An opportunity for adventure.

My husband and I and our two daughters were lucky enough to go on another travel adventure last February. We were away for almost 3 weeks to explore Vancouver and Hawaii. I undoubtedly credit the minimalist lifestyle for helping us to travel so often. When we live with less and stop accumulating more possessions, then we’re able to afford fun new experiences as a family. We love placing an emphasis on experiences over things, and here’s why…
One observation that we’ve made is that travel gives our kids a broader education than accumulating more ‘stuff’ ever could. For example, on our trip to Hawaii my 5 year old could navigate an airport and find the correct gate, was confident in trying new things, and took pride in reading street signs and maps.

Exploring and asking questions.

I’ve discovered that my children can at times be deep thinkers, and they have such big hearts. Admittedly, after having studied theology and philosophy in university, perhaps I encourage the ‘deep thinking’ conversations in my house more than usual. I want my kids to explore the world around them, open themselves up to new situations, broaden their horizons, ask questions, think about life, and ask ‘why?’. We encourage delving deeper into their thoughts and hearts, and finding real world solutions to problems that arise.

Hawaii was incredibly beautiful, and we were able to see many beaches. One morning we decided to walk by a river instead of going to the beach. As we were walking along, my 5 year old daughter noticed a few items under water along the side of the river: empty water bottles, plastic wrappers, and other garbage. We were admiring the many colourful fish when she would occasionally interrupt to point out any trash that was visible.

Lessons that can last a lifetime.

Finally she asked, “Why is there garbage in the water?” This led to a serious conversation about waste, and how when we throw something ‘away’, it doesn’t simply ‘go away’. The trash which we produce has to go somewhere, and it ends up being in our land, air, or water. She genuinely wanted this beautiful place to remain clean. When I asked how we could solve this problem, she replied, “I don’t know. I’ll have to think about it.” We walked in silence while she was clearly lost in thought. Finally she looked up at me and said, “If we want less garbage we need to make less stuff.”

There you have it, from the mouth of a 5 year old. This young girl’s love of exploring nature led her to notice garbage in the water. This resulted in a conversation about waste, which then concluded in a discovery about minimalism. That’s an education she won’t forget any time soon, and it might begin to shape her view of the world. I think that the best way to share a message about our truest passions and beliefs is to live it. And how better to educate our children than to let them experience and explore the world.

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