What having adventures teaches my children (and me!)

Why go on adventures? Especially when it’s too hot, or too cold, or too wet, or too far. There are so many reasons people don’t get up and go explore. Once you get motivated to get out there though, there is a whole world of wonder waiting for us. There are invaluable lessons to be learned from exploring new places, connecting with nature and just spending unplugged time with your family. Adventures are fun and exciting! Even the everyday variety can provide endless opportunity and enrichment to life. So if you still need some more convincing on why to go on your own adventures, keep reading for all the things that our adventures teach us.

1) Respect

Respect is such an important trait to teach our children, especially in today’s society. There are so many different people and cultures and it’s important to respect each and every one of them. Being out in nature and exploring new places helps foster this sense of respect. When we are outside, we follow the “Leave No Trace” principles of outdoor ethics.  Basically, this set of ethics teaches us to be respectful of the nature around us and the other people using the trails as well. This is so important because it teaches our children that not only do people need to be respected, but animals, plants and places need to be respected too. Even when we’re visiting cities instead of trails, it’s essential to talk about the importance of the monuments you’re viewing.  These objects and places are there for our enjoyment, but only if we take care of them. It’s our responsibility to the entire population to preserve the treasures in our world. It’s this preservation that really teaches our children respect of people and places.

IMG_7615

2) Awareness

When we go on trails, there might be snakes. When we go to the mountains, there are cliffs. When we go into the city, there are cars. No matter where you go adventuring, it is important to pay attention to what is going on around you. Taking my kids exploring, whether it be outdoors or in an urban setting, gives them lots of practice paying attention. Because of this, they learn to be aware, aware of their surroundings and also of other people. When someone passes us on the trail, we have to be aware and move to one side. When there is a line at an event, we have to be aware that we have to wait patiently. When we’re camping and put out a fire, we have to be aware that it is fully exhausted. Exploring is the perfect mix of relaxation and awareness. When you explore you want to take in everything around you. It’s almost meditative to absorb your surroundings.

IMG_7953

3) Curiosity

Kids (and some adults I know!) love to ask why. Why is that animal that color? Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass prickly? Why, why why? There’s just so much to learn and when you go on adventures it opens your world up to endless curiosities. There is so much to explore and discover; new things are everywhere. Experiencing a new culture for the first time, taking in a new view, or even something as simple as seeing a new type of bug in the front yard can pique curiosity. It’s important as parents to nurture this curiosity, encourage the questions and help create an environment where we assist our children in developing their eagerness to learn. Our children are the future inventors, workers, presidents and entrepreneurs that are going to make the world a better place and it starts with their inquisitiveness. And if you ever don’t know the answer, there’s always Google.

IMG_7720

4) Sense of Adventure

The more our kids explore and adventure the more they will WANT to. There is no end of new experiences to be found. Once a family begins exploring it leads to hunger for more. Don’t get me wrong. There are times when the kids whine and just want to go somewhere else. There are times when we’re cold or hungry or both and we’re just done. But generally we’d rather be out of the house delving into the wonders of our surroundings. This will translate into having a child that looks for more out of life and events. Their sense of adventure will thrive.

IMG_7413

5) Independence

Our job as parents is to raise our children to be awesome adults. We keep them safe and nurture them while they grow. We do our absolute best to give them the tools they need to grow into wonderful people. Everyday adventures can be a tool we give our kids to become amazing adults. Places that are open and free allow children to explore their independence in their own time. Some kids are already fighting for independence while others are more reserved and want to be close to their parents. For the kids that are ready to go, exploring helps give them the independence they crave. For the more timid children, it gives them a safe space to develop their freedom at their own pace.

IMG_7869

Experiencing new places, whether near or far, foreign or domestic, is beneficial for everyone in the family. Whether you’re a child, a parent or just a kid at heart everyone can take something from exploring their world. Travel and adventure go hand in hand and help adults and children alike to become more well-rounded individuals. So let’s get out there and enjoy some everyday adventures!