Turning Into A Child Helps Me Travel Better

“So, where are you from?” Most conversations with fellow travellers and locals begin with this question and the rest of the conversation is usually the same.

These conversations are too cliché for me. But for most people, this is just a regular thing. They aren’t going to remember everything we talk about. They are just being nice to me, I know, but I try to avoid such usual conversations for two reasons.

First: I am an introvert and I prefer to talk to very few people. Second: Conversations that don’t lead anywhere are not my cup of tea. I would rather have a long, meaningful conversation with some stranger.

Incidentally, one such conversation just took place recently in Bangkok, Thailand.

“What is your travel style?” A friend asked me this question. “Um, nothing special. I kind of mix things up. I get to experience a little bit of everything this way.”

If this was a regular short talk, it would have been ended by now. But this conversation continued.

“Right, but there must be something unique about the way you think while travelling, right?”

“Well, yes. I turn into a child while traveling.” “Hmm, interesting. And.. how exactly do you do that?”

The person was genuinely interested in knowing about my travels, I could figure. So I gave him a detailed answer. The answer led me to the topic of this article: “How seeing the world through the eyes of a child helps me travel better?” This article sheds some light on how I travel.

Children Are Always Curious

I started travelling just a month after my brother and his wife had their baby. Since the moment he opened his eyes, this little guy was curious to know about the world around him.

That’s the thing with children. They see things differently. They are always curious, always wanting to explore and experiment. The tiny and curious brain of theirs leads them to do things which we – as adults – will not bother doing.

Children In A Small House in a Nepali Village
Children In A Small House in a Nepali Village

As they grow up and start speaking, they always have a bunch of questions to ask. They always want to learn more. Ask them not to do something, and that will the first thing their little brain will persuade them to do.

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

While travelling, my brain and heart are blank, like of a child. This helps me explore with more curiosity and I always end up wanting more.

I ask questions and observe a lot. I learn so much by doing this. People appreciate it when I am interested in learning more about things like their culture, food, or simply about their day-to-day lives. This way, I get accepted by people more than those who visit a place, take a few photos and return.

Children Don’t Judge

I believe children are humans in their purest form. They don’t judge people. They treat everyone the same, accept things and people as they are.

Just lend a finger to a baby and see your finger slowly disappear in that tiny hand – regardless of your relationship with the baby.

A Young Girl in Tansen, Nepal
A Young Girl in Tansen, Nepal

Now think of us. As grown-ups, an eye contact or a smile from a stranger lands so many questions and speculations in our mind. “Why did he just smile at me? I don’t even know him?”

Children don’t have an agenda or a propaganda. Their mind is like a blank slate. They don’t hold a grudge towards anyone. Everyone is a potential friend for them. All you receive from children is pure love as they don’t have any idea about hate. Hatred is simply not a part of their nature.

Kids speak the language of smile. They don’t need to speak or listen to anything to communicate. Even though they don’t understand a single word you say, they still ‘get you.’ Smile at a baby and it will smile back at you.

As we grow up, what we see, hear, and experience affects the way we think and react to certain events. It’s easy – as an adult – to judge. What becomes hard – is not to judge.

“One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.”

When I’m travelling, I make sure not to judge anyone and to keep my heart open to everyone I meet – just like a child. I try to treat everyone with the same respect. Thanks to this, I am able to accept people as they are.

I don’t have an agenda or a propaganda. I don’t side with people or their fundamentals. This makes me acceptable by everyone – regardless of their views.

Children See the World Differently

These little humans don’t care about the ‘rules’ of the society and don’t make life complicated. They will eat, poop, cry, and sleep when they want, not when we want. They are clear about what they want and when.

Think about ourselves. How many things do we have to take care of just to ‘fit’ in the society? “You’re wearing this dress at the party?”

A Young Boy in Bardia Village, Nepal
A Young Boy in Bardia Village, Nepal

Children don’t fear anything. They will fall from the bed and cry for a while, but the very next moment you will see them back with all their energy.

As we grow up, fear becomes the part of our nature. It takes over every other feeling we have. “I want to tell her that I love her, but I fear it will end our friendship.” “My job sucks. I have another offer, but I fear what if that job isn’t that good?” “I love this dress, but I think my boyfriend will not like it.”

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”

Children don’t have past and they don’t have to worry about the future. They live in the present and get the best out of it. As adults, we have to worry about our present, future and our past, of course.

Seeing the world through a child’s eye helps me see things differently. Every challenge becomes fun very easily. Instead of saying “I can’t do it,” I always ask my self – “why not?”

Children Returning from School in Pokhara, Nepal
Children Returning from School in Pokhara, Nepal Pose for a Photo

When travelling, I don’t care about my past or future. I forget what I used to be and don’t worry about what I will become. I don’t think about what happened in past and don’t worry about what will happen.

Just like a child lives in the moment, I live and travel in the same moment – enjoying it. Because I know that moment is never coming back. I might never get another chance to visit the same place and meet those lovely people. Why spoil the moment thinking about things that aren’t in my control?

Turning Into A Child While Travelling: Summary

Children are amazing, aren’t they? I don’t know how many times I look at my nephew and think “Don’t ever grow up, little one.” He looks at me and smiles – as if he understands me.

Every one of us was a child once. We have grown and reached different stages of our lives. But we all have been to a stage when we didn’t judge anyone, we were curious, we were fearless. This stage was called ‘childhood.’

“Adults are just outdated children.”

Now that we have grown up, we are racing to stay ahead of others. We think about the society more and fear that if we don’t live our lives at a certain ‘standard,’ we won’t be accepted in a certain ‘class’ of the society. Our curiosity is lost, we fear more. We slowly get used to in our robotic lives and that goes on forever.

Not me, not yet, at least. I believe that I don’t have to worry about what others think of me. I am just a child and I think like one – especially while travelling. This helps me to explore new places, meet with amazing people, and travel better.

If you think life is hard, then think like a child. Observe children around you and try to think of yourself when you too, were a child – a young, fearless, curious child.

Two Young Friends in Bardia Village, Nepal
Two Young Friends in Bardia Village, Nepal

I know this sounds too unrealistic. The reality is worse than we think, I know. But just try it once. You don’t need to travel – or step out of your home, even – to experience how thinking like a child can change the way you see your life and face your problems.

See the world as a child’s eye. Try it, just once. All of us adults are just grown-up children, after all.

Have you tried viewing the world through children’s eyes? What do you think? Can thinking like a child really help? I would love to know your thoughts.

What do you think about this article? Please share your feedback.

That will be all, folks. This was Parvez and you were reading Seeing the World Through A Child’s Eyes Helps Me Travel Better on Parvezish. Thank you very much for reading.

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