T has had me stumped about how l can tie this into family. But l guess l can use travel because we’ve done some as a family and also our adult children now like to travel.
If l had to choose only one form of travel it would be flying. I love to fly! I love the small seats, l love being strapped in and l love knowing when l step out if that plane Adventure awaits!! l wonder due to current circumstances when we’ll enjoy that kind of traveling again?!
Having a family usually means money is tight and so the luxury of flying is not something l ever expected to do with my children. When the first three were small, one year we caught a train to New South Wales to Tumbarumba near Wagga Wagga and stayed with some friends for a week. That was a huge adventure!
Mostly travel was by car, so we’d pack the children into the car and head to Queensland to visit our relatives, three days to get there with over night cabins in between, lots of “l spy” and “Spotto” games enroute, lots of bathroom breaks and picnic lunches in parks and play grounds so that little legs could run and climb and wear themselves out.
Then when we were in the Rock ‘n’ Roll group one year we put all five children and ourselves into a plane and flew to Queensland for a festival, we helped on the stall selling things and went to some concerts, and then had a few extra days there as a family holiday in a cabin in a holiday resort, with pools and playground a child’s idea of heaven!
As the older four started to grow up they started heading out. When Jasmin turned 18 she and three girl friends went to America! I eagerly listened to her plans and helped her pack her suitcase and cried as she left because l wanted to go to Las Vegas and San Francisco too! And maybe also because she was flying from my nest. Kit has been overseas a few times Israel, The Netherlands and New Zealand.
When Star Son turned ten, we had a trip to fly to Cook Islands to Rarotonga our first overseas trip together. The Bloke, Star Son and I. We had his birthday at home but then we had to cross the international dateline and so it would be his birthday again, so the Captain announced it on the plane and everyone sang Happy Birthday to him! We were going to Rarotonga to meet a penpal of mine. This would be a prime learning experience for a ten year old boy. We learnt to snorkel, and saw coral eating fish! He learnt to speak the local dialect with help from the staff at the resort he was able to tell the bus driver where we wanted to go! The bus driver was so shocked! He asked if Star Son went to school there! He tried local foods and learnt to swim and had his first Mocktail (no alcohol) l really feel like it was a great learning curve. He kept a journal along side mine to share with his class when he got home, his teacher was very impressed with his “Rarotongan Adventures”
While most of our travel has included at least one child and a lot of it has been involving camping, we have been very fortunate to visit every state and territory in Australia. More than a lot of people l know.
I once read a quote that said “Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you rich” and l totally agree.
Star Son is now 19 but when he was 16 he told us “Do you know Mum and Dad you’ve wasted six months of my life with this camping crap!” I felt sad that he thought all our travel adventures were crap and so l asked him “What about that morning we watched the sunrise over Uluru? And what about that day we did the whale cruise and saw all the seals in South Australia? What about playing down ball on wave rock in Western Australia? and that time for my birthday when we did the Crocodile tour down the Alligator river in Darwin- when you hand fed that six metre crocodile?” He shrugged and said “I’ve had enough” he’s not been camping with us since. It took a while to adjust to life without children.
Star Son has recently introduced his girlfriend Bree to camping and they go with another couple and spend weekends away. He FaceTimes me to show me his camp sites and send me photos of their adventures and for someone who a few years ago thought camping was “crap” he’s doing alright. We’ve lead by example.
Now The Bloke and l are planning to do our kind of travel. Mostly it’ll be car trips and camping because we love that freedom but we’re also planning (after Covid) trips to USA and Egypt and parts of Europe, boat, plane, train and car. However you travel just do it!!
Travel can be hard as a family! I’m jealous that your kids got to travel – I never went anywhere with my family that was farther than an hour away. I’m sure your son will look back on those travel memories more fondly when he’s older.
-Amren from Operation Awesome
I grew up travelling with my family too so l wanted that for my children as well