By Olivia Wilson
There’s never been a better time to see the world. Travel is affordable even on the smallest of budget, and places that we once only saw on the discovery channel are now easily accessible for the whole family. Seeing the world, or at least a little of it, and stepping out of your comfort zone, is not only super exciting, it also creates unforgettable moments, regardless of the age of your children.
For us, it’s all about adventures rather than holidays. We love to find foods we’ve never tasted before, roads that very few people have travelled, and see creatures we have only really seen in books. I love introducing my children to people of all different nationalities, and to watch them converse and play regardless of a language barrier or cultural differences. There’s nothing more inspiring.
To put a finer point on it, a holiday for us, isn’t really a holiday unless we have gone out of our way to explore somewhere!
It would probably be far easier for everyone if we booked a package holiday, popped the children into the kid’s club and sat at the pool bar for a week, downing Margaritas (Boy, that seriously sounds appealing now that I’ve written it down), but, what on earth would we write on our postcards?
If you haven’t already turned the page, thinking ‘This woman is nuts” then I get the feeling you’re also an adventurer at heart, and you will totally understand where I am coming from. Maybe you’ve always had the desire to throw the kids in the car and head off into the distance, with no plans, no cash and no diapers! (Uh oh) Well, you should!
It’s not holidays that make life so darn wonderful, it adventures, and that niggling feeling that what you’re doing is a little dangerous and, without doubt, irresponsible. It’s adventures and exploring that broaden our minds, show our kids the big wide world, and fill the whole family with a zest for life. Exploring takes us out of our comfort zone, and pushes us way beyond the ‘helicopter mum’ we were last week and more like a mild ‘Bear Grylls’ sort of mama who hunts for tarantula dens, and climbs with her babes, high up into the jungle canopy!
Whether it’s scaling sleepy volcanos in Iceland, swimming with sharks in the Similan Islands, trekking hot deserts in Africa, scrambling through thick jungles, or floating down rivers in Borneo, what counts is that you’re all exploring together. You’re showing your children that it’s ok to live life on the edge, it’s ok to trust people, and it’s absolutely ok to go home and tell your friends you “didn’t really do anything” on your holiday. It’s all ok, because every exciting, dangerous, invigorating thing you’ve just experienced as a family, is captured in time, in photos, and in memories; all of which will live with them forever.
So next time you book a holiday, push it aside for an adventure. Do your research, find a local guide, ask to be taken to places tourists don’t go, and truly explore your destination.
It may be unnerving, you may find your stress levels raise a little, but imagine hearing your children telling tales about the time they swam down crocodile infested water with tribespeople in Borneo! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being a real explorer!
Olivia is a thirty-something British mum of two living in Melbourne. Having grown up with a father in the army and being moved all over the world, she is a lifelong ‘expat’, and thoroughly enjoys the adventures that come with a fairly nomadic life overseas.
Follow her adventures as a ‘modern day parent far from home’, and share her family’s exploration of Australia.