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Through the Eyes of a Child

22 September 2011 4 Comments

I’m feeling an intense urge to pack a suitcase, gather together my family and go out and see the world. My children are still young toddlers and until recently I was horrified at just the thought of even attempting a long journey with them.

However, all that changed in an instant when I took my 3 year old son to the local park at the beginning of Autumn.  I watched him overcome with excitement at discovering nature’s treasures lying on the ground, acorns, conkers and leaves. He was amazed by the colours, he marvelled at the shapes and textures, and it was then that I realised we absolutely have to travel with them while they are still so young because ‘they’ have so much to teach us!  None of the worries of travelling should matter, because the benefits to them, and us, will far outweigh dealing with a little tantrum during the journey.

‘There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child, there are seven million’

Walt Streightiff

At that moment, I also realised how much having children has changed me. I’ve been much more inspired by things I would never have noticed before, although I know there is still more that I don’t yet see. I’ve realised how much more there is to discover and I have a new found desire to get out and explore.
My priorities have also changed immensely. I now feel an overwhelming responsibility not only to protect and care for my children, but also to protect and care for the world. So while they have much to teach me, there is also lots we need to discover together.

This year we have made a huge effort to become much more ecologically responsible. We recycle far more, compost everything we can, grow our own vegetables and are far more conscious of how much water we use.  But I know there is a huge amount that we are still to learn if we want to look after our world and encourage our children to do the same.

So it is for those reasons that one of the places I’m bursting to see first is Belize. It is beautiful, stunning and lots of things that other many other locations are, but what makes it really appeal to me is the ecological responsibility. The residents of Belize want to preserve their environment, look after their wildlife and increase awareness of all these things that are so important to them. And not only do they talk about doing it, it is happening!  We have so much to learn from a visit to Belize, the rich ecosystem, the conservation efforts, it’s vibrant people and cultures.  How could I not want to take my children there?

I also want my children to be well travelled for lots of other reasons. I don’t want to impose lessons on them, to make them be a certain way, or to grow up to do certain things. But I do want them to find their own way in life, to make their own discoveries, to find out what makes them happy and to build their self-esteem and confidence by letting them encounter lots of different experiences.
I want my children to understand and respect other people’s opinions, circumstances, cultures and heritage.  For that I believe it’s absolutely vital for them to get out in the world and befriend people from all continents and countries and with its diverse community, Belize seems the most perfect place to start!

Kate is a mum of two tiny tots and a keen blogger who writes on behalf of No. 1 Traveller, a UK airport lounge company.

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