I’ve spent the past three weeks in Rio de Janeiro with my husband and two sons, ages 3 and 5. From here, we’re headed to the northeast of Brazil for another 6 weeks. Most people think we’re insane to be doing such a trip with our little kids, so far away from the amenities and comforts of Canadian life. Yes, there are moments when I wonder why I ever thought this was a good idea, but there are far more moments when I think, “This is fantastic.” Despite the additional hassles of travelling with kids, there are some very real and worthwhile benefits.
Somehow kids have a knack for starting conversations in a way that adult travellers do not. Every single day, my kids interact with someone independent of me, either waving, smiling, winking, or making faces, and this has led to countless interesting conversations with warm Brazilians who are curious to know why we’re here and want to welcome us to their country.