As I’ve mentioned before, we always imagined we’d travel with our kids. I’ve written about my travels as a child (read here)and how I feel that has shaped me as a person and given me a wider perspective on the world. BJ has definitely benefited from travel but in some unexpected ways.
When BJ was younger I often worried about missing therapy when we travelled. It turned out that some of his big achievements were made when he was away from his home environment. I once commented on this to a therapist and she explained that it probably gave him time to consolidate all the skills he’d been working towards. As a family we were more laid back on holidays but I also believe that a new environment often proved stimulating to him. I remember going on a cruise when BJ was 2 years old. We have fabulous video of BJ standing independently while playing with things in a set of drawers that were in our cabin. It was the first time he had maintained standing independently.
FEEDING HIS SOCIAL PERSONALITY
Aside from progress with personal goals and milestones I think travel has given BJ the social interactions that he craves. BJ is such a social person and meeting new people is something he loves. Travel offers no end of opportunities in this regard.
BJ and AJ have always been close but their 7 year age gap and BJ’s limited ability to do some activities means that we have drawn heavily on day outings and travel to give them common ground. When they both enjoy a day at the beach, a theme park or a museum it gives them a shared experience. If you think about it, as adults we are often drawn to old school friends or work colleagues because they’ve shared important times with us.
BJ and I have always done loads together but Hubby was at work. Travel has cemented his relationship further with BJ because they’ve done so many great things together. From dodgem cars, motor bike rides, toboggan rides, cable hang-gliding and more. The boys have had some one on one time exploring and doing activities together. Up until BJ was 7 they shared a very close travel relationship with Hubby carrying him in a back carrier on many an adventure.
LEARNING IN A MORE TANGIBLE WAY
BJ hasn’t always had teachers who have believed in his understanding so he has at times had a limited experience with traditional learning. BJ is also more of a hands-on learner and I think that travel has been a great educator.
OPENING UP OPPORTUNITIES FOR COMMUNICATION
BJ’s news books used to be extremely popular with staff and other students at school. Our adventures peaked their interest and they were keen to see what BJ had been up to on weekends or on holidays. Now he shares his adventures with his day program staff, respite staff, family and friends through his iPad photos. People often ask, “What have you been up to lately?”
It goes without saying that like everyone who travels, BJ has experienced unique opportunities, like cable hang-gliding in Tasmania.
These are just a few ways travel has helped BJ. Travel has benefitted us all. It’s hard to explain the feeling we get from our day trips together and our holidays away. It gives our family something that is difficult to define. What I do know is that it is good, it builds relationships and bonds us as a family.
The idea of this website is to share our experiences in the hope that the information will make it easier for others to do similar things or spark an idea for an outing that might be possible wherever you are in the world. I know that everyday life is busy and often it is hard to keep your head above water just doing the things that need doing, let alone researching outings or holidays. We hope that our blogs encourage you to get out and do something, whether it is locally or further afield.
We’d love to hear your experience with travel.
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