Our around the world adventure
International backpacking is for young people without responsibilities not families with three kids, isn't it? Not necessarily. Intrepid blogger Victoria Wallop explains more.
In November, my husband, Steve, and I are taking our children, aged, eight, six and four, on the trip of a lifetime to Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia and Japan. We will take only what we can squash into backpacks, planning our itinerary as we go.
We want to spend more time with our children. Our normal life is a blur of school, playdates and extra-curricular activities. So we've decided to step away from our normal lives for a while. Our children are curious, good company and still young enough to enjoy being with us, why not make the most of this while we can?
We've always had a love of adventurous travel. Before we had children, we spent our savings and holiday entitlement on budget trips to exotic places like India and Malaysia. Since their birth, we've had lovely British holidays, but now they are older, we'd like to share our travel bug with them.
As a family embarking on such a trip, you can't simply pack a bag and leave. My husband has been granted a sabbatical from work, so he'll hopefully have a job to return to. We're selling our car and renting our London house to create a small income, which involves decorating, gas security certificates and storing our belongings. In addition we're making preparations for the trip itself like getting visas and the necessary vaccinations. The latter is not going down well with the children.
I've spent many hours reading the blogs of families who've already done it: Six in the World, The Fleming Family and Pilgrims' Progress are great examples. They've inspired me to start my own blog, It's a small world after all, to communicate with friends and family as we go. I'll also be writing for Ready for Ten about different aspects of our trip such as schooling.
Schooling is our biggest issue. Our local school is wonderful and though they are supportive of our plans, sadly they can't keep our places. After months of to-ing and fro-ing, we've decided it's a risk worth taking. It's a big school, with a high turnover of children, so we hope we have a good chance of getting places when we return.
Our friends and family are very excited for us, and everyone we meet gives us recommendations for places to visit. I'm looking forward to nine months of spending time together away from the constraints of normal life, with only the belongings we can carry and the promise of adventure. It may not be an everyday thing to do, but it seems very sensible to me.
What do you think?
I'll also be reporting on some of the challenges we encounter along the way for Ready for Ten. These posts will be designed to help you with your own journeys -- however close to home they are.
Wish me luck!
Photo credit: Victoria Wallop
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