Parent Resource

Cultural Competence Through Travel

by Dr. Samantha, C. Sweeney, Founder, Culturally Competent Kids

I love, Love, LOVE to travel. It’s something that I don’t get to do nearly as often as I’d like (time constraints, work constraints, the necessity of paying bills), but when I can, I do. The nice thing is that we are not quite as constrained by children’s schedule’s as we used to be (I talked about my youngest’s awesome/disastrous recent nap – or lack thereof –  in the B is for Books post), so it’s a lot more fun to travel with my kids. And there are few things I love more than that wide-eyed expression when they discover something new and different. I still remember the first time we took my now 6-year-old to the beach. He was equal parts enamored and perplexed by this strange new substance: sand. It was so cute and fun to witness his confusion turned absolute delight. There are few things he loves more than digging and sand pours soooo much better than dirt.


I know that for multiple reasons traveling is difficult for families. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Yes, a far flung trip around the world sounds amazing (or nightmarish – take your pick), but do a little research and you can recreate many aspects of that vacation closer to home. There is probably more to explore in your backyard than you think. Almost all major cities have ethnic enclaves that you can spend an entire day exploring. That’s a travel experience in and of itself. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for festivals happening in your town. Go to a new restaurant. Options are everywhere.

​Are you able to take a trip with the kids? Go somewhere you hadn’t considered before. What’s on your travel bucket list (mine is about a mile long)? Are all of your destinations concentrated in one area, country, or continent? Branch out! Enjoy stretching yourself and bring your kids along for the ride.

​Where will you go next? What’s on your travel bucket list? What will you consider adding? Leave a comment below.