Seek to learn from the people you meet: In what we thought were wild spaces on a sparsely populated island in French Polynesia, we noticed deliberate plantings. We found the farmer and introduced ourselves. Steven spent hours with us, demonstrating his cultivation techniques and showing my daughters how to plant seedlings. He opened coconuts for us to drink, and explained the cultural and medicinal uses of local plants. We left with a new appreciation for a place we’d seen only as a lush, amorphous green. In Mexico, our oldest daughter, Eleanor, was keen to learn how to make the flan she ate at a family-run restaurant. On a subsequent visit, we asked whether she could shadow them in the kitchen when they made it. Two afternoons later, Eleanor was in the kitchen, working alongside the owner, making flan. We ended up befriending the family.