Travel with a Toddler: SF to Viet Nam

Some people think that I'm brave and a little crazy to take Kai abroad.

It’s not cheap and some the of lessons learned are hard. Last month we spent 12 days in Hoi An, Viet Nam. A small town in the central part of Viet Nam that is extremely hot and humid. In this developing town, air conditioning can only be found in hotel rooms and open space for kids is hard to find.

 I took Kai to Viet Nam to meet his great grandfather before he passes on to his next life. On the day that we arrived to Hoi An after 20+ hours of travel, Kai started to bawl and repeated “I want to go home”. For a two year old, he was expressing some serious homesickness. Two days after our arrival, Kai developed bronchitis. I was dizzy with guilt and worry while my son was struggling to breathe. Was I crazy to take my young son to a developing nation? J reminded me that Kai is resilient and that no one can prepare for such things. He was right and Kai improved his health enough to enjoy bike and boat rides along the river.

It turned out Kai was scared of my grandfather’s white hair and wrinkled skin. Kai covered his eyes during the first visit and repeated “scary, scary”. My grandfather laughed and played along. He peeked at Kai from afar and enjoyed watching Kai feed the goldfish.

Some people say there’s no point in traveling far with a young child because they don’t remember anything. I say that children live in the moment and create memories for those around them during trips abroad. In this case, some of the moments were hard for Kai but these same moments were the happiest for his great grandfather.

Kai took the photo of his great grandfather


Anonymous said...

Sato Travel-very lovely and all post are very good

Ly and Dzung said...

i see a lot of wisdom and courage in your decision to bring kai to the land of his roots and blood ancestors. his roots are deep in him, and an experience like this helps to awaken that. regardless of whether or not he consciously "remembers" it.

and, i agree with jim, that kai is resilient and that you cannot prepare and/or prevent everything, nor would it necessarily be best for kai to do so.