Monday, April 20, 2009

Travel Bug: nurture or nature?

I used to think I loved travel because of my parents, and I'm sure in part that's true. Mom wanted us to see all 50 states before we graduated, and we got to about 45 of them. Not bad. I want my kids to see all 7 continents, so we're branching out a bit.

However, I'm starting to revise my theory that you can create that travel bug. As I think on it, neither of my brothers really care about travel to other lands. I don't see them really salivating over learning about other cultures. My dad is collecting brochures about China and Russia and would love to go with us to Peru. My mom was the same way. Is it possible that it was actually passed through the DNA and not through modeling the love for travel?

I've written before about Jack's love for Russia, and it's thus far not watering down. But his intrigue over new cultures and places astounds me. I thought it would be too abstract at his age, looking at a map and understanding that the colored sections of countries have their own food, clothes, language, etc. But not only does he get it, but he craves knowing about it. This was a child who knew 24 of the states of a US map before his third birthday. I should have guessed.

So did he inherit my lust for foreign travel? The fact that he cried the entire 9 hour flight home from Amsterdam didn't bode well for it, but perhaps that was a fluke. He was under 2 and just wanted to run. Bad test run.

We got a new book about activities about the Inca. Awesome book. I had some clay in the craft cabinet and talked to him about how the Inca didn't have stores, so they had to make everything they used. I made a little clay dish with him and then left to do something with Andrew. He came into the room a little while later, and had made a ship out of clay, with a pine branch as the sail. "They'd have to make their own toys, too! So I made a ship. If they didn't have stores, they couldn't buy a sail...so I put on a branch instead."

Oh, Jack. You never cease to surprise me.

If it has to do with a foreign land, he's all ears. He ate the "Inca Stew," although he wouldn't have touched it if it weren't from the book. He ate some grass from our yard, after we brainstormed about what they'd eat if they didn't have stores. Had a great conversation about cotton and wool. And a few other things along the way today.

I can't wait to see how his passions and hobbies unfold, but it appears I might have birthed a fellow travel addict. I'm so excited to take him to Peru next summer. He loved seeing the pictures of the buildings carved out of the granite mountaintop, and I know that sparkle in his eyes. I feel it too!

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