These videos and articles focus on things that fuel my energy- global experiences, loved ones, and life learnings.
Question- What are your experiences with guided tours?
Lakshmi’s Learning- We generally like guided tours— especially when you have a large group!!! In the recent years, we have booked our tours through Viator... and have had great experiences. Of course, some are better than others, but all have been memorable in some way!
This specific picture captures a funny moment.... So, after we requested our guide a few times to take a picture of our family alone... he gave our camera to someone else to take the picture and he stayed!!! We just laughed it off and thought “well, I guess we are important!” And we were- being a tour guide was his post retirement second career and we were one his first customers! Glad we helped boost his business- always a good feeling!
What are some of your memorable tour guide experiences???
My kids are not foodies and love their comfort food
Question- What do you do for food in all the countries you have traveled to? What if you have “picky” eaters?
Lakshmi’s Learning- I think that everyone falls in this spectrum…
1) Always eat the same thing wherever you are / can be picky
2) Sometimes willing to try new things
3) Advance experimental palate.
My kids fall mainly in 1, occasionally 2 (at home). When traveling- there are already a lot of “changes” in the environment for the kids (new time zone, new bed, new vacation schedule, etc). If they do not want to explore new cuisines, I say do not force it. Kids sometimes appreciate their “comfort food”. Of course, you should try new things while on vacation… But don’t get frustrated when it doesn’t happen. I get frustrated but realized that I have to be flexible too.
Hence- If your child is on the 1-2 spectrum, trying new food is more promising...
We were blessed to be safe with all the fires and experience the country’s beauty. We are helping through this specific organization that was one of the local recommendations- Wires, Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization. Please click on this link to learn more. Note- While there are other organizations- I just wanted to provide a recommendation based the request I received from my followers. Thank you!
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).