For many families, exotic vacations to foreign lands are just a dream. The cost of bringing an entire family on an international flight, booking a hotel and then spending money seeing the sights, eating out and visiting attractions wherever you go could cost up to a year’s wages for the average blue-collar worker. Perhaps that’s why we call them ‘once in a lifetime’ vacations. Even so, there are ways you can experience those countries you’d like most to visit with the kids right there from your very own home. Why not have fun with family meals by making one night a week “International Night” at home?
Planning Your International Meals
There are plenty of sites online like Pocket Change Gourmet where you can find easy recipes like Chicken Tortilla Soup which can be your main course for Mexican family night. It’s easier than ever before in our history to find ethnic recipes from all over the world because of this wonderful technology called the Internet. Plan your meals around a theme and from there you can research customs from each country. Perhaps you can learn to say “Enjoy!” in each language. While we have traditionally shortened the French “Bon Appetit” to “Enjoy,” you can say it in:
- German – Guten Appetit
- Czech – Dobrou chuť!
- Dutch – Smakelijk eten! or Eet Smakelijk!
- Italian – Buon appetito!
- Hebrew – b’tayavon (pronunciation)
- Japanese – douzo meshiagare (pronunciation)
And, that’s just for starters! This is only the beginning of the fun. Now it’s onto the family or living room for the rest of the mini vacation at home.
Gathering Around the Smart TV
If you’ve done your homework well, moms and dads, you’ll have found lots of interesting stuff online which you can use to further your enjoyment of the meal you’ve just eaten. Each country has a unique culinary tradition and that’s a great way to start the evening. However, that’s just an introduction to the fun ahead. Use what you’ve found online to show your kids how others live everyday lives in their native lands.
YouTube is a wonderful resource if you want to see sights you can’t afford to visit in person as well as a place where you can hear traditional music from each country like kids dancing a traditional Russian folk dance. Use resources like National Geographic as well. But, don’t forget to research some of the fun things kids do in those countries as well.
Bringing the World to Your Home
What do you want to bet that the next time you look in on your kids in the play room they’ll be doing the Chinese Dragon Dance of the Cuban Salsa? You can find a slide show on the Travel Channel website that you can use for starters when researching traditional dances and costumes. You won’t believe just how much your kids will learn about this wonderful world in which we live just by starting with International dinner at home. This is something they’ll enjoy today while giving them family memories they’ll cherish for a lifetime. Watch and see!