Something unexpected happened when we started traveling with our young son. People opened up to us more. People smiled at us more. People wanted to interact with us. I'm not saying that people are inherently unkind; exactly the opposite is true, but it was simply more apparent when we had our son with us. Kids seem to open windows on the societies we're visiting, allowing us a peek into who they really are and how they live, rather than looking in through the glass from the outside. We realize that we share a common trait despite our cultural differences; that kids are the same everywhere. That, and watching our son break through cultural and language barriers with nothing more than a smile, has been one of the most rewarding aspects of traveling with children. It doesn't take away from the challenges, but it adds an extra layer of complexity and purpose to our travels that would be otherwise hard to attain.