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Remember How We

imageRemember how we
Drank chibuku shake shake
That time in Malawi?
After fishing on the lake
Wasn’t it great?
Crossing from Ghana to Togo
In a car with a brick for a brake?
Before walking in Ho
Crossing paths with a snake?
Remember how we
On a glowing night
Stood together and watched
The Northern Lights?
Then saw humpback whales
Flick their mighty tails?
Or diving that week
In Mozambique?
Remember how we
Walked on a frozen sea
in Tallin, in darkest February?
Our feet crispy like icicles
And the following year
Touring vineyards on bicycles
In Argentina?
Really have you seen a
Better sight
Than Rio at night
During carnival?
What a thing we saw!
And the ferocious roar
Of Iguazu falls
That time in Brazil?
What a thrill!
Remember how we
eloped & married
at New York City Hall
Didn’t we have a ball?

We’re thirty-three,
Don’t tell me
Our adventures are no more
Now we’re a family of four?
I think the truth is
It’s harder with kids
There’s no easy solution
But I’m full of resolution
This is the year
We will remember
For travel and adventure!
Let’s do this!

A Reminder and a Resolution

I need to provide some context to this one.

I used to travel. A lot. Some trips were amazing. Some, one in particular, were largely disastrous. They were all an adventure.

Then I got married, had two sons, moved from our flat in East London to a house on a quiet little street in Kent. You know how it is. The adventures stopped.

My adventures are of a different sort now: trying to park our monster family car (or ‘The Hearse’ as it’s affectionately known at home), potty-training, navigating the schools’ admission process etc. And this is all great. I know I am super, super lucky and this is a truly first world problem but, well, that never stopped a blogger before.

So I’ll say it. I miss those adventures. Even the bad ones. I miss those travels. I miss seeing how different people live, learning about different cultures, trying new foods and hearing new languages. My husband has travelled more than I have and he misses these too.

This poem is a reminder of the places we’ve been lucky to experience together and a call-to-arms to our former selves. We need to get back on the horse as it were (“out of the hearse and on to the horse”? There might be a poem in that…)

We need to start finding adventures, close to home and further afield.

I find this daunting. Thinking of the volume of stuff we would need to bring, how (if!) the boys will sleep, what they’ll eat. Then I remind myself of the places I’ve visited and travelled to and how bloody amazing it was. Sometimes, I want to shake myself by the shoulders and say, remember that time you travelled alone through Central America? Remember you didn’t have a phone, or a blackberry, or any kind of communication device, because that’s how people used to travel then and that’s how old you are, but you still did it anyway? Remember how you lived and worked in Paris for a while and Dubai? Remember that’s where you met your husband? Remember when you leave the familiar environs of your own little world stuff happens! Fun can even happen! Remember?

It makes me think, if I can get over my logistical anxieties, how enriching it would be for my sons to see more of the world (or even just more of the UK) and how much I want to instil the love of travel that I share with my husband in our sons. So these are our family’s new year’s resolutions:

IMG_1633

Obviously financing adventures is an issue. I don’t mean that I want to sell all our furniture and go to Australia for a month. I think sometimes you need to look closer to home and find adventures there too.

It’s a three part quest: looking for the adventure in the every day; making the effort to do day trips; and working towards those trips further afield.

I have a plan. I’m putting together a bucket list of things to do with the boys. I aim to get around twenty things on there and to manage at least half of them this year. If I achieve that, I think I’ll have kept to my new year’s resolution.

I have a train obsessed 2.5 year old so I’m starting the list with visiting Thomas Land (I think this would make his year) and the London Transport Museum.

What do you think? Any other suggestions or must go to places with two little people? I would love to hear about your adventure successes (or not!) and add them to our bucket list (or not!).

I’ll be tagging our travel and adventure escapades on instagram and twitter with the hashtag #findingadventures (I’ve already found a couple) and checking back here each month with a progress report – wish me luck!

I would like to say I’m signing off now to hot foot it to a beginners kayaking course but I’m actually going to visit my nan in Essex. But then you never know where you might find your next adventure!

 

 

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47 Comments

  1. I completely, utterly and truly know how it is 🙂

    • Ha ha ha, you travel lots! I’ve got to shake off the angst & get on with it. Top places? Good warm up places??

      • I’d say it depends where you live because i always prioritise flight duration, direct flights ideally, short transfer times etc as otherwise it all becomes so daunting – for me anyway. The shorter the journey the sooner you can relax.

        Anywhere with a beach is a winner- with everyone 🙂

        Would be lovely to know where you decide to go first.

