We can learn a lot by following our noses for a day or two.

Multi-day trips

Going away even for two days (one night sleepover) to a nearby city, or camping is a fantasic way to gain firsthand experience about a surprisingly wide variety of "stuff". Trips are not solely about going to see a landmark or visiting people. Trips are about connecting with the world and finding random bits and pieces of interesting places, people and activities that we would never find close to home during our daily routines.

Every time we've taken a trip we've had an amazing time. I plan the trips so that days aren't too busy and there is plenty of time to explore whatever we find interesting. I also plan the trips to be somewhat inconvenient because inconvenience creates far more opportunity to think and problem solve than perfectly scheduled, overplanned and smooth outings. By inconvenient I mean taking the train vs. driving or not using a map / phone to find a place for example. These little things force interaction with all sorts of people and it is this interaction and a sense of accomplishment that make a great adventure.

There are opportunities to talk about / practice:

  • Talking to people (receptionist, waitress, people at the bus stop, etc)
  • Charity / compassion (donate to homless people, talk about what else we can do)
  • Money (here is $40, make a budget for the day - meals, tickets, gifts, etc)
  • Leadership (today you plan where we're going and how we get there)
  • Finding your way around (using map, asking for directions, using transit, safety)
  • Visiting workplace (what do your parents do all day? what is this place called the 'office'?)
  • Deal with unexpected situations (subway closed, train cancelled, thunderstorm, etc)

ps: not having a DVD played in the van is great, great, great! We can talk. About anything. We often discuss complex topics in the van. Or random bits of info. There is a captive audience who doesn't have other distractions - they will listen if we speak their language.