How to Take Your Kids on an Adventure

By Chanel Dror

Emily Meyer is one inspirational lady, and it’s not just for the obvious reasons. Sure, she co-founded Tea Collection — an award-winning children’s clothing line that’s inspired by global cultures and modern design (and is ethically sourced!). And yeah, she’s a wife and mother to two adorable kids — Clement (age 6) and Georgia (age 4). But what really inspires me about Emily is her contagious, adventurous spirit. While most of us just fantasize about traveling to far away lands, Emily makes the trips… and most recently, she and her husband brought the kids along.

The notion is simple: practice what you preach. And since Tea Collection is all about being a global citizen, Emily and her family journeyed through India on a mission to make the foreign familiar, and we couldn’t be more glad there were cameras along for the ride. Think you could never take your kids on an international trip? Think again. Emily joins us today to share her trip itinerary, and lessons learned from the adventure…

When we talk about family vacations, most of us think of nearby beach trips and visiting relatives. Why travel with kids to a new and “adventurous” location?

Tea works to inspire global connection and curiosity. My grandmother taught me that travel is the best education. And growing up, my mother, a foreign language teacher, shared her own passion for travel. As soon as I began to see the world on my own, I discovered that no matter where we come from, we are all alike. We have much more in common than we think.

At ages 4 and 6, my husband Hilton and I thought it was time we shared our passion for discovery with them. The fact that Tea designers had traveled to Jaipur for design inspiration, and had ideas of places to go, see & do, made things a little less scary for our family.

The Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing is a ten-minute walk from the Amber Fort. This “little gem” of a museum houses a gorgeous collection of hand-printed textiles. On the roof of Anokhi, there is a magical room beneath the open sky where you sit and watch a piece of wood transform before your eyes. We sat mesmerized while the children patiently waited to see what the final result would be.

Later, we tried our hand with printing. Clement and Georgia love to get creative. The intensity of their concentration as they inked woodblocks and stamped their very own designs onto scarves and shirts was a joy to watch.

pictured: Seafarer Striped Hoodie layered under Sampa Graphic TeeMahubala Mighty Mini Dress

Georgia took her yoga session with Dinesh Ji very seriously, trying so hard to achieve each pose he presented.

pictured: Pineapple Graphic TeeKala Striped Capri Leggings, Denim Look Play Shorts and Bhopal Headwrap

The hardest pose? Probably the Gomukhasana or “cow face pose.” Really – give it a try!

Tell us about your experience at The Farm in Jaipur.

While staying at The Farm, you aren’t just a guest; you are a part of a family. Proprietors Surya and Ritu Singh, along with their 8-year-old son Vihaan, invite visitors to share their lives for a few days. The entire atmosphere of The Farm is much like the Singh’s themselves: warm, welcoming and immediately familiar. When Vihaan leaves for school after breakfast, he says goodbye not only to his parents, but to all of us as well!

Home-cooked meals at The Farm were incredible! Always served family-style in a comfortable outdoor space that Ritu refers to as “our living room.”

pictured: Bandana Mighty Mini Dress, Everbloom Tassel Bead Necklace and Peppercorn Kids Coin Necklace

My favorite meal was breakfast, fresh fruit was served each morning along with a traditional Indian dish. I loved the besan toast, but the masala omelette was a close second!

What was one major thing you learned from the trip?

This trip to India truly solidified the idea that exploring the world is most exciting when you do it with the people you love. Everything is new and strange, but you experience and learn about it together. The conversations become a little deeper… you’re forced to answer difficult questions, ones that the children wouldn’t normally have the opportunity (or even think!) to ask.

pictured: Holi Cow Graphic Tee and Canvas Patch Pocket Pull-on Shorts

I had plenty of fears before this trip, but you quickly realize it all works out. Even when so far away from home the smallest things stay the same… like when Georgia trips and skins her knee, she feels a hurt that can only be mended with a long hug and a colorful bandaid.

pictured: Happy Lotus Graphic TeeSohana Pocket Skirt and Native Jefferson Shoes

The temple, a small white building, sits alone near the back of the Singh’s property, its symmetrical sikhara (spire) rising above the treetops. Each day at dawn and dusk a holy man named Kishore bangs on a gong and anyone – family, staff or guest – is welcome to go for a blessing.

What was the most unforgettable moment from the trip?

Clement and Georgia were timid about the family’s temple at first. At sunrise and sunset Kishore chanted Sanskrit mantras, rang the gong and lit incense; this was all very new to them. On the afternoon on our last day, Georgia and I were heading toward our room for a relaxing bath before dinner. Halfway there, the gong sounded and we looked at each other, realizing this was our last chance for blessings...

pictured: Damyanti Embroidered Sundress; Abhay Plaid Shirt, Diamond Fields Tank and Canvas Cargo Shorts

…We took off! We raced across the meadow to the enchanting echoes throughout the grounds. Georgia exclaimed, “We have to run! Hurry, Mama! Don’t get tired! We can’t miss it!” Something that was so foreign to her, had become something beloved and quickly familiar.

Tell us about painting the elephants!

While elephants are indeed gentle giants, it’s hard to get over just how giant they really are… the kids were very timid at first. Georgia was captivated and when she was told she could use brightly colored paints to decorate the trunk of a 29-year-old Asian elephant named Lexmi, she was eager to try.

pictured: Dharini Henley Dress and Kala Striped Capri Leggings

Soon after, Clement overcame his fear and joined in – he was so proud!

What are some of the challenges you encountered when planning and getting to your location?

While you can precisely plan and schedule your adventures abroad, the reality is that children have the most fun when you’re not on a schedule. We made one big excursion per day – we visited India Gate Monument Park and the children’s playground, a night market, and the craft museum in New Delhi. There can be so much stimulation out in the city, that resting and real connection time at a comfortable place to stay is crucial to enjoying the whole experience. It’s magical to take it all in slowly, so you see the world through their eyes – they are learning and learning to love travel.

Applying for the travel visa was so easy for the kids, the process was totally smooth. However, it was brutal for my mother and myself with lots of complications! When in doubt, apply for a travel visa in person.

pictured: Little Citizen Tee in Blue and Grey

What are your top 3 tips for traveling with kids:

1. Don’t forget their Lovies! Clement’s stuffed turtle traveled everywhere he did in India. The comfort of something familiar in such a foreign place helped him navigate through each new adventure.
2. Never underestimate pool time. The independence and freedom of the water was so helpful in relaxing from weary-body jet lag and new world overload. We were in northern India the last few warm weather days – we definitely looked like foreigners in the pool!
3. Pack culturally-connected content. We loved reading Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth and The Little Book of Hindu Dieties as our bedtime or just chill-time reading. It helped us all connect with the rich religious stories and beliefs of Indian culture.

pictured: Priyanka Halter One Piece

Thanks so much for the inspiration, Emily! We’re already planning our next vacation…

pictured: Koi Pond Board Shorts