  2. Love the poem, it dances along with excitement, just like your adventures must have 🙂 I can also completely understand your wish for more adventures, and although we haven’t done any particularly exotic travel with our three, we have traveled A LOT with them over the years. It gets easier, and the pile of stuff gets much smaller 🙂 #prose4t

    • Thank you! That is good to know! We have moved my eldest into a “big boy bed” this week as a first preparation step – only 1 travel cot! I think we’ll start with non-exotic and work our way up!

  3. I feel the same! My husband and I traveled loads until we had our daughter (now 7 months), and I find the idea of taking her on a plane really daunting. That being said, I’m starting to get itchy feet – it’s all about plucking up the courage to just do it! We’re starting small – our first adventure as a family was a trip to Argyll, about 2 1/2 hours from home. #justanotherlinky

    • I know, we need to get on with it! We weren’t too bad with just one & actually looking back were quite brave initially, we took our eldest at 4 weeks to a wedding in Dorset. It was at River Cottage HQ & you could only reach it by tractor from the main road! And then 2 weeks later to another in Somerset. We did a holiday in Crete & one in Mallorca & actually the plane wasn’t too bad. But it’s two that’s really set us back. I think all we’ve managed is a long weekend in Dorset when our youngest was a couple of months old. We’re aiming for North Wales at the end of the month, a fair drive from us but beautiful scenery #justanotherlinky

      • Thank you, great post! I think your blog is going to be a very useful resource! I have flown with just one a few times but not with two. That’s where the fear really kicks in!

      • We figured we two kids we weren’t outnumbered. That was the mentality 🙂

        First flight was just from Aberdeen to London, so not too daunting and it was easier than i expected. Then we just went further afield or had one-stop at a flight hub etc.

        I hadn’t flown with my toddler for ages, due to being pregnant, so you’ll be surprised at how mature your toddler is.

        He was fascinated by airports and somehow ‘got’ the protocol and he was anxious to stay close in the crowds, LOVED the drinks trolley with untold goodies and really surprised us. I’m not saying it was easy but was better than I expected.

  4. miragonz miragonz

    I love love LOVE your poem! It made my heart yearn for all those places!
    We have 5 kids, and although our adventures aren’t abroad, we still go travelling and adventuring a couple times a year. If you look closer to home, it isn’t so expensive or daunting with kids. We live in California, so it seems like there are so many places to travel to. We visit museums, beaches, lakes, rivers, creeks. We hike on trails and visit nature preserves. Occasionally we even go out of state. We saw the falls in Oregon, and hiked up a rock in Washington. Visited the big cities like San Francisco and Seattle, which are adventures in themselves.

    You can do it! Make memories with your children. I can’t wait to read about them 🙂 #SundayStars

    http://drops-of-learning.com

    • Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comment. Wow, your trips are so inspiring! And with 5 children, amazing. I’ve always wanted to visit California to do some of the wine tours but I may have to adapt my trip…! #SundayStars

  5. I was going to start by asking if you have had all those adventures! I can only imagine how amazing it must have been to see so much of the world. Good luck with your resolutions #prose4T

    • Thank you so much for reading. Yes I did! Although it does seem like a different lifetime! Thank you #prose4T

  6. Haha this post made me smile, love the poem. Life is very different with little ones but still full of adventures of a different sort. I love the idea of a bucket List and I’m sure this will grown as the children get older. Thanks for sharing this x

    • Thank you, yes I’m enjoying doing the bucket list, I think it will be here to stay! X

  7. just brilliant and i reckon everyone who reads this will all say “I know!!!!!!” those days, those times, the freedom, the adventures but they made us who we are as parents and I reckon we are all better for it – more inspiring parents who will in time still have adventures – we have to!!!!!! fab post. #sundaystars happy sunday x

    • Oh I hope so! That’s a good way of looking at it! Thanks for reading xx

  8. I am so jealous. You have seen some truly amazing things! Love the idea of a bucket list to do with your kids. Hope you have a brilliant time (Yep – Thomas land is fantastic!) X

    • Yes, I’ve been very lucky. Great, that one’s sticking on the list then! Thanks for the follow xx

  9. I love this and your blog (this is the first time I have found it). I have 2 little ones and we still go abroad each year, it is tough but worth it. x

    • Thank you! Oh great, that’s positive. Any places you would particularly recommend? X

