Don’t be afraid to wander — even with children in tow! Image courtesy of Nisbah Hussain.
We’re pleased to debut the fresh voices of the third cohort of the Wanderful Blogging Program! Stay tuned for new articles from new contributors. Don’t forget to tell them what you think in the comments!
With the birth of a child, your life alters in many amazing ways, but the arrival of your bundle of joy also marks an automatic change in people’s perception of you.
Once you are traveling with children, the words “adventurer,” “traveler,” and “explorer” no longer seem to apply. Suddenly everyone expects you change the backpacks for nearby resort holidays until the children are much older. Whilst I am partial to a resort holiday once in a while, we have been blessed with an amazing world with so much variety and experiences that limiting our travel would lead us to miss out on so much!
I find people’s perceptions of where mother travellers should be travelling both saddening and restrictive. The purpose of my column is to inspire women who are traveling as mothers, to tell them about the vast array of traveling opportunities available, and to showcase the unique trips they can take with their children. I hope to empower female travellers to embark on adventurous, exotic travel with their children in tow.
Becoming a mother does not mark the end of adventurous travel. In fact, speaking from my own experience, the opposite has happened. I have found that seeing the magic of the world through the eyes of even the youngest traveler brings a whole new dimension of our amazing world to light. I truly believe that travel is the only thing that makes you richer.
Blessed with three little adventurers (aged 6, 4, and 2 years old), my desire to travel has grown with every passing year. I want to instill a desire in my little adventurers to explore and seek adventures both at home and afar.
Listening to fellow mothers worry and consider my travel plans brave (or crazy) has made me want to inspire them. Check out just a taste of some ideas for unique trips to take with your children. You may have considered these inappropriate for a woman travelling with children, but I believe they’ll be some of the happiest and most rewarding holidays you can take as a mother.
I cannot wait to trade our suitcases for backpacks and have been eyeing up child-suitable backpacks.
Backpacking with children is a humbling experience. They really understand and appreciate everything they own. Carrying your “things” on your back makes you soon realize how little you need to be happy and helps to set you free from much of the commercialization surrounding children these days.
Backpacking gives you freedom and makes it much easier to travel overland. It also gives you the biggest bang for your buck.
We are trying to move away from the need for ‘material things’ and instead be a family of experiences. Living with locals for a period of time is an amazing experience for children. It shows them the actual cultural lifestyles of the countries they are visiting. Companies offer family volunteering experiences from villages in Kenya to teaching in Ecuador. Make the choice to volunteer with your family, and it will be something that truly impacts your children, giving them lasting memories.
Children and culture seem to be a juxtaposition, but a road trip through Tuscany or visiting Rome, for instance, allows families to experience culture and history first-hand. Italians love children, and family travel is a given there. Experiencing inspiring art, the Italian countryside, and history is an eye-opener for children and adults alike. Imagine reading about gladiators and the Roman Empire at the feet of the Colosseum. History lessons will never be the same again!
I am married to Doc, who is a true science geek (Think The Big Bang Theory levels of clever!), so space is something that really amazes him. Stargazing will truly inspire even the youngest of travellers to think about space and our amazing galaxy. Why look at pictures when you can let them have a look firsthand? We are from the UK and not to far from Keilder, which is one of Europe’s best places for stargazing. Camping out in the wild whilst sitting under a star-speckled sky is an amazing way to spend family time.
Looking for More?
In future articles I will be covering the above and other travel experiences in much greater detail, highlighting how rewarding family travel through a unique trip can be.
As a mother, you will watch your children learn to socialize with children from all walks of life. Your children will learn firsthand about the struggles and issues that our world is facing, which is one of the most humbling experiences a child can have. Most importantly, you will be helping to raise the next generation of independent, confident open-minded, accepting youngsters! Just think what a bright future of solo female travelers that will be!
The world is full of wandering mothers, and the only limiting factor in being a traveller and a mother is you!