow? The goodbye party in our apartment, right before the ride to the airport to fly out to the States. The point is, kids remember travel! More than “regular, routine life.” At least this kid did. 🙂
Alicia Urrea I always say “maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but I will remember this as one of the best times of my life”.
Karen M. Ricks For us, world travel isn’t about creating a singular memorable experience like a once-a-year vacation. It is a new way of life, an entirely different framework through which we view the world and our place in it. As such, it is truly a process that began at birth, and continues as a daily education for us all. I fear that anyone who is suggesting that you should “wait until your kids are older” does not understand the foundation you are building in your child, for your child, and with your child. My response would be to say that we travel for more than just happy memories.
Lori DiPippa DesRochers I let my 4 yo tell them about all the stuff we did on last summers road trip. But really, who cares if they remember the details. They will remember the culture and that there are different people around the world. It will help them grow into more tolerant and understanding adults.
Carrie Blunden A quote I once read about teaching comes to mind – ‘They won’t remember the words you say or what you taught, but they’ll remember how you made them feel’. My girls are 5 and 3 and it blows me away to think they’ll very likely remember nothing of their lives up until this point when they’re older. But the adventures and sense of wonder we have, the love we show them and the connection we develop as a family in these formative years shapes them and stays with them forever. Hopefully! Haha
Barbara Ber I actually travel because I love travelling. Doesn’t matter if they remember anything. But they will remember values, open mindedness, different food and the lifestyle itself. Therefore we choose destinations that we like plus are child friendly, but it’s not the focus to go to places only kids like.
Melanie Mather Normally I say something like ‘I see this as a foundation just like taking the to the park to learn about interacting with other and learning motor skills.’
Janna Fesolai No but you’ll remember it. The smiles/laughs/experiences/new sights/sounds. Your kids eating weird food/playing with foreign children etc etc. Plus photos and videos are amazing. I still look back at photos when we lived in the pacific islands as a child. I feel grateful. We have those memories. It’s amazing how pictures and videos can trigger memories too.
Monique Maree Isn’t it about so much more than creating tangible memories? What about intrinsic wonder? Sense of adventure? Spontaneity and flexibility?
Cassandra Artemissa I remind them that it isn’t simply about memories, but how it shapes their forming minds.
Denise Ankersen Yup. I hear this a lot. They may not ‘remember’ but it has shaped their view of reality.
First Christmas in Phnom Penh ALL four of our children did not have ONE single thing on their ‘wish list’. (5-14 years old at the time.)
Penny Smith This. This is a fabulous reason. Clearly their needs are met and they are happy without need to focus on material things 🙂
Christie Ogden So does that mean that you shouldn’t do Christmas or other holidays or take little ones anywhere because they won’t get anything from it?
Everyone gets SOMETHING out of travel. Just because a little one doesn’t get what you got out of it, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth taking them. We went to a tourist attraction with a friend the other day. My two year old is thrilled he got to play in water! Not what I got out of it, but not any less valuable of an experience!
Danielle Gallart Herter Knowing they have been somewhere creates interest in kids, Even if they don’t remember it. Look back at pictures and telling stories. My kids love hearing about the places they’ve been.
Vicky Scarth I say “well this isn’t going to be the only trip we ever go on” and then that it gives my son a sense of worldliness
Natalie Chen I tell them then it’s the same as taking them to the park, or reading them bedtime stories. What they see is the expense and not the experiences and family time that shapes them into the global citizens we hope they become
Denise Ankersen I LOVE so many of the answers here. <3. This is such an amazing group of people.
Sigrid Regina Sturm I always find that a weird argument… I have heard it before.. we will travel when the kids are older, so they will remember. Yes, but in the early years, I think it has an even bigger impact. It shapes how they see and discover the world. Their approach to people, new enviroment, different smells, tastes and so on…
Fay Andrews-Buckley I say in that case there’s no need to tell them you love them, give them birthday parties/ presents, send them to preschool or play with them or bother doing anything with them is there? they may not remember EVERYTHING but the experiences help shape them and they remember aspects and things that are important to them. when my son was 3 we took him to NCY (one place he seems to have loved) at 6 now he can still remember the huge buildings, the room number of our apartment, the subway trains, a specific toy and the giant ferris wheel in toys R us etc, and all that without having talked about it or looked at any photos (we never print them ect) so that’s pure memory…
Amanda Real Kids don’t have to remember something to be influenced by it. Our experiences shape who we are, whether we remember them or not.
Amanda Cardwell Carones A) because i love traveling and hope to instill this love of adventure in my kids B) these experiences help to shape their view of the world and the people they will become C) they may not remember the places they traveled, but they will remember doing things together. Plus I will have the memories of doing these things with them.
Crystal Anderson I say the first 5 years help set foundations for the rest of their life’s
Dezirea Noker Just remember how enriching and nourishing experiences are for little brains and bodies. They won’t remember the experiences but those experiences ARE shaping their brains, their personalities, their whole lives ♡
Carolina Day Why don’t we wait till the kids are older to teach them anything?!? Seriously. If they’re not going to remember, why bother doing ANYTHING with them ever. Just shove them in a room and feed them bread and water 🙂
Imogen Moore I never quite understand this comment but yes I’ve heard it a lot. My kids probably wouldn’t remember if I beat them every day until their 2nd birthday either but I bet it would have an effect on who they are!
