I absolutely love traveling. One of the best things about jumping into a foreign place is learning from a different culture and noticing how other people around the globe carry on about their daily lives. Among my favorite places: the laissez faire attitude and siestas of Spain, the emphasis on simplicity and quality in France (and fabulous French islands), and family friendly atmospheres found all around Latin America. On our recent trip to Mexico I watched with a smile as moms drank wine in open air lounges and strolled down the main street pushing their babies in little buggies.
As I was perusing baby name books at the library I stumbled across this title:
I found it utterly fascinating and couldn’t put it down for two days. Mei-Ling starts in Argentina where she writes that parents care more about letting their little ones enjoy time with family and friends than sticking to a rigid bedtime. Bring on the Malbec and dulce de leche! In France toddlers help grow veggies and participate in picking out fresh produce at the market so that they’re accustomed to greens at an early age. Kenyan mom skip the stroller since they’re expensive, plus they believe babies are happier strapped to mom’s back. Many people around the world think it’s a little mean to leave the baby alone in a room to sleep instead of surrounded by family. And as for the eskimos? They keep their babies warm with skin-to-skin contact on mommy’s back before covering up with furs.
Which cultures do you admire? What lessons have you learned from traveling?