I came across this wonderful video recently (produced by the Alliance for Childhood and KaBoom!), all about the importance of risk-taking in childhood. While we want to keep our children safe, learning to feel and test risk is so important – it’s how kids gain confidence, learn about limits, and how to reasonably push those limits (of course, as they point out in the video, it's easier to accept risks when you have ready access to free or affordable heathcare). Watch it and see what you think:
It struck me that you could talk in a similar way about travel (especially, I think, travel with children). We take a risk everytime we step outside our door – and the farther away we go, the greater the risks. When we travel, there are so many opportunities for mishap: we might be misunderstood, we might get lost, we might be robbed, we might lose our belongings – and on and on.
Yet it is still critical that we GO. Just as children do, we need to explore the world, and find our place in it. We need to push the limits a little. I hope that by traveling with my little boy I am teaching him something about this - that it's OK to step outside your comfort zone, and see what's going on - and just participate.