Raising trilingual Baby: The importance of travel
Traveling is a great experience for anyone, because it allows you to really experience different countries and languages; but if you’re raising multicultural and multilingual kids, traveling is such an important part of their upbringing. For my husband and I, traveling allows us to remain connected to our roots and share them with our son. Whether it is visiting grandparents in France or extended family in Ecuador, I believe it is incredibly important to keep that alive for Enzo: the importance of heritage, customs, family. We want our son to cherish this and love his roots. Traveling is a great gift we can give our son.
Last December we traveled to France with Enzo. Visiting France is incredibly special for us because we can teach Enzo about his French heritage and about French culture: Not only the language, but also the customs, food and places that make France such an incredible place. Already at two years old, Enzo loves Camembert cheese and loved going to pick up the bread at the Boulangerie with Papy.
The most delicious part of Enzo’s heritage: Fromage, fromage and more fromage =) Happy maman
One of the things I enjoyed most about traveling with Enzo to France last December was hearing him talk to his grandparents in French, and then switch to speak to me in Spanish. Code-switching is definitely mind-blowing. It never seizes to amaze me! Now that he is getting older, I can’t wait to hear how much more he will pick up on every trip we make to France. Traveling is not only great for language learning, it is also great for learning life skills, appreciating differences in people.
Enzo checking out all the different yogurt and dessert options in France… yummy.
Being a multicultural and multilingual family, traveling is a great way for us to explore culture and language in a fun way. But travel has advantages even if you’re not part of a multilingual family. Travel is a way to connect and learn about other cultures. I believe this makes children (and adults!) more empathetic,more tolerant and more accepting of people who are not like them. In addition to that, it is a known that immersion in a language is one of the best ways (if not the best way!) to learn a language.
If you’re thinking of learning another language or you are raising multilingual children, remember that traveling will be a long lasting, perhaps life-changing experience. (I should know, my study abroad experience changed my life forever.)