To travel or not to travel, that was the question.
The last time I travelled abroad was almost 10 years ago, before I had children. Basically.
I refused to go on ‘holiday’ with them (or without them) because I just didn’t see the point of taking all of our baby paraphernalia across the world.
Finding dirty nappy changing tables to wipe my baby’s bottom on.
Worrying about whether my baby had enough of a nap.
Lugging around a push chair, heating up baby puree etc was just an exhausting thought for me.
So I waited. We all waited. Instead we holidayed in the UK.
We did a lot. And properly, just like tourists. So I knew my children would make great travellers once we ventured further.
We had long days out, long walks in the winter and summer.
We subjected ourselves to art, culture, history, geography, geology- the works.
So last month when we finally took a flight to Italy. It was like coming home (I’ve been before without the children). Nothing felt strange or new.
Just the heat – but at 30C it was deal able.
We had the same set up as we do when we travel in the UK. Similar routines and plans for the day (roughly).
The children and I learnt a tremendous amount.
We learnt lessons in history, geography, art, culture and languages and left speaking basic Italian and then German.
It felt right that we had waited.
We all equally enjoyed each experience.
No one had to take a nap or go to bed early.
No one was bored or overly tired or fed up.
After Italy, we went north to Germany. We thought we would hate it after seeing beautiful Florence and Pisa … however, to our sheer surprise, we loved it!
Germany taught us not to have stereotypes. Similar to England in it’s organisation, the children thoroughly enjoyed the museums, the buildings and of course the crazily long street signs and words!
One such example:
My son said:
“It means Australian fart- you have to do one when you see this sign”
It of course means ‘exit‘… but yes you could also exit some bodily gases I guess … ahem.
We had a great break away. Came back thoroughly refreshed and relaxed even though we hadn’t rested all week on a beach (as I would expect from only a beach holiday).
In fact having waited so long to travel with the children, I am now keen to buy an around the world ticket… I just want to keep going.
I’m told one can be purchased for a mere £6000 (I’m trying to ignore the fact that this would be per ticket)… the other problem is funding the stays in nice hotels…constantly. I’m not the back packing type, especially not with my little brood in tow.
I need to think this one through… hmmm… maybe I’ll have to get an extra job just to pay for holidays(!)
I totally agree with the sentiment that travel is an education in itself.
We all came away having learnt more than we could’ve in weeks if not months of traditional schooling and I now wish I could find the courage to just pull all three of my children out of school and homeschool them whilst travelling.
That would be a completely wild and ideal scenario… I doubt I’d ever find the courage to do it though.
The point of this post is to encourage you to do what is best for you and not conform to the pressure of what others are doing during their holidays.
Every year, for the past 8 years, people have suggested we go abroad, they said I was being silly for staying in the UK and not venturing further where it was warmer and cheaper (in some places).
However, I wholeheartedly can say I made the right decision. I don’t feel like I have missed out on anything.
In fact, I’ve seen so much of my own country that I can now go away and fully appreciate other countries.
You have to do what is right for you at any given time and not give in to peer pressure or comparisons.
Just because the world and it’s aunt are travelling, doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit.
Do what works for you. So when you do finally travel abroad, you will fully appreciate it and enjoy it.
The time wasn’t right for us to travel abroad with our little gang, many families do it and enjoy it. But I know I wouldn’t have whilst even one of them was still in ‘baby’ mode.
I’m glad I stuck to my guns.
My advice… explore the country you live in.
Become a tourist, visit the museums, the national parks and enjoy it’s sheer beauty.
For every country in the world has something to offer and you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to experience it.
Then when you are ready and when it suits YOU, go… venture and explore the amazing sights that the world has to offer.
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. – Ernest Hemingway
On that note I’ll say ciao and … in German.. gute nacht… 🙂
In my next post I’ll tell you more about Florence…
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