1. Kids are naturally curious.
In general, us kids have a way different way of looking at things than adults. Thank God. For example, if we hear there is a poisonous snake in the area we are traveling in, we will want to see pictures of the snake, we will ask what it likes to eat, we want to know how long its poison takes to kill someone, etc. This is awesome stuff to learn!
As for many adults, they’d probably get freaked out and never leave their hotel room the entire time, and then go back home and tell the world how ‘dangerous’ that destination was.
2. Kids don’t need to plan every freaking step of the way.
When adults go on a trip, they usually have it all planned out months ahead of time, down to what hostel they’ll be staying at in a couple of weeks, what every Trip Advisor review in the area says, and where Lonely Planet thinks they should eat.
But a kid would just be like “Well, I know we’ll be in Uruguay for about a month and I know that I really want to go to the beach. So, let’s land, head to the beach, and if we like a certain town, we stay, if we don’t, we move on. If there are waves, we surf, if there aren’t, we go get ice cream. All is good in the world, we are on vacation in Uruguay!” I’m not being naïve here – from experience, it really can be that simple if you let it.
3. Kids are spontaneous.
I’m not saying adults can’t be but, seriously, it often comes with planning, like: “I am going to try and be spontaneous today.” Still better than nothing, but it’s different than how kids naturally are. Let’s say it’s noon on a gorgeous sunny day, and everybody is bored. A kid might say “Hey, let’s go to the mountain!”, and start packing his or her backpack, throwing whatever food happens to be in the house in the bag.
But many adults would need a few days to prepare all the ‘right’ snacks, wash their sleeping bag, waterproof their boots, etc. On day three when they are finally ready, it’s now raining and then they tell you the trip is cancelled.
4. Kids don’t stress out about the little things.
Adults always seem to worry about at least five things at once, if not more. Let’s say you’re at the airport and the loudspeaker said that all the flights were canceled due to a storm. An adult would most likely get frustrated and say they didn’t feel like having to go back to where they were staying, since they already came all the way to the airport. They would get mad at the airline person at the counter (for real, do you honestly think she controls the weather and personally cancelled the flights just to mess up your day?).
But a kid would probably be happy they got to stay extra time on vacation. And, anyway, it’s weather. Roll with it. ‘You get what you get, and you don’t have a fit’ – do you remember nothing you learned in kindergarten?
5. Kids are much more open to adventure.
So, you are in Peru and you end up in an underground place where there are all these spooky tunnels. First thought I would have is: “Aw, yeah! I’m Indiana Jones! Dun dun dun duh, dun dun duh!”. Too many of you adults would be worried about getting your 200 dollar ‘outdoor adventure’ shirt dirty, and would complain about how the lighting was bad for photos.
Let’s say a cute old grandma with no English told you she wanted to show you a cool place, but you didn’t understand her, so she pointed to a boat and started walking over there, beckoning for you to come. An adult wouldn’t know what to do and probably wouldn’t go. I mean, this is definitely not on the planned itinerary… A kid would think, “Cool! We’re going on a boat!” Maybe she ends up taking you to this secret jungle cove where monkeys live and it’s the best part of the whole trip.
But the adult would never know what they missed out on. And would probably spend the rest of the day posting stupid selfies on Facebook of themselves with a monkey in the local zoo.
6. Kids notice details.
We find you a rock which is obviously in the shape of a heart, and too many of you just see a weird-shaped grey rock that you throw aside. Adults go to Antarctica and see colonies of penguins that they think all look the same – us kids notice the one penguin who is by far the best and the fastest at tummy-sliding into the water. You robotically take us to the Louvre because it’s what the family guidebook told you that good parents do, but years later we still remember the nice lady, Marianne, at the counter who had that funny laugh and who gave us a free postcard of a Monet painting.
7. Kids travel to ‘check in’ to ‘real’ life.
Most adults seem to ‘go on vacation’ to check out of their ‘real’ life.