PHOTO: Lorenna D’Amore Nogueira and Henrique D’Amore Nogeuira in front of Oceania Cruises’ Insignia. (photo courtesy of Oceania Cruises)

As someone who began cruising before I was even two years old, I was tickled by the recent news that a 4- and 6-year-old were just recognized by Oceania Cruises as the “Youngest World Cruisers” while nearing the end of the line’s 180-day Around the World sailing.

Lorenna D’Amore Nogueira and Henrique D’Amore Nogeuira will respectively finish up on the Insignia in Miami, Florida Thursday, July 6 with their parents—30-year-old mom Drielle D’Amore Nogueira and 32-year-old dad Diego Castilho Nogueira.

They began their journey from the same port on January 6, 2017.

Before returning to their home in Brazil, the family spoke in a press release of their time onboard with great fondness, affirming my own appreciation for cruising as a young child. For me, I learned so much more about the world from traveling it than I ever did while merely reading about it in history books

Lorenna and Henrique have experienced 36 countries on six continents in a relatively short span of time.

In fact, Drielle is a teacher, who said how wonderful the opportunities are for better perceiving international history, culture and people: “This [experience] will definitely make a difference when studying, learning and understanding matters in school. How much they have learned on this trip will be uncovered in the future, when some subject will remind us all of what we saw and lived during this time.”

One might wonder how these children (and I) were ever able to be away from shoreside school for so long without missing out on traditional curricula. In my case, teachers entirely bought in on the chance that I had to experience and learn firsthand from the world. They happily provided lesson plans that I could bring along to stay up on my studies while abroad.

In many instances, I would actually come back to my classroom to discover that I had proceeded further along the schedule than my peers had.

“It’s fantastic how children are sponges absorbing everything around them. The diversity encountered (on this cruise) will certainly help them grow with less prejudices because they met so many people from different cultures,” Diego added.

READ MORE: Throwback Thursday: The Evolution of Cruise Kids Programs

I look back on all of my cruises, realizing how each made the world a much smaller place in my mind. There certainly is a variety of people and cultures throughout, but we’re all far more similar than we are different.

Conflicts only begin to seem petty as travels ultimately bring people together in harmony.

You could say I had a great deal many teachers throughout the world, all who left a lasting impact.

Of course, travel is also just fun, and it’s wonderful to see the children agree. The youngest, Lorenna, said, “I like to go off the ship and see the cities. I love the chef when he makes brigadeiro (a Brazilian pastry) for me like for my birthday! I loved my party birthday on the ship.”

Meanwhile, Henrique already understands how cruising is a perfect sampler of the world: “I like to visit the different countries, but sometimes I wanted to stay longer and we don’t have time. But it’s cool; I already know the places that I want to go back to!”

Indeed that is one of the greatest benefits of a cruise; you can discover your favorite places and return to them for an extended time later.

READ MORE: Why Letting Kids Cruise for Free is a Great Idea

Drielle, however, had the biggest praise of all for cruising when she concluded, “We love this experience and think it should be mandatory for every human being, as personal growth.”

I couldn’t agree more. I learned about the world growing up and traveling on cruise ships, my education has by no means drawn to a close. Every sailing I take to this day is an opportunity to learn something new. It’s never too late to expand your mind or your horizons.

Lorenna and Henrique should be applauded for their early endeavors, but any of us at any age can follow in their footsteps.

This post originally appeared on TravelPulse.

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