These videos and articles focus on things that fuel my energy- global experiences, loved ones, and life learnings.
Question- I was asked by some of my followers to sum up Bali in one word. Is it worth visiting?
Lakshmi’s Learning- Answer is yes! But just one word is not possible- I say “Beautiful temples and people!” As for places of Worship- Bali has 20,000 puras (Hindu temples on every street)! It was amazing to see how Hinduism is practiced there. People from around the world come for this cultural experience. This is Gunung Kawi in Ubud- as you can see, three generations of Natarajan women climbed 350 steps each way to the temple in the river valley.
As for people- everyone we met was just so happy and helpful! Of course, nice people are everywhere... but when they are genuine, it holds a special place in your experience.
Thank you to IBali Tours for the amazing “Bali in a Day” private tour!
Question- How do you help your children prevent or overcome some fears?
Lakshmi’s Learning- Some of you may have kids that are fearless now! But as they become older, fears and dislikes can develop more. Basically- the answer is simple—- as the adult- you have to overcome your fears first! I realized that things I don’t like, my girls are starting not to like as well. And that’s not always a good thing!
So for example- my kids love all animals, they are not scared of spiders and snakes! On the other hand, I don’t like them. And so- here we are in Bali... one of the homes of the Burmese Python. Shyla and Shriya said they are not scared... and they asked me why I am and told me to be brave! That’s what I say to them about everything!!!
For those who know me— know I am adventurous- Sky diving, scuba diving, playing with tigers, etc. But snakes... ewwwwww! And so- my girls asked me to hold the snake because he is an innocent...
All I can say is wow! We are celebrating 2020 in Sydney, Australia with family and friends. This was the 9pm fireworks show that I was able to enjoy with my kids. Now they are sleeping!
Where are you bringing in 2020? My few pieces of advice... be the best you, treasure the people who genuinely love you, spread that love, and see the world! Wish you a wonderful new decade!!
Question- Do kids remember all their travel as “kids”? They might as well wait until they are “older” to travel so they don’t forget.
Lakshmi’s Learning- Of course, some of our earlier life memories can fade over time, but we still hold on to many experiences too. World travel shapes children to become global citizens as they grow up- the questions they ask and how they see people. It’s not about what they will remember or forget- it’s about exposing children early to have an appreciation for the world. The kids in this video are mine and my good friend Davie’s- they have traveled to all 7 continents (yes, there are 7- not 6)!!!!
Why is important? Many of you may say, well we can’t afford to take our kids around the world. But it costs almost nothing to expose your kids to different kinds of people all around you, expose them other languages besides English (many people are taking their kids to private language...
Question- How is it traveling with the parents? (Children’s grandparents)
Lakshmi’s Learning- At times, your parents take your advice!! So, my brother and I have traveled with our parents to many countries, even before we had children. We are blessed to still have that and encourage them to always come with us. We bring our parents on these trips for the family memories NOT to babysit. Yes, of course they help with the kids at times and kids LOVE having them. BUT- they also are enjoying themselves and achieving their bucket list items.
I wanted to share a different Travel Plus Them moment- a story about my moms! My mother is a fearless woman and she has been snorkeling many times (this is her second time in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia). However, my mother-in- law is much more cautious and does not know how to swim. At 70 years old- she has never been in the ocean! And so I held her hand and we went snorkeling together!
Why is this moment...
Question- Do we need to travel with car seats? It becomes so tedious.... what is required?
Lakshmi’s Learning- I will address this question based on “international travel” versus domestic US. The short answer to this question is... it depends on baby’s age (e.g. 9 month old versus 3 year old), country rules, and your comfort as parents.
Please note that 1) some countries do not mandate car seats (does not mean that is good, but requirements do vary around the world) OR 2) they only require car seats for residents (e.g. you don’t need car seat in taxi).
My recommendation is: we traveled internationally with our car seat before our first daughter was 1 year old (our first child = extra cautious). After that- we would read the local country laws and decide (we never traveled with car seats again- just would decide how to handle as needed locally).
IF the country requires car seats, we either rent them with car OR they have car seat rental...
Question- How do we manage kids jet lag with a time zone difference? How long does it take?
Lakshmi’s Learning- We have done this many times during our travels which have included everything ranging from: -3 hours to +16 hours... and of course, made mistakes and learned along the way. Here is an “optimal” way... and we adults have to do it too. (We are in Australia now +16 hours from US eastern time zone)
The recommendation is simple- once you are in the new time zone- everyone stay on that new time zone! Even if everyone is exhausted and it’s 5pm- do not go to sleep. Stay up, walk around, do fun things, exhaust yourselves and the kids! IF everyone needs a little nap after lunch time- then fine (2-3 hours max). But do not make that 5 hours- then you will struggle with waking up in middle of the night (I learned this earlier this year while in Dubai- I too took a 5 hour afternoon nap with the kids and they were up in the middle of the night).
Question- Does vacation = no routine? It can become hard to adjust back when we return home.
Lakshmi’s Learning- Well- that does not have to be the case. When you are away- you can still keep important aspects of your “home routine” while also embracing vacation mode (traveling too is a life education and experience no matter where you go—- don’t forget that!). The term “routine” is multifaceted for kids with nap times, eating, school work, bath time, certain activities, etc.
I will address one aspect- “school work” (in the case of my kids- it’s still only preschool). For us- practicing writing/coloring/reading/math are a daily routine. Especially reading at night before bedtime (and separate books for each of them). We do that everyday no matter where we are (important- try to pack paperback books versus hard cover to minimize weight)!
And I have my kids pack their books, pencils/crayons, and school work....
Question- How can I teach my kids about the world/continents/countries even if we are not traveling?
Lakshmi’s Learning- As I mentioned on an earlier post— education starts with us at home. There is so much we can do to bring global awareness to kids. We sing this “Continents, Continents” song! Then we “deep dive” into a specific continent and they start naming the countries. Both my girls LOVE country flags and have a dining placemat that shows them all countries. We also learn hello, goodbye, and thank you in the local language (Thanks Google translator). We study all of this before our trips. We started doing this when Shyla was 1 year old—- so it’s never too early to start!
You may wonder, this sounds just like basic school geography...what does this do? Well, it’s you teaching them, not the school. That means something to kids and it is always reinforced in school. It is the beginning of the kids being...
Before our upcoming holiday vacation, I wanted to share a proud parent moment. While my kids have much more than I did growing up (as many kids in their generation), they made me so happy with this.
Question- How can you ensure your kids give to others?
Lakshmi’s Learning- Over the last year, we had the kids pack all their used (but in great condition) toys to give to the local children’s shelter. Then we went to the center to play with the kids and my girls had a great time (didn’t take pictures for privacy purposes). Based on those experiences, my girls insisted that we support the local toy drive for the holidays. They actually picked out the toys from Target themselves and they truly understood who the toys will go to. And, what did my kids receive in return-they asked for a lollipop with so much joy!
During any time of year—- having children give to others is the greatest joy! Please have your children 1) consolidate/pack their toys/clothes or buy new...