Marie Red My husband remembers things from when he was very young and so do i
I actually remeber (more a feeling memory ) being fed milk while my mum sang a certain song to me when i was under a year old . I asked her why I got a taste of warm milk when I heard a specific hymn at church and she was shocked and told me she used to feed me warm milk and sing that song to me as a baby .
My kids have all remembered travels from when they were 2.5-5 years old . They remember
Keri Lewis Wellman We thought about it, but the kids won’t fit in the storage unit 🙂
Gràcia FD That’s why I never hug or kiss my kids or play with them. They won’t remember anyway.
Harmeet Kaur Sidhu So good to hear, what I so often have to say! Some of you might enjoy this… http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/…/travelling-with-young…
Travelling With Young Children: It’s Not to Make Marvellous Memories
Christie Cho I use to think this way. Then I asked my mom of an incident to find out I was only 3 when it happened. It was to a friend, I was just there. It effected me in a way I remember it.
Profound experiences might get tucked away for a while, but they eventually come back
Katharina Nickoleit I told them that we can see how open minded our son was, how easily he made new contacts and how quickly he settled into new situations. Teachers snd caretakers very well noticed all of that and still do so.
Debora Oliveira Goodness if that was the case I wouldn’t go anywhere. I have a horrible memory… I recall very little of my childhood, the only little facts I remember were about adventures…
Laura Roberts I have one who can recount trips and details that were not documented when she was 1.5-2 yrs old! My other can’t remember what we did last weekend though until he’s reminded by someone else. 😂 But that is maybe one of the most ignorant questions I’ve heard, right along with homeschoolers being isolated and unsocialized. Quite the opposite!
Damaris Crespo-Ramos I would say to the person “you might be right but what if you’re not? I wouldn’t want to risk denying my child that great experience just because a what if. After all it’s MY responsibility to educate he/she how I see fit and either way it won’t hurt to try.”
Stephanie Solowiej Every experience is based on the previous experiences. It’s not about remembering the experience, rather its one long moment. If the world ends tomorrow will we have lived our life to the fullest. When I can say yes then I have no fear. Life is valuable and worth living. When we aren’t living we are afraid. Afraid to miss out. Because we are not living. But when we are living we are not afraid. 🌷
Kelly Susan Kumar Same reason they go to museums, art shows, libraries, concerts, field trips, and travel since babies….not only do they enjoy it they are also cultivated to these things! Plus it’s our family culture and memory making…they love the stories as they get older and share them when they meet someone from a place they visited which creates social ties, like…learning to swim and ice skate in the Philippines…losing a first tooth in Singapore…it’s fun to remember!!!
Teresa Hardy He won’t remember everything, no. But that is no reason not to do it. I get asked this a lot and I just tell them that all our experiences shape who we are, even the ones we don’t remember. Do you remember your mother holding you as a baby? No, but you know she did, you have that bond with her because of it.
Shelley Brewer Semple I think one of the biggest mistakes is believing kids are too young to remember. I face it constantly parenting my child who experienced childhood trauma. I’m a big advocate at promoting the fact that kids are never too young to remember. They may not have conscious memories, but their brains are forever altered by all experiences. For the good with amazing, positive experiences, or for the bad with abuse, neglect, trauma… children are NEVER too young to remember. Travel has been amazing for my children. And to be honest, I barely remember all the details of trips I took even as an adult. That’s why I take pictures.
Kristen Mosteller Say…so what am I supposed to do just sit in a room with them doing nothing until they remember things?
All experiences are shaping them into the people they will become and also as a parent you deserve these memories with them.
Lisha Fitz Well… I agree with that statement. And there are some trips we are choosing to postpone for the reason that I’d like them to be able to remember it (africa, europe). I also think that the experience molds them into the person they are- but while they are young (2&4) we tend to choose more beach destinations as it is more ‘fun’ and requires less maturity.
Jessica Headlee Helps shape them into well rounded, (hopefully) grateful human beings.
Rosemary Javier Yanez So much of who your children are is formed in the youngest years. Why not make sure that they are the best they can be?
Katherine Mulvaney They’ll remember their parents being joyous and excited about life.
Casandra Anthony Response 1: “They’ll be too young to remember according to whom? Who said that? Show me at least 3 credible research studies that says they don’t remember childhood experiences. I’ll wait.”
Response 2 (for those people that just won’t let it go): “So with that logic you’re saying a child that was molested or assaulted at an early age doesn’t remember or internalize those experiences?”
