We arrived in Mexico weary, travel worn, and uncertain of our rusty Spanish. Mongolian words came to the forefront, Heads down, we made our way through the airport, collected our luggage, and ambled out to find our shuttle. We hardly embodied curious travelers eager to learn about our home for the week.
He greeted our new world with a smile. Curiosity radiated from him as he eyed the tropical flowers, inhaled the scents, explored his new environment.
It continued throughout the week.
We relaxed, of course, and found our Spanish-speaking feet once again. But James just radiated curiosity, openness, innocence.
Hotel staff offered a kind snuggle, an extra bit of fruit, a bowl of yogurt, genuine warmth. Walking down the street, James earned smiles, good mornings, waves from one stranger after the next. The further we traveled from the comfort of the hotel, the greater the curiosity grew. The joy. The innocence.
It was everywhere. A tiny little soul, innocent to the world, ready to soak it in piece by piece by piece.
Often we hear expressions of shock when we announce the next adventure. With a baby?! they say. I can’t think of anything worse!
But the world changes when you have a wee lad in tow. It softens. Opens itself to the tiny innocence and – incredibly – to the big folk traveling along with the small boy.
Children make the world approachable. Their curiosity is contagious, and it offers adults the freedom to indulge a curiosity of their own.
So the number one reason to travel with kids?
Innocence for the world, about the world, towards the world.
It is, perhaps, the only contagious thing worth catching while traveling.