Learning in a real-world setting

Broadening Horizons

Want to eyeball giant tortoises in the Galapagos? Or take a walking art tour of Florence? Or view prolific wildlife on a Tanzanian safari?

These off-beat travel destinations are no longer the purview of seasoned travellers. More and more couples are opting to broaden their children’s horizons through adventurous trips to far-flung destinations, say travel consultants in the City. Sunita and Viren are successful young professionals and part of the rapidly emerging travel sector in the country that believe in global family travel.

Their two pre-teen children have already visited over 20 countries, and have participated in all kinds of adventures from wildlife safaris to theme parks, cruises and historical trips.
“When we were growing up, foreign travel was a huge deal. Our parents had few resources and foreign exchange was not available for even basic expenses. Holidays today are no longer limited to nearby hill stations or beaches. Travel is always educational in some way and I know my kids learned a lot by being exposed to different forms of transportation, language, food, art, architecture, religion, dress, and even currency. Stuff they would never have learned in a classroom,” she opines.

Ela and Bryan Nobbay have just returned with their two daughters from a hectic trip to Israel and Jordan. “Esha, who is just 12, kept a travelogue the entire time and carefully noted down all the sights and sounds that she witnessed. From the majesty of the ancient site of Petra (in Jordan) to the olive groves, the Sea of Galilee, to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus in Israel, to name a few, the girls had history and religion come alive for them in a way they will always remember,” says Ela. Similarly, many parents feel that young children benefit by travelling to far-flung destinations especially those with a rich cultural and historical past.

“Sometimes the pure fun of travel makes a bigger impact on kids than the educational aspects,” says Nisha Rebello, whose two daughters Andritha and Nithika, aged 12 and 8, have been travelling extensively for the past five years.

“So far they have seen America, Australia, Bahamas, Singapore, Dubai, Malaysia. They have integrated specific information like the International date line, time zones and historical sights, into their  school curriculum.They are also able to understand cross cultural differences and express their views in the form of little travelogues when we get back — something they can read later on and relive,” says Nisha.

All forms of travel can produce dramatic changes in a young person’s outlook, feels Sunita Keshav, a teacher. “You don’t only have to go on expensive holidays abroad to learn. Take affordable trips to places that have interesting wildlife, history or scenic beauty. Provide children with an opportunity to learn and practice, in a real-world setting, concepts and skills that they can use in their core curriculum areas,” she advises.

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