Shaping a Broad Worldview

When I was four – just about a year older than Bea – my parents packed us up and moved to Germany for two years. I’ve always admired them for this move and I recognize how significantly it shaped my worldview. Living abroad, doing daily life, travel – this all played key roles in how I chose to spend my money, look at colleges, and read the newspaper.

Sledding behind our house
Sledding behind our house

Now, as a mom of almost two, I appreciate this even more. We moved six miles across town and it was exhausting. (In many ways, it still is.) I cannot imagine how tough it was moving and getting settled across the world, especially without email, Skype, even cheap phone calls.

The majority of our time in Germany was normal – I went to kindergarten, my dad went to work, my mom stayed home with my brother. But it wasn’t at all normal. My mom had to navigate grocery shopping with a toddler in an area where the idea of one-stop shopping was non-existant. They brought us on trips across Europe, but it was a far cry of hopping on a train with a backpack for a weekend. Toys, comfort items, nap times all had to be considered.

Frank and I have talked about shaping a broad global view for our daughters. How do we intentionally bring global awareness to our home? Part of me wants to emulate my parents – let’s just pack up and move somewhere for a few years! And part of me is so hesitant. When I did that in college, I had the luxury of only caring for myself. (At times, that seemed awful, but in reality, the ability to only focus on myself is nothing compared to dependent children.)

I hope that if opportunities arise, Frank and I show the courage that my parents did, to put comfort and security aside and expose our kids to the adventures the world has to offer.

How did your parents shape your worldview?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.

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12 thoughts on “Shaping a Broad Worldview

  1. Nice story! Having spent a bit of time in Germany, I can relate to some of the peculiarities of life there. One stop shopping? Ha!

    It was not my parents who shaped my worldview, and for that I am grateful. It was shaped by an Orthodox jewish couple that adopted me in spirit, and tried to adopt me legally.

    They let me see kindness, and faith, and tradition, and there is a mezuzah on my doorframe, in their honor.

    And in mine.

  2. Yes, I have often wished I could take my children abroad for a significant amount of time, not as tourists, but as students, friends, and family.

    I lived as an exchange student in Chile many years ago, and the greatest thing that happened was how it gave me a broader worldview. It changed me. Your parents sound like very interesting people – bold and courageous!

    1. Oh wow! I’m sure Chile was amazing. There is something so life-changing about moving beyond the visitor/tourist and into the deeper culture. Perhaps one day!

  3. We didn’t travel the world. I do remember the road trips and vacations we took. My dad would often stop at tourist stops. He had a way of finding the most off the wall sites. My family also told us a lot about our heritage. As I’ve grown up, I have begun to travel more and experience new places. I love it!! Visiting from FMF (I’m #8).

  4. I often think about how parents shape their children’s worldview. My mom married and divorced four times so marriage was a scary thing. God has proven me wrong in this area and remains faithful in my marriage. Wonderful post!

  5. Thank you for this! Currently living abroad (short-term) with our 15-month-old, but considering make it more of a long-term investment. Hefty decisions!

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