Hit the road, ex­pand your hori­zons

The Sun News (Sunday) - - Coasting - BY LYNN O’ROURKE HAYES Fam­i­lyTravel.com Con­tact: Con­tact: Con­tact:

The free­dom to ex­plore the world around us is some­thing to sa­vor. Here are five rea­sons to be grate­ful for fam­ily travel:

1. TRAVEL BROAD­ENS OUR PER­SPEC­TIVE

Whether you travel to the next county or around the world, mov­ing out of your com­fort zone or ev­ery­day rou­tine will en­hance your fam­ily’s un­der­stand­ing of our world. Ap­pre­ci­ate the lan­guage, dress, recre­ational and culi­nary dif­fer­ences and sim­i­lar­i­ties of your fel­low global cit­i­zens when you ven­ture into new ter­ri­tory. Make an ef­fort to see the view through the eyes of oth­ers. And ob­serve how a friendly smile is wel­come cur­rency in nearly every cor­ner of the world.

www.in­trepid travel.com

2. TRAVEL BUILDS CHAR­AC­TER

Travel pro­vides par­ents and grand­par­ents the op­por­tu­nity to model what mat­ters most. Will you ex­hibit pa­tience when the line snakes around the cor­ner, your ho­tel room is not ready, or the restau­rant server ac­ci­den­tally spills a drink on your ta­ble? De­layed flights, weather changes, poor ser­vice or a rocky road help all of us learn to live in the mo­ment, share re­sources, man­age un­ex­pected con­se­quences and see the bright side of the oc­ca­sional travel mishap. How the adults re­spond to chal­leng­ing sce­nar­ios will in­flu­ence the de­vel­op­ing char­ac­ter of young ad­ven­tur­ers.

www.tsa.gov

3. TRAVEL SERVES UP NA­TURE’S BOUNTY

A su­per moon ris­ing over the moun­tain tops, ea­gles loft­ing in a bar­ren tree, the gen­tle mist from a nearby wa­ter­fall, the crunch of the trail un­der hik­ing boots. Awein­spir­ing ex­pe­ri­ences in the nat­u­ral world are nur­tur­ing to the youngest of souls. Make time to travel to na­ture pre­serves, na­tional parks, deep canyons and shim­mer­ing lakes, where dark skies al­low the starry ex­panse to light your world.

www.nps.gov; www.wilder­nesstravel.com

4. TRAVEL IS IN­SPIR­ING, ED­U­CA­TIONAL

Feed your chil­dren’s nat­u­ral cu­rios­ity through travel. Do they yearn to learn more about art, his­tory or science? Is there a bur­geon­ing chef, mu­si­cian or en­gi­neer in your midst? How about a lan­guage im­mer­sion class? Are your kids cu­ri­ous about other re­li­gions, cul­tures or life­styles? Whether you opt for mag­nif­i­cent mu­se­ums, na­ture’s class­room or im­mer­sive ex­pe­ri­ences, ex­pand

their knowl­edge (and your own) by ex­plor­ing new ideas to­gether.

Con­tact: www.road scholar.org; www.globe aware.org; www.na­tional geo­graphic.com

5. TRAVEL EN­HANCES CON­NEC­TION

Leave the laun­dry, home­work and to-do lists be­hind and re­con­nect in a cozy cabin, on a blus­tery beach or on a small ship at sea. Keep tech­nol­ogy and the news of the day to a min­i­mum and en­joy each other’s com­pany and con­ver­sa­tion. Take walks in the woods, lis­ten to the birds sing, the owls hoot and the wind whis­tle. Re­mind your­selves that the best things in life are free. You’ll re­turn home know­ing your time well spent will last longer than the lat­est gad­get or a trendy fash­ion item. Be­cause time flies, be “glad you did” rather than “wish­ing you had.”

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