The moment when my child was change by their travel experience….
We like to think of ourselves as a traveling family. My kids have been all over the United States-from east to west and north to south. Before enrolling in French in high school, my daughter, Kaitlyn didn’t really speak on international travel. It took one meeting with World Strides to open her eyes to the possibility of traveling outside of the United States and completely immersing herself in another culture. Of course, her excitement led to my excitement.
I went into the parent meeting thinking, “This would be such a wonderful opportunity, but can we really afford 2 weeks in Europe?” We were surprised at how affordable it was especially with the ability to make monthly payments. Outside of that, I felt confident in World Strides’ ability to provide her with an experience unlike any other, while keeping her safe throughout her travels. We had her schedule, all hotel and tour guide information, airfare and train dates and times and all in one place, on the World Strides website.
When Kaitlyn landed in Italy and stepped outside of the airport, her life changed forever. She realized how small of a bubble she’s lived in, even with the travels we’ve done as a family. Here are some of the text messages that I received in only the first 2 days.
“Let’s go to Switzerland for Christmas.”
“I want to come back to Italy and go to Milan, Venice, Verona, and back to Rome”
“I’m going to start saving up to go back to Italy.
“We’re driving along the coast of Italy and it’s so pretty.”
“It’s just green mountains, villages, and oceans.”
She is already planning to return in 2021. This trip reinforced what we’ve always taught- Our culture is just one way of living. It helped her to see the importance of learning, interacting, and respecting different cultures. She is interested in all parts of the world, not just what’s in her backyard. Stepping outside of her comfort zone has made her more aware and more willing to try new things. This travel experience has changed her life in ways that no textbook ever could. It was an experience like no other.