Photo courtesy of Michael Kleinberg
Have you been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt? Looking for the next best place to take your family? How about Mongolia? It may not be as familiar, but it’s exactly what your family is seeking. In today’s rush-rush world, family travel is about getting away from the soccer practices and spelling tests and making memories that you’ll have for a lifetime.
Here are the top reasons why your next family vacation should be in Mongolia.
1. Digital Detox
Have you packed the suitcases, brought the dog to the kennel, and paid a hefty fee only to stretch out by the pool, glance over, and see your kids glued to their screens just like they are at home? We feel your pain. Mongolia is blessedly free of these digital distractions. No pings from texts. No cat videos. No Snapchat. Just eye contact and conversation. Remember those?
2. Roam Free!
Parents, we know you’ve relayed the memory of your rugged childhood spent riding bikes from sunrise to sunset and building forts in the woods, and we know you’ve started at least one sentence with “Kids today don’t do the things we used to do.” All kidding aside, many parents are indeed concerned that letting their kids roam will spell doom. In Mongolia, kids and their parents learn field training. You’ll amass a lifetime’s worth of knowledge of wildlife and culture in a week or two. The vast expanse of land in Mongolia is one giant playground.
3. Citizens of the World
Most parents want to instill a respect for others in their children but the challenge is how to do it most effectively. We say jump right in, since most kids don’t like sitting on the sidelines. Kids like jumping right in (just ask any rain puddle). Immerse them in another culture. Have them sample local foods and learn traditional games. Let them see that the ankle bone game may be an ancient Mongolian tradition but is an awful lot like jacks. Let them interact with children who are similar ages but wear different clothes and live in a different type of house. Trust us – nothing taught in the classroom will match this real-world lesson.
Bugina Dorjgotov is an expedition leader with Nomadic Expeditions who often leads families on their adventures in Mongolia. Some of her favorite ways to share Mongolian culture with families include arranging cooking classes to learn how to make native dishes, painting classes, digging for fossils in the Gobi Desert, archery demonstrations, and music lessons. “Kids are usually so flexible and fun-loving and they want to try different things. All of these activities teach them something about our culture, history, or people, but they don’t think they’re getting a lesson. They just know they are having fun.”