There Are No Children in Travel Literature + That’s a Problem

Something which I am very proud of is being one of the few traveling moms who whisks their children around the world. I appreciate that there are others out there, but generally speaking the travel community is heavily donated by single travelers and cute couples who take on the world, most couples have kids and stop, we did the opposite.

Because of this niche which we fit into, I am very conscious of the slight responsibility I guess, which is on my shoulders. I often talk to my husband about my desire to be a role model for others and to inspire parents around the world to travel with children.

I could go on for hours, comfortably in fact, abut the benefits that this offers kids, especially as they are able to grow up surrounded by a variety of languages and cultures, all of which contributes towards them being world citizens more than anything else. Science supports this in so many ways, which is why I am often curious that more families aren’t doing it. Whilst it may not be the single reason why this happens less than a teenager packing up a bag and hitting the road, the lack of children in travel literature is very much a part of this old world view, and I believe it to be a problem.

Think of all your favorite travel books, those amazing stories of experience and adventure, think about who is in those stories of excitement and crazy travel, now, how many children are there? Does Jack Kerouac discuss his infants? Hemingway? The quotes and the character inclusion in these stories is very rarely about traveling with kids, and that is fine given the fact that in most cases, those amazing authors probably didn’t.

We are however in the 21st Century now and I know of many young families, with amazing writers in those families, who can be a part of changing that world view that you can’t travel and raise a family.

Something which I have always been conscious of was the age thing with regards to travel, this notion that it is only for those below the age of 30, an absurd statement which grinds my gears just about every time that I hear it. Travel changes of course, at 43 I cannot very well pull an all-nighter in the middle of a Bali nightclub, then sleep for the next 2 days, as I have things to do and responsibilities. Admittedly this idea of travel being a crazy party is something else which I take umbrage at, but that’s for another day.

The key point here is that we have to have literature which covers everything, which pushes forward new ways of doing things and new ideas, and traveling full time whist raising a family certainly falls into that category. I am going to be doing my bit and this is a call to arms for all the other traveling families out there to do the same and write their life.