October 10, 2009

Traveling with kids can have its bumps in the road

We left our home in Kansas nearly six months ago for a fourteen month trip that involves four countries and five different cities. For me, changing countries every three months is exciting, invigorating, and challenging.

When I first arrive in a new major metropolitan area, it takes a while to be able to navigate the city. Mastering that, however, brings great satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. The same is true for all of the things I try to figure out, including the social and cultural codes and subtleties of each culture.

Our children, unfortunately, do not necessarily experience this same sense of curiousity and satisfaction, at least not the way I do. My twins, Tatiana and Soraya, are eight, and Raymi is five. In the past month, Tatiana has begun to complain about wanting to return to Kansas. So far, there have been two crying episodes, the most recent one this morning.

Tatiana says she misses her friends, her school, our house, and all the fun things she used to do in Kansas. My pointing out all of the fun things about Guatemala does not seem to help. Of course, she is only eight, and these crying episodes likely would not be solved just by moving back to Kansas. When we lived in Chicago for a year, the girls occasionally cried about going back to Kansas. Once back in Kansas, however, life was not always perfect.

This fortunately, however, Tatiana was back to her happy self. We will do all we can to make sure this year is as rewarding for her as it is for us.

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