Why We Travel With Our Kids: A Heartwarming Hong Kong Story

On our recent trip to Hong Kong, one poignant experience really stood out to me that crystallizes why my husband and I have decided to travel so much with our kids.

While we were waiting to board a shuttle from the Disneyland Hotel to the park one afternoon (our daughter was dressed in her Belle finest after a visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique), our daughter spotted a little girl about her age dressed in a Snow White gown.  She and this other little girl eyed each other for a half-second and then immediately decided that they were best friends, despite being completely unable to communicate with each other.  They were kindred spirits, language-barrier notwithstanding.  We were able to exchange a few words with the girl's mother, who knew a bit of English.  We learned that the family was visiting from Shanghai.  The girls shared a giggly ride on our shuttle bus to the park entrance, where we assumed they would part ways.

After we arrived at the park, the girls had other ideas!  They grabbed hands and began walking to the front gates together.  We followed (snapping photos to capture the cuteness), along with the little girl's mother and other family members traveling with her.  The two just didn't want to say goodbye.

Snow White and Belle at Hong Kong Disneyland
Snow White and Belle Fast Friends at Hong Kong Disneyland

We entered the park with our new friends from Shanghai, where the girls posed for photos in front of the traditional Disneyland Railroad station spot.  We finally managed to convince our daughter to bid her new friend farewell so we could go ride some rides.  It was almost a tearful parting, but the girls finally hugged and waved goodbye.

In the two days that followed, we took a break from Disney and decided to explore other parts of Hong Kong.  On our last morning in Hong Kong, our family went to Ngong Ping 360 in order to take the cable car to see the famous Buddha statue there.  As we were waiting in the ticketing area, the very same little girl appeared right in front of me, smiling and beaming at our daughter!

The two of them could not believe their good luck at having a second chance meeting.  As further luck would have it, the cable cars had been stopped because of inclement weather, so they had a chance to sit and play with each other for about 15 minutes while we waited for the weather to pass.

iPhone games at Ngong Ping 360

The instant friendship between these two little girls was so pure and easy.  It reminds me how alike all of us are, no matter where we are from or what language we speak.  And this is one major reason we travel -- to remind ourselves and teach our children this simple fact.

Maybe Mr. Disney was onto something when he told us "it's a small world after all."

Follow all our family's travels on www.tripswithtykes.com.

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