January 8, 2014
I have to say, our kids are amazing travelers. They are flexible, open minded and go with the flow. They manage to have fun without electronic games, TV, and toys and are genuinely curious about the world around us. Here is what I think the secret is: we travel. That’s it, pure and simple. What I have learned is that if the adults around them are flexible, open minded and up for adventure, kids take their cues from the adults and act accordingly. Kids don’t need “kid” entertainment, i.e. theme parks, lots of toys and “kid” activities. This is a made up concept by the last generation or two. For most of humanity (and still today in most parts of the world), kids participate in real life. They help adults with daily tasks. They do what adults do. They are “entertained” by life, nature and their own creativity. So all you parents out there who really want to travel but think you can’t because the kids “need” entertainment, special gear, special food, whatever, I say, “No, they don’t. Adults think that kids need all of these things but kids are actually quite flexible as long as the adults around them are flexible. So no more excuses. Go hit the open road! Your kids will benefit from the experience and so will you.”
OK, now that I am done preaching, let me tell you that today was a fantastic day! We started the day off in the archeological park of San Agustin, one of the most important archeological sites in the Americas. Not much is known about this civilization that lived 5,000 years ago, except for series of tombs and burial sites which they left behind. The park, and the entire area, are surrounded by some truly beautiful countryside and we all enjoyed walking around the area.
After a quick lunch, Jade, our 11 year old, and I went white water rafting in the Rio Magdalena, while my husband stayed with the younger ones at the hotel. (He had some work phone calls and the younger kids were happy to play in the surrounding cloud forest). The trip is a level 2/3 rafting adventure and I highly recommend it as an activity with older kids or for adults. The scenery of the surrounding mountains and pristine tropical forest was spectacular and the rapids were good fun! Our fellow raft members were all Colombians in their 20’s and as we got to talking, they shared with us their passion for rebuilding their country to ensure ongoing peace. It was inspirational to hear that.
A note about dinner – we had the most delicious meal at Tierra del Fuego, a café and art space owned by a Chilean woman who has lived in Colombia for forty years. Her cazuela de mariscos (seafood stew) was truly worthy of a 5-star restaurant (and only cost US$7). Yum! We will definitely be going back tomorrow night.