Virtuoso Life - July/August 2017 - 86
THE GOAL OF PARENTING,
I once read, is to raise kids who
are awesome, adventurous,
and ready to change the world.
I fell in love with that idealized
approach the moment I saw
it. Over the years, our family
of four has taken a variety of
vacations that have combined
exploration, relaxation, and
education. My husband and I
strive to create positive, authentic interactions with cultures different from our own
for our two daughters, while
sprinkling in age-appropriate
challenges that can be unfamiliar or even uncomfortable -
things like navigating complex
subway systems, sampling
mysterious market-stall fare,
or dealing with bucket-andladle sanitation setups. All
while having fun, of course.
V I RT U O S O L I F E
Last fall, we set our sights on
China. We carved time out of
our work and school schedules
and began to plan the type of
trip we believed built better
kids - or, in our case, less annoying teenagers.
After three evenings of Internet surfing, we cried uncle.
The sheer volume of tour companies and travel advice was
overwhelming, and we weren't
sure which Google search results to trust. We could get our
family there; we just couldn't
decide on the details. And the
details are often what makes
(or breaks) a family vacation.
When my husband suggested
signing up for a group bus tour,
I knew it was time to call in
I prepped our wish list. Topping it were China's big three:
1. Yunhui Yuyu Arch at Beijing's Summer Palace.
2. The city's 798 Art District. 3. A lunch of noodles
and garlic shoots.
4. Sunset over Houhai
lake. 5. Hand-painted bottle art. 6. Friendly faces at
Beijing's Forbidden City.
7. Xi'an's Terracotta
Warriors. 8. Memories of