What we Learned Traveling in Thailand

We definitely had fun traveling in Thailand! We definitely learned a lot on our trip!

The kids learned that you can make friends anywhere, even if you don’t speak the same language

Ryan told me, “Mom, I didn’t know I would make friends in Thailand. My new friend kept talking to me, but I didn’t know what he was saying. I think we were racing.”

It was so fun seeing both kids playing and laughing with kids, even if you they couldn’t speak the same language, they could still communicate and have fun!

I learned/noticed that kids are pretty much the same every where you go. The kids loved playing Songkran with other kids because they all wanted to play, laugh, and have fun. When we went out to eat we saw kids playing on their parent’s cell phones, just like you see in the states. We say a young boy having a melt down and throwing a fit in a grocery store. We saw another little boy hit his sister because she was frustrating him. Yes, there are some cultural differences, but kids are kids everywhere!

The kids learned to be respectful of other people’s cultures and beliefs. They wanted to make sure they were being polite. Also, when we went into wats, the kids were super reverent and respectful. We didn’t have to remind them to be quiet, or to quit running around. Ryan was the first to make sure we took off our shoes when we went into sacred places. I was also surprised how much my kids liked the wats.

Ryan and Lillian learned its OK to try new foods. They may not like them, but they may really like them! Ryan is a really picky eater. We were worried about this before we left on our trip. Ryan told us that he would be willing to try new foods in Thailand. A few weeks before we left he was extra good at trying new foods at home to show us that he could do it. When we got to Thailand Ryan did a great job at trying everything we asked him too. Sometimes it was a little scary for him, but he did it anyway. Lillian normally is at least willing to try new things, but in Thailand it was a little scary for her as well. She did a great job trying new things too. They also learned not to throw a fit or cry or spit out what they were eating if they didn’t like it. They would take a bite, chew, swallow, and say no thank you if they didn’t like. We told them it was OK to not like it, but we shouldn’t be rude about it. They did great! If the food was too spicy we didn’t make them try it, but everything else we made them try. Both kids found new foods that they loved while we were there.

Lillian learned that she likes pineapple from Thailand! She learned that just because you’ve had something before and you didn’t like it, you should try it again, just in case. Before our trip I made her taste pineapple. She didn’t like it. When we were in Thailand I asked her to try the pineapple in Thailand. At first she didn’t want to because she thought she didn’t like pineapple. She tried it and loved it!

Ryan and Lillian both learned they could try new things without throwing a fit about it. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it wasn’t, but they wouldn’t know until they tried it.

Ryan and Lillian both learned that no matter where they go, they can at least find one food they like. I also learned to carry around stuff for a peanut butter and honey sandwich, just in case!

Ryan even said, “Mom, I think I will be OK trying new foods when we get home now.”

Both kids learned that sometimes its OK to make sacrifices for each other and do things for one another. Ryan would let Lillian sit on his lap if they had to sit on the floor around bugs because she was afraid of bugs. Lillian did not want to go to bat caves again, but Ryan loved it so she was OK going for Ryan.

We all learned its OK to be uncomfortable sometimes, and we don’t have to have fun all the time. Thailand is hot, like extremely hot and humid. Sometimes getting out of the car to walk around somewhere outside wasn’t all that enjoyable, but if we had stayed in the car we would have missed out on some really cool things! Its uncomfortable trying new food, but sometimes we find something we love!Its uncomfortable to be so tired you feel like you are going to drop, but its worth it to be able to get to new places. Its uncomfortable being in a country where we don’t know the language, but its amazing seeing new things! Its uncomfortable having people want a picture with you when you just want to leave, but its great seeing how happy you made them. Its uncomfortable having people touch you and talk to you, but its fun interacting with new people! Of course we were sure to tell the kids if they felt overwhelmed by all the people, they should tell us, and dad could say thanks, but its time to go. There is a difference of just being done, and just being uncomfortable. We also made sure the kids had plenty of down time with air conditioning so they could recoup, down time is important for everyone!

I hope the kids learned that things can be hard, not fun, and uncomfortable, but if they push through it is almost always worth it in the end.

We learned that we can do hard things, and when we do, the result is worth it! Its hard walking up hill for a mile in the heat, but getting to a waterfall and swimming in its pool is amazing. Its hard walking up 611 uneven steps, but the cave at the top is incredible! Its hard hiking up steps and smelling bat poop, but seeing and hearing millions of bats is memorizing! Its hard walking up and down mountains, but interacting with elephants is so fun! Driving around and walking in the heat is hard, but getting an ice cream at the end of the day is so refreshing. We are strong and we can do hard things, and when we do, the pay off is worth it!

Chris and I learned to be flexible. It wasn’t just our trip, it was the kids trip too. If the kids needed to leave a little sooner than we would like, we should leave. If the kids needed a break from Thai food and needed American food, we could go to McDonalds (we didn’t have to eat there though.) If the kids wanted to do the bamboo rafts again, then we could do the bamboo rafts again. Of course they didn’t control the trip and they had to do some things they didn’t want to do, but Chris and I could be flexible.

I learned that Chris and I travel very similarly. We work great together when we are traveling, and we have fun together. We made a great team and even though we had the kids with us on this trip, we were able to connect and have a lot of fun together!

We learned that kids loved the game would you rather and it would distract them when they were feeling uncomfortable and tired. It could save almost every situation.

We learned long plane rides are bad, but security is worse.

We learned that its rough traveling through security with so many devices, but its easier when we keep all electronics in one back pack and Chris is in charge of that.

We learned it was worth it to rent a car, especially with the kids. It was great having a place for all our stuff. It was great having a place that had air conditioning that we could come to and take a break. It was a great way to see the country!

We learned Google maps is great for finding things to do and finding hotels and works great in Thailand. We found everything we did on google maps, we found all but two of our hotels on google maps. It helped us navigate everywhere we went. Google maps was a lifesaver this trip!

We learned Google translate is awesome. Chris can speak Thai, but he hasn’t spoken Thai in 9 years. There were just a few words he didn’t know and he could look them up. (Like bat, and pillow). There were some signs that Chris didn’t know what they meant so he could read the sign into google translate and it would tell him what the sign said. (Like a forest fire came through this forest hundreds of years ago.) It was a great way for Chris to build up his vocabulary. We also used google translate in China to talk to the hotel staff.

I learned that taking my kids to a foreign country was partially for them, but mostly for me. I wanted them to experience new foods, new people, new things. I wanted them to grow closer together having this shared experience. I wanted them to be uncomfortable and be respectful. But I did this for me. I wanted to see my kids in these situations. I wanted to teach them, laugh with them, and bond with them. I wanted these memories for me. My kids may or may not remember this trip, but I will. I will remember seeing Lillian sit on Ryan’s lap. I will remember Ryan laughing with other kids. I will remember those other kids calling his name across a pool. I will remember Lillian have water fights with new friends. I will remember their patience as other people touched their hair, and hugged them. I will remember Chris teaching the kids some words to say in Thai. Or Chris helping the kids wai people. I will remember their laughter as they jumped off a bamboo raft into a lake. I will remember their awe at seeing and feeding elephants. I will remember their hot sweaty bodies as they hiked around a national park in Thailand. My kids may not remember, but I will. This trip was for the kids, but mostly it was for me and as a mom these moments with my family are priceless!

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