I think seeing the world, especially as a child, really expands your mind. I have no studies that back this up but I am pretty sure that the longer you stay in an ultra-clean, ultra-modern, ultra-organized, ultra-english speaking world, the more closed your mind becomes to all the possibilities that exist. I had a friend who once said that he felt absolutely no need to travel anywhere outside of the USA. Mexico at the most, but at one of those all-inclusive resorts where everyone else is American and you get to eat hamburgers. Seriously.
You may not think that children learn anything when they travel to new places, but they do. More than learning, I think it shifts their mind and makes them realize there is more out there than just their familiar neighbourhood and friends.
When my sister and I were little, my Dad left for England, to continue his studies. My mom, sister and I followed after a few months. This kind of uprooting and moving was not uncommon to us, my dad was in the army and we had moved a lot in the first 6-7 years of my life. I am pretty sure this is the reason both my sister and I make new friends so easily.. we have been doing it all our lives.
England was a bit of a culture shock, having moved from India. We moved on Christmas Day, so it was quite magical to see snow, hear the cockney accent of the baggage handler, and see my first gumball machine (strange the things you remember!). Soon we were enrolled in school in a town called Birkenhead and we were happy as larks. I don’t really remember missing friends or family from India. We just busied ourselves with our new lives.
I do remember feeling sad when we moved back to India in 6th grade (my parents put us in boarding school.. a story for another day). I missed Ms. Hunnisett (my teacher) and wrote letters to my friends in Croydon. But, as children do, we soon adjusted to our new life at the boarding school and made friends and had a (mostly) wonderful time.
For my own kids, my dream is to travel all over the world with them. How wonderful would it be to take my camera, pack up the kids (and the husband.. but sadly he has to do this silly thing called Work), and just go. So I am putting it out there Universe, this photographer is willing to travel with her kids. Perhaps there are families who will put us up (i am so averse to hotels ..ugh!). I will photograph your family in exchange. I feel London calling. :)