Wednesday, 29 August 2012

One of our many memorable trips with our kids

was in easter 2011 my partner and i with our 6 year old and 3 year old took off for 21 days through eastern europe by train and bus. we travelled through 8 contries starting in lithuania and went through ukraine and finishing in zagreb croatia. it was fantastic we did 5 overnight train trips on the old exsoviet trains that felt like real travel......the slowness and the rattle of these trains were nostalgic,and magical, the lady attendents still had long soviet looking grey coats on and were beautiful, there was lace dolies on the tables and the windows and the toilets definitly reminded us of their age lol.

we travelled with one pull- along case and one backpack, i pushed a phil and ted  pram(its great with youngsters for when your out and about late into the night or for long walks, worth the exta inconveniance) and the kids shared a little kids pullalong with their toys in. I will always remember the look of the taxi drivers faces at the thought of getting our stuff into a car  when we got of trains in early hours. we just had to be confident that it would fit, then squeese the big bag on to andys lap. (we never planned to travel to far by car as even though we had travel seat belts, when your getting a taxi at 3 in the morning its the last thing you think about with sleepy kids, and would have taken to long to set up, bad but true.... 
i always say what you take on holiday for two weeks is what you would need for a whole years travel...
Except when we booked our first hotel at home, for the rest of the trip we booked hotels either the night before or the morning we were to travel, internet makes it very easy now and all our hotels were very helpful with using their computers. we booked our next out bound train trip when we arrived in each place with no problems,
 we have decided that when we travel long term next year 2013 we plan to take a note book computer and a I-pad for homeschooling and conveniance in talking to family.
the kids handled moving from place to place with no problems and we're very adaptable and easy going. they loved sleeping on the trains as we did. it was great and well worth doing x      

Thursday, 2 August 2012

a lovely letter about kids and travel

Traveling Teaches Children to Become Citizens of the World, and So Much More

I’ve done quite a bit of traveling in my life. There was a freedom that came from traveling alone but now I have two young boys. I am a big believer in the gift of travel, and I believe even more strongly, that it is one of the most important contributions I can make in the lives of my children and to us as a family. It has enriched my life deeply and the memories I have made and will continue to make will last a lifetime.
So often, people think that life is over after having kids, or at least the spontaneity and adventure in it. They settle down and think that settling down is what you are supposed to do. I want to do this as a family one day, and one day we will. I believe stability for children comes from their parents. It is presence from their parents that allows for the security, stability and “home” that they need. This post is about; why I travel, why I want my kids to be exposed to the world and all of the amazing benefits that come with it.
Many people say that it’s a waste to travel with young children, especially before the age of 5. These same people allege that infants and toddlers won’t remember anything and it won’t be worth the money, inconveniences or aggravation. I disagree as my experiences have shown me otherwise. Please allow me to explain.
Traveling has so many benefits to a family. The parents gain new perspectives and experiences, which augment them as individuals, as a couple and as parents. This is so important in raising their children. When we are not exposed to different views and ways of seeing the world we become complacent and we begin to believe our way is the only way.
I believe travel is most important within the first seven years of life. It is within that period that the foundation is set for a person. We grow, we change, we learn, but our first years of life are the most valuable in determining who we become fundamentally in terms of values, personality, and intrinsic nature. This has been proven and is accepted by most with public health messages that continually talk to parents about the importance of the first five years of life.
The stimulation of new environments, different cultures, modes of transportation, other languages, cuisines and people, will help to influence and create the paradigm our children use to view the world. They will adapt better to change in their lives and they will also be more compassionate, respectful, aware and considerate of others. I don’t claim this to be the case simply if you travel, however, I believe that with this exposure to the world outside of our own and with Guidance, Love, Patience and Compassion, these characteristics will develop organically. I also believe that instilling gratitude and appreciation for all we have in this life is very important.
Traveling from an early age can also prevent fear; fear of people, fear of failing, fear of unfamiliar places and most importantly, fear of the unknown. Children aren’t born with fear. It is taught and it is learned. My kid’s fearlessness eases any fears I may have and their enthusiasm in all of our adventures truly inspires me.
Kids are dreamers. We need to let them dream. We need to expose them to the beautiful world we live in and show them that a world outside of our own exists. I believe in doing this at an early age. The exposure will breed curiosity, which is so important. We should always be curious! Critical thinking is also essential in this world and many people would say, “it is not taught in our school system.” It is however, learned through living, through playing, exploring, discovering, and being exposed to new and different ways of life.
I believe traveling teaches our children to become better citizens of the world we all share. They cultivate a social awareness that most of us don’t develop until much later in life, empathy for humanity, and a wondrous spirit that will inspire others as they walk through this precious gift of life.
My experience has shown me, if you have never traveled with your children, that you can’t expect perfection. It isn’t easy but anything truly beneficial and rewarding usually isn’t. Be prepared to answer a lot of questions, be patient, enjoy each little stop they want to make along the way to smell the flowers and play with rocks, and take pride in knowing you are helping to shape the way your child sees this boundless, wonderful, beautiful world we all share.
Happy Traveling. May you and your children grow stronger, wiser and more fulfilled in your lives. I truly believe we all grow exponentially while traveling and we are so much more present for each other. The bonds established, the love shared and the memories created will tell stories for our lifetimes.
World Tour 2013 in planning stages now ☺

one of the biggest gifts i can give my kids is travelling

i agree very much with the link from family on bikes . Travelling is one of the biggest gift i can give to my children. just looking at my kids, even if they can't remember the places they have visited, i believe that their travels have given them a wonderful education and strenght of character. Alisha who's 6 has travelled to 23 countries and seb (4) to 13 countries so far. both are really sociable, and not afraid to approach anyone (hopfully friends) to talk to them and are very adaptable in their lives. but i also believe that if parents lead by example, if they are relaxed in their lifestyle and do not limit childrens experiences and believe and trust they can do things ..then of course children will believe it to, whatever it be travelling, sports, ect.

the first steps are the hardest...

hi there my name is tracey i live in England with andy we have two children alisha who's 6 and seb whos 3.
Our plan is in 18 months around april 2013 is to travel in a similar way to 'www.soultravers, a family of 3 who has been traveling for 6 years and are an inspiration to me. Along the way we will homeschool/unschooling our chrildren. For me waiting for 18 months is far to long to wait, i wanted a year and andy wanted 2years so we met in the middle.
There is endless jobs to sort out before then,
the house house has to be decorated so we can rent it out