Luca Olesya Lim is only three and already she has visited 15 countries, including exotic locations such as Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan and Mauritius. She’s already exploring the world, expanding her horizons and making new friends – all of which are excellent ways to build a resilient child.
As Luca grows up watching her parents’ example, she will learn that the world is full of opportunities and challenges. And it’s up to her to seize both with open arms if she’s to lead a successful life.
Her parents, Josen Lim and Umei Teh are popular food and travel bloggers, at ccfoodtravel.com, which explains why they are always on the go. But why did the duo choose to bring Luca on all their adventures?
Vacations are more than just opportunities to bond and relax as a family. They’re also a way to form essential life skills in your children. Can’t find their favourite snack at a foreign grocery store? Your children will need to Adapt. Want to play with new kids at the resort pool? Your children will need to be Daring enough to reach out. Together with the other pillars of resilience – Perseverance, Self-Reliance and Resourcefulness – vacations offer children and parents the best opportunity to build Resilience.
According to Umei, it was a natural decision to bring her along because the pair work from home and Luca was single-handedly raised by both of them with little help. So it made sense that when they travel, she would come along.Today, when little Luca sees her mother packing for yet another trip, she knows that it is time to go for another adventure.
“Travelling with a child is very fun as Luca gets to experience the world. Since she became a part of our family, we knew we were going to integrate her into our travel and blog,” Umei shares.
What it is like to travel with a young child
Before they had Luca, Umei and Jo would take part in a lot of extreme sports, high-risk activities and be out from early morning till late night. After that, they would still have the energy to go and party.
But once Luca was born, they needed to adapt to her lifestyle – that meant a later start to the day, a leisurely breakfast and days packed with child-friendly activities.
Umei believes that starting Luca off early as a traveller is a good idea because it builds Resilience, which consists of five pillars: Self-Reliance, Adaptability, Perseverance, Resourcefulness and Daringness.
“There’s a certain willpower that comes with travelling. Luca is exposed to many different cultures and she meets people across these different cultures. We find that the more varied the culture, the more she learns.
She picks up little knowledge nuggets without knowing it. Travelling really is the best teacher,” Umei explains.
“For instance, when we were in Yangon, people would approach her and speak to her in their native language. Then they would take the thanaka (yellow powdered sunscreen) and rub it on her face. After that, she knows what it’s for and she brings it over to me and rubs it on my face in the same way,” she elaborates.
This is something that cannot be learned if a child is not exposed to world experiences that come with travelling.
Through travelling, Umei can see resilience blooming in Luca’s growth. Especially in her adaptability, and daringness. In terms of self-reliance, Umei says at Luca’s age, she’s on her way there, but still needs some ways to go.
Umei cites their time in Mauritius when Luca was drawn to the whole sega dance, which is deeply rooted in Mauritian culture.
Throughout her travels, Luca has learnt to be daring enough to welcome new experiences. So she would just go up and touch the tambourine and drums of the musicians. She made friends with all the Mauritians, taking pictures with them and adapting to the language barrier. If she wanted to show them something, she would take them by the hand and drag them with her to ensure she got her message across, proof of how resourceful she could be when facing an obstacle such as different languages.
She also took the time differences when travelling in stride. Though jetlag would get to her, she would adapt to on-the-go short naps to regain her energy and continue on her travel adventures.
What effects travel has on a child
One of the key things that happens when a child travels is that the learning parts of the brain are fired up. “Of course, we don’t know the exact outcome will be for her later in life, but I read that kids who travel are less likely to drop out of school and will pursue a college education,” Umei says.
Besides that, children learn important lessons when travelling such as how to be polite, how to say hello and thank you in various languages. This is Adaptability in action – the ability to respond suitably in different environments. In Luca’s case, she has also learned some “sign language” like the gesture for thank you in Thailand (hands put together and bowing).
“I also believe that through travel, Luca is not afraid of new adventures, attesting to how daring she is,” Umei adds. She is already quite the extrovert, but travelling brings out another level of that – it brings about a sense of curiosity too.
When Luca was younger, she didn’t know what getting on a plane meant. But now, she knows when she gets on a plane, she will wake up somewhere far from home. To date, Luca has sat in an impressive range of vehicles including a car, bus, train, plane, boat and even a submarine!
The most impressive thing in terms of raising a resilient child through travel, according to Umei, is the fact that Luca totally stopped wearing diapers at only two. Because of travelling, Luca has to adapt to the on-the-go lifestyle and has learned to communicate her needs, thus overcoming the challenge of potty training at a very young age.
Through her experience, she knows that travelling with kids comes with more advantages than disadvantages. It has helped her raise a child who is resilient in every way. And remember, no one will ever have the perfect trip. And that’s a good thing. Imperfection is exactly what makes it so valuable to children because resilience can only be built in challenging situations.
But the foundation that allows little Luca to absorb and retain all of life’s crucial lessons comes from strengthening her immunity. Without a healthy body and a sound mind that’s able to reject illness, Luca won’t be able to enjoy these exciting trips. In fact, even her parents won’t be able to travel fear of worsening her condition.
Thankfully AptaGro™ is a global brand that’s readily available in major stores globally. This means the patented combination of prebiotics and probiotic that has made AptaGro™ the number 1* company in formula milk for children in Europe** is always within reach.
The moral of the story? Boost your child’s immunity and take them out to experience the world. Children who travel have wider perspectives on life, a love for adventure and a desire to make the world a better place. These are the qualities that will serve them well in the future.
*Danone Dumex is part of Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition
**Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition calculation based in part on information reported by Nielsen through its Scan Track, MarketTrack and Retail Index Services for the Children nutrition milk formula for children aged between 12 and 36 months segment (client defined) in the Children nutrition milk formula category (client defined) for the 52-week period December 2017, for the total grocery channel in Belgium, Czech, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, and Switzerland. (Copyright © 2017 The Nielsen Company.)