Before the Mini Travellers came along hubby and I decided that we needed to adopt ‘Explore Dream Discover’ as our mantra. It is Mark Twain if you like to know these things. We traveled far and wide, from Cambodia to Vietnam, Australia to LA, Barbados to Fiji. We wanted to go everywhere. We even honeymooned in Nepal, trekking in the Annapurna mountain range. Whilst on honeymoon we met a couple from Argentina with two young children (7 and 5) who were trekking with them in the slightly lower valleys, walking all day and staying in huts at night. They were a wealthy couple but had decided they didn’t want their children to only experience the luxuries of an exotic beach resort. We resolved then and there to be just like those parents when we eventually had our children. Little did we know I was in the early stages of pregnancy and would come back from honeymoon pregnant with our eldest. Travel opens your eyes to such fantastic things, and I wanted our children to inherit the bug their parents had.
Then the twins came along very quickly and we settled into a fairly unadventurous family holiday routine. I have recently written a post on Adjusting Expectations about holidays with children, however I want to start exploring again. Here in the Mini Travellers household we live very fast paced lives (like most families) and we almost run from one day to the next, but I am conscious, very conscious they are growing up fast, and staring school will be upon us before I know it. Starting school means school holiday prices and we need to fit some exciting things in before this September.
I created a toddler bucket list a few weeks ago and the list includes the obvious beach holidays, Disney and lapland, but I would like to be more adventurous.
The girls now have a Globe kindly sent to us by Brainstorm Toys and I love that they can use this to spot places they have heard us talk about, or have seen on the TV. Mister Maker travels far and wide you know. They know that Daddy grew up in Africa and that one of my best friends lives in America. They can spot Lanzarote and find Greece where we go in a couple of weeks.
The additional feature of this globe is that it lights up at night and transforms into an illuminated map of city lights. As my eldest is only 4 she doesn’t necessarily understand what this all means but she definitely thinks it is fun.
Using the globe to show how far away some places are, helps our children get a sense of the size of our planet. It also starts to explain to them why we can’t go to Africa every day. It starts to help them understand why you need to fly, or sail or drive.
I want my children to experience everything. I want them to see places that could be out of their comfort zone, involving different cultures, different food and different lifestyles (like trekking in Nepal). I want them to try a safari, the souks of Marakech, sleep in jungle and even climb a mountain. Three children just over two means we have just moved into paying for 5 adult flights and this does create a difficulty. The cost of a holiday abroad starts to be prohibitive and you start to wonder whether it will be worth it? The answer for me, is that yes it will always be worth it. We need to Explore, Dream and Discover.