MASSACHUSETTS, USA: Raising Global Citizens

MASSACHUSETTS, USA: Raising Global Citizens

The author and her daughter on a trip to China

When I was 14, I went on my first international trip…alone.

I flew from Newark, NJ to Athens, Greece. When I landed, there was no one to meet me because the friend I was going to visit was on the Saronic island of Hydra, an hour away by ferry.

On my own and with no knowledge of Greek, I had to locate a taxi from the airport to the harbor, buy a ticket for the Flying Dolphin hyrdrofoil to the islands and then travel out to Hydra, where my friend and her family were waiting for me.

I remember being nervous but also confident that I was capable of handling this on my own. Indeed, I made it to Hydra, where I stayed for three weeks with my French friend, Galaad, and her cosmopolitan parents. It was the trip that launched my love of travel: the adventure, the nuance, the challenge and the excitement.

Now that I am a parent, I marvel at the incredible faith and independence my father  placed in me. As a parent in today’s world of heightened-security, helicopter-parenting and the Big-Brother atmosphere brought on by social media, I suspect the authorities would probably bring me in for questioning if I allotted my own 14 year old the same freedom.

Instead, many of today’s youth surf the web, connecting with “friends” in other parts of the world, learning about cultures through YouTube and becoming armchair tourists. No longer interacting face-to-face but rather screen-to-screen.

Gone are the days when global awareness required getting out into the world and exploring it. Nowadays, you can span the globe from the comfort of a desktop, laptop, iPad or even smartphone. The internet simultaneously has made our world smaller and created more distance between us. (more…)

Kyla P'an (Portugal)

Kyla was born in suburban Philadelphia but spent most of her time growing up in New England. She took her first big, solo-trip at age 14, when she traveled to visit a friend on a small Greek island. Since then, travels have included: three months on the European rails, three years studying and working in Japan, and nine months taking the slow route back from Japan to the US when she was done. In addition to her work as Managing Editor of World Moms Network, Kyla is a freelance writer, copy editor, recovering triathlete and occasional blogger. Until recently, she and her husband resided outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where they were raising two spunky kids, two frisky cats, a snail, a fish and a snake. They now live outside of Lisbon, Portugal with two spunky teens and three frisky cats. You can read more about Kyla’s outlook on the world and parenting on her personal blogs, Growing Muses And Muses Where We Go

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