Last week we announced that we’re selling everything to take our two young children on a family travel adventure. Here’s our announcement video if you missed it:
I never wanted to travel. Whenever I went on holiday I was always a little bit relieved to come home. I definitely never had a burning desire to see the world. I was a homebody, I didn’t really like change and to be honest, I was a little bit scared.
So why the hell are we taking two children under 4 on a trip around the world?
I’ve gone through the same process with wanting to travel as I did with wanting to have a family. For years and years I was most definitely not ready to have children. I wanted freedom, disposable income and sleep. Then BAM, one day it hit me, I was ready. (Although is anyone ever ready for the lack of sleep?) The same thing has happened with travelling – fear, trepidation, denial, more fear, then BURNING DESIRE TO DO IT NOW.
When we started talking about it last July, I was relieved to find out we both felt the same.. I was fed up with the same old routine at home. I was struggling in the winter in particular and in desperate need of a change of scenery. He had to leave for work early in the mornings then rush back just before bedtime each night. Their “grumpy time” regularly coincided with his arrival, so he felt like he was missing out on the good bits. We felt short-changed by the time we had together as a family so we decided travel was the answer!
But why travelling (because let’s face it, travelling with children isn’t going to be plain sailing)? Why not just move somewhere different, get different jobs, redress the parenting/work balance? This was an easy one – if we were going to make a significant change, we wanted to really make it count.
We want our daughter to be able to go into school and recognise/talk about things from her travels that she’s seen first hand. We want our son to see things he doesn’t even know exist yet. But most of all (corny line coming up) – we want to be together. What other opportunity do you get to spend so much time together as a family? We want to be free from the restraints of Monday-Friday 9-5 working, free from the nursery run, the daily commute and the constant combination of being both bored and tired ALL the time.
Everyone knows how much routine and stability plays a part in a child’s early years. Consistent nap times, bed times and meal times. Getting ready for school by going to nursery and learning all the things they need to know before starting school. A stable home, familiarity and security. That’s what makes children happy, right?
Right, in a way. All that stuff can make for a secure, happy childhood but I know that the majority of my most treasured childhood memories were from days when we were all together as a family, whether that was travel, or just having fun and seeing new things locally. Also, the days when my parents were having fun, smiling and generally enjoying life were the days we, as children, were happiest and most secure.
We want to recreate those feelings for our children, over and over again, without any breaks for mundanity. (Although I’m very aware of how much washing we’ll still have to do when we’re away – otherwise we’ll be taking much more than our baggage allowances away with us). We want to show them that life extends beyond the town and country we live in, that what we’ve been doing isn’t all there is to do. We want to open their eyes to different ways of life, make them understand different cultures, and build their confidence.
There are a few aims we have in mind when planning our trip. I’m sure more will emerge as planning goes on but this is the stuff we want to focus on:
We might not be leaving for another few months, but we’ve already started making some changes. Our first flights are booked so organisation/panic mode is setting in. We’ve redecorated the house and it will soon be recarpeted in preparation for selling. We also need to shift all the stuff we have accumulated over the years. I’ve already been selling, lending and giving away things like there’s no tomorrow, and it’s really cathartic. Knowing that what we travel with will be pretty much everything we own as a family will probably feel a bit unnerving. Ultimately though, I think it will be very freeing. But that’s one for another post…
Have a question or would like to know about working with us on our trip? Contact us here.