I want to share some experiences raising and traveling with my trilingual son because he just turned 7, and I am very proud about this little wise and sensitive kid.
Since he was 3 weeks old, he has been traveling with me. When he was born I was a documentary filmmaker in New York and had to travel a lot. My, then husband, also spoke the same three languages as I did: English, German and Spanish. We never cared to systematically teach him all languages, we just kept doing what we did before he was born: use all 3 languages indistinctively and travel for work. By the time he was 1 1/2 he had started a solid diet in Peru and was self-potty trained in Korea while we were knocked out in a hotel after a 23 hours flight. He was a door opener and an eye opener wherever we went.
When he was 3 we moved to Mexico and I enrolled him at the Swiss School where the teaching language is German. Then his father left and I had to reinvent myself to keep up with our then defined goal of raising him multilingual. As a result, I changed profession and became a tour guide which allowed me to spend the summers in Germany. My job in Germany entails traveling to Iceland and to Tanzania with groups of german tourists. While I didn’t deliberately pick Iceland for him, I did pick Tanzania because he loves animals and needs to get exposed to other ways of life.
Throughout the time that I have had the joy of being his mother I have starved myself to pay tuition and keep him in an international school. Nevertheless, the mere language skills haven’t raised his awareness and cultural sensibility, his antropological curiosities are fed by travel experiences. In his eyes, Africa is just around the corner, his German friends are only one click away and everything he doesn’t know is just a good reason to continue exploring.
Sadly, his father does not seem to value multicultural exposure anymore. In any case, I have decided to continue fosterinng his anthropological curiosity and sensibility and just recently lauched a project for families like ours to travel together. Check it out and probably you also have ideas that help multicultural kids meet and travel together.
Mother of 7 year old son
languages: german, spanish and english