Maggie Alexander “So should we lock our kids in the closet and not do anything fun until they can remember?” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/7-reasons-why-travel-is…
7 Reasons Why Travel Is Never ‘Wasted’ On Young Kids
Sarah Yothers photos and great storytelling. My kids still sing japanese songs to themselves at night though we’ve been gone for 3 years. They were raised there and were 2 and 4 at the time. But they remember. They will catch a smell of a woven rug or something that smells like tatami in a store and their olefactory will remind them instantly of a memory in Okinawa (because smell is so powerful and bypasses the amygdala in memory storage). The beats of drums in Uganda or the bird songs in Brazil. These things will be deposited in their brains even if they don’t really recall it until later.
Mariana Page Learning starts at a young age. You are not also traveling for memories, but for learning and experiences.
Nicole Kingsleigh you’ll remember! You could argue that kids won’t remember the toys they had so why buy them any! It’s about living in the moment and enjoying life.
Tara West So your baby is too young to remember your love and affection so just prop it in a self containing pod until it is old enough to remember. Uh…no.
Stacy Holt Yes, most kids don’t remember things when they are that young. But then who would want to remember the daily life in preschool? It’s kinda boring and monotonous. But when they can see, smell, and touch another place, believe me, it’s worth remembering to them. And if they don’t remember after a while, they will still keep those memories long enough to shape who they become.
Allison Pregon Kinahan I think traveling and exposure to different things like plays, ballets, operas makes the child. It instills a love of life a love of learning. Traveling with children has so many wonderful benefits. It teaches them how to transition from one situation to another, how to problem solve, how to be patient, occupy time, try new foods, respect new cultures and arts, how to make new friends and interact with people, it teaches them to navigate the world. It’s an amazing gift to be able to give this life to a child.
Deany Goode It’s true. My son doesn’t remember trips taken before age five. Why argue.
Angela Ressa Because life is happening now.
Melissa Arnold I would just laugh and say I don’t think that will be an issue we will probably be onto Mars trips by then, besides if the kids really feel they want to travel when they are older (assuming we stop for some reason) they could always just…travel lol + theres all the benefits that have probably already been mentioned above 🙂
Merei Milbee They don’t have to remember the trip to get the lifelong benefits of having learned what you learn when you travel or of having the quality time together that’s made possible by travel.
Colleen Jepsen They remember the feelings of being with family. Also an understanding that being with family is fun, learning is fun, and the world is not scary.
Maree Chase-Laukka My children are aged 23 and 12 years we have traveled abroad to many countries since they were both around the age of 3 months old and we continue to travel together as well as independently they’re not scared of new destinations, my children love traveling. My eldest has a career in the aviation industry and my youngest is aspiring to be a pilot he is due to start flying lessons when he turns 13 yo.
My children don’t remember every holiday but when they do recall memories they are filled with happiness and laughter
Travel is such a gift of freedom
And adventure it’s bound with priceless experiences.
It’s your life, do want you want with it you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself.
Kathrine Howard Miller I grew up going on weekend “field trips” since I was born with my dad. I remember most of them but beside that I think the most important thing I learned was the love of experiences. If kids grow up with experiences I think they crave more. Not having fear of new places and people but know it is a learning experience and is exciting. Kids pick up on that at very young ages.
Belinda Carreras Smile and say, “That’s interesting.” Proceed to take my children on another trip.
Shella Zelenz First of all, why do they care? What’s it to them? I didn’t realize I was having to do things in order to please anyone else. My kids and I are very happy, so I’m not sure what their point is. Well, I do know. It’s their own stuff and they are projecting it all over you.
Rob Tullis My wife wrote about this about 3 years ago before we left, I have to say it all rings true after almost 1100 days of traveling. There are a few links at the bottom to others who also wrote about this topic http://expatexperiment.com/why-travel-when-mak-wont…/
Why Travel When Mak Won’t Remember? – The Expat Experiment
Aria-Jayde Shady I understand both sides of this argument.
Cissy Sanders From my own experience, I remember very much of our travels in Mexico and Central America when I was between the ages of 5-8 yrs old. My single mom would take my sister and I out of school in May and drive from south Texas through Mexico to El Salvador and Guatemala in the 70s. I was between the ages of 5-8. We lived in a house in El Salvador during the summer and then would drive back to Texas. Those early travels along with my mom’s love for travel is who I’m doing Worldschooling now. Kids absorb more than you think – the smells, the noise, the light levels, the food, the language. It’s all very vivid as a child.
Melinda Saunders I was ‘world schooled between the ages of 5-7. I remember a lot of it. In fact people used to comment on my vivid memory. We toured the world, from Australia round the Pacific Islands through America down to the Med then through Europe!!
Lauren Arikan They’ll always have the passport and the pictures. We took my daughter to Paris at 2… she remembers things in detail at 10. The city had such an impact on her. As did the bakeries. 😂
Amy McDonald Our earliest years are our most formative years. Experiences are not always about making sure we remember them. They are about making sure they mold us into who we want to be.
Lnk Witz Not even I will remember much 😀 But everything leaves some kind of mark, impression, feeling… Or you can make friends, talk to people who have something to say, find new and interesting hobby… I think it is very close minded to look at it from the point of “remembering”. Every single thing in life has an influence and impact on future. Things won’t be the same. Neither we will.