  10. Nicole, this is beautiful. You have done so much more than many people do in a lifetime. To me, life is full of adventure – but you have to go and find it because it doesn’t always seek you out! I am certain that, as travelling is in your blood, you will be back doing it again at some point – whether or not the kids are in tow! Superb writing and thanks for linking to #Prose4T xx

    • Thank you for your lovely comment & for hosting. Always enjoy #Prose4T xx

  11. fionajk42 fionajk42

    If you travelled before you had kids, then unless you did not absorb any information about your surroundings (unlikely!), you can travel with kids, just trust your experience. You need to be sensible about sunburn, nasty bugs (or larger animals) and diseases, but if you start off with countries you’ve visited previously you should be well prepared. I took my young kids to Jamaica, Morocco, Egypt, Oman and Thailand, as well as various Mediterranean countries, with no mishaps. I waited till my daughter was 5 before taking her & my then 7 year old son to India, and I made sure I packed juice boxes, various granola bars and other snacks so that we would not be tempted to get them stuff from roadside stalls (which had been perfectly safe in Thailand but are a definite no-no in India). I also took a full medicine kit with stuff for pretty much any minor medical emergency (such as when my daughter was stung by a HUGE hornet). The kids loved India so much we went back for another holiday, to a different part of the country. Obviously all kids are different, but with mine I found that mornings were great for sight seeing before it got too hot, then after lunch we would go back to the hotel for a nap & to hang out at the pool to cool off, then they would have plenty of energy for going out in the evening to street markets etc. Just do things in smaller sessions, so they don’t get overtired, and you’ll be fine.

    • Thanks! Sounds like you’ve had some great trips with kids, very inspiring! I’ve travelled around North and South India, beautiful country. I think if we went long-haul Thailand would be a good starter trip, we’ve both had great experiences there. Good tip re the granola bars!

  12. I totally get what you mean. But I find the definition of adventures changes when you have kids. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  13. What a great post. I can totally agree with you. Things do get harder when we have kids and life is totally different!
    Thanks for linking up with #justanotherlinky

  14. Have you ever read Tsunami Kids? The parents of those kids inspired the hell out of me…I think you’d love it. But, I’m still too scared to go to Peppa pig land for the weekend. Epic doesn’t even cover it! x Love your poem, sounds like you have had an amazing life so far – kids and all xxx Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub x

    • No I’ve not but just googled it and had heard those brothers on the radio before talking about how they were brought up, I remember thinking it sounded amazing! Thanks for reading and hosting #coolmumclub

  15. Oh my gosh, I completely love this post. That poem is brilliant and you have travelled to some amazing places and had some awesome experiences. It is hard to think that having a family means that you should leave that world behind. And I don’t think it should. It just might mean that you need to readjust your expectations a little. So selling all your belongings and moving to Australia is out but a trip to Thomas Land is in. Sounds perfect to me. Especially when you have a husband and two gorgeous boys to enjoy it with. It is definitely time for some new adventures. Enjoy! Thanks for linking up to #SundayStars. Hugs Lucy xxxx

    • Thank you for your lovely comment. Yes I think you are right! Thanks for hosting xx #SundayStars

  16. Ah! A visit to Nan. Make sure you ask her all about her adventures . I can’t ask mine any more, but I learned of a few of hers and they were amazing too. xx

    • thebrightnessofthesedays thebrightnessofthesedays

      Yes, I love seeing my Grandmother. She’s German and such a character. An original rebel mama I think! xx

  17. Wonderful poem – and don’t give up on the travel plans.
    We took a 9 month old all the way to New Orleans (unplanned, long story – the event was booked before I even got pregnant!) Daunting? Yes but we coped (the deal was dad got to look after bub all day long while I holed up in the hotel at nights and he breezed out on the tiles with my friends!) After that travel with tots didn’t seem so hard:)

    • thebrightnessofthesedays thebrightnessofthesedays

      Thank you. I think that’s the way to do it – negotiations and turn-taking!

  18. Love this! We’ve not taken the kids abroad yet, I’m desperate to travel, even just a little bit, but when I think of actually taking kids on a plane, it just seems like too much of an effort. I have a similar resolution this year though to get out and about and have more adventures. Last year I was pregnant and we were moving house and it was a bit rubbish to be honest. I want to remember to have fun and make memories this year.

    • thebrightnessofthesedays thebrightnessofthesedays

      That sounds like our year. It was so frustrating. Really doing our best to make up for it this year. We are just back from a trip to Barbados (8 hour flight) & really the flight was not that bad! (there were worse bits!) Will do a few blog posts with tips once I’ve caught up on things but really, don’t worry about the flight, go for it!

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