Note: This is the first article in our series around our travel philosophy, Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. (Flexible). In this article, we give the overview of what Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. stands for and in future articles, we breakdown each letter at a time.
Before our son, Aarav, was born, we loved to travel together. AJ grew up in Dubai, traveling often with his family when he was young, and then continuing on his own once he left home. Natasha didn’t travel as much as a child, but once we met in North Carolina, she developed the travel bug through AJ, and ever since, we were travelers.
We knew we didn’t want to stop seeing the world when Aarav was born. We made up our minds to continue traveling, taking smaller trips and vacations before deciding to embark on our around the world adventure. We wanted him to see the world with him and share our experiences as a family.
It requires finesse to learn how to incorporate travel into your daily life with a child. It wasn’t smooth sailing the minute we stepped out the door. We dealt with cancellations, temper tantrums, late nights, early mornings, illnesses, long waits, bad tours – plenty of hiccups in our 9 months abroad. But we also learned from every hiccup and the longer we traveled, the easier it became because we could apply what we learned into new hiccups. Now, we feel like we know what works best for our son and each other to make trips smoother and focus more on all the good things we encounter – plenty of laughs, smiles, new experiences, great food, beautiful scenery, wonderful people.
With all we learned, we developed a travel philosophy: Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. Not only will following this philosophy make traveling with children easier, it will make it fun! And, as an added bonus, we found this philosophy carries over into everyday parenting, whether on the road or off.
You’ll find hints of this philosophy throughout this site, as well as our book. Here is what Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. stands for:
FOCUS: Focus on your child, not others.
LIVE: Live your life and don’t wait for the perfect time to travel. Do it now!
EMPATHIZE: Empathize with each other, with your children and with other families.
XPERIENCE: Experience new things and build amazing memories!
IMPROVISE: Improvise and go with the flow.
BE PREPARED: Prepare mentally and have a plan for when things go wrong.
LEARN: Understand you won’t have a perfect trip but you will learn as you go along.
EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY: Use technology to make your travels easier.
There you have it: Be F.L.E.X.I.B.L.E. That’s the foundation to each and every story and tip we offer. Again, you’ll find it across our travel blog and throughout our book, How to Travel with Kids (Without Losing Your Mind). Make it your travel philosophy, too.
Next article in series: FOCUS: Focus on your child, not others.