Wednesday, 13 July 2011
The Gallery: Travel
If there is one gift I would like to look back and say that I have given my children, it is the opportunity to travel.
I was extremely lucky as a child. My parents, living in Hong Kong, decided to make the most of it and take us on many exotic holidays, stopping off around the world on annual leave back to the UK. So by the time I was 10, I had been on safari in Africa, on the bullet train in Japan, on the beaches of Hawaii, to temples in Thailand and in street markets in Sri Lanka.
The travel bug stayed with me. Once I met The Doctor, we continued to travel. We took overnight trains from North to South Vietnam. We island-hopped in Greece and Inter-Railed around Europe. We drove across Europe in an ageing Golf with no airconditioning (interesting). We saw the sunset over the mountains of southern Sicily (below) on September 11, 2001, not realising that the world of aeroplane travel was about to change forever.
Then a few years ago we took sabbaticals, bought a round the world ticket and took off for far-flung places like Bolivia, Cambodia and Laos (Luang Prabang, below) that we knew would become less easy to visit once we started a family.
After you have kids, of course everything changes a bit. It's more tempting to stay closer to home, to self-cater, and of course you're not going to be staying in grotty hostels any more if you can help it. But, mindful of my parents who took two small children to some wild and wonderful locations, I'm still determined to travel with the family.
Yes, travelling with little ones can be a challenge. But I absolutely love taking my children to new places. Because I love seeing the world through their eyes. Because I can see them learning, experiencing, lapping up life. But most of all because I know that their childhood memories will be infused with these trips, that they will look back on their childhood and these experiences will stand out - paddling in a Norwegian lake (above), summer camp in America, sleeping on an overnight Amtrak train through the Deep South. That's, to be honest, a big part of the reason we moved to the US. That's why we'll nearly always opt for a roadtrip over a week in resort (however tempting that might be). And that's why I'll never say that it's too much work to take my children travelling.
This post is for Sticky Fingers: The Gallery.