Traveling the World on Bicycle With Children
Do you spend your days dreaming of taking off with your children to explore the world? You’ll ride camels around the Egyptian pyramids and gaze in wonder at the graceful domes of the Taj Majal – with your children by your side. You’ll take buses from town to town, fly from country to country, and explore back streets by donkey cart. But travel on bicycles? With children?
I have now cycled about 21,000 miles with my twin sons (now 12) in the past few years, and can tell you that traveling by bike may just be the best way to travel – even with kids!
When traveling on buses or other motorized vehicle, you tend to hop from one city to the next, and skip over the small villages. The bike forces you to get off the beaten track and spend time in the small villages – and therefore you get to know the country better. In the villages, you’ll see life as it really is and will learn more about a country from the country folk rather than city folk. In today’s world, cities are becoming more and more generic, while it’s the villages that have retained the character of the country. Traveling on bicycle allows you get out of the city and get to know the country.
On bicycles, you are more in touch with Mother Nature. Without a protective layer of steel and glass surrounding you, you’ll feel every drop of rain and every subtle change in temperature. Our children truly understand the idea that altitude affects temperature and the tremendous forces of nature that have created mountains out of lowlands – they’ve pedaled over it!
But perhaps the most important part of bicycle touring with children are the life lessons they learn from their bikes. They learn lessons that will carry them through life – through all the hardships and struggles they’ll face. They learn to persevere and know they can come out victorious in the end. There are times when only through teamwork can you reach your goal. And sometimes, all you can do is focus on getting through the next 60 seconds and forge ahead.
Can kids learn those lessons by traveling another way? Sure. But the lessons come a whole lot easier on bikes!