Happy 2019 to my beautiful readers and everyone. It’s not too late to wish you all a happy new year, is it? We are still in January, just ! And don’t you find that the month of January somehow magically turns from a 31 day month into 78 day one! Strange that.
Hope you had a fantastic new year celebrations and the first month of this beautiful year has started on a good foot. Any new projects and resolutions this year ? I have a few ! Remember to keep them realistic and not to put too much pressure on yourself but don’t be discouraged to dream big and aim high. So it’s a balance really , something we all especially me are constantly tested with !
Maybe a monthly goal is more fun and achievable, that is how I am doing it, as well as setting two or three BIG resolutions / goals for the year.
I started 2019 with a wild arctic adventure that I never imagined. Thanks to my adventure seeker husband who surprised me with a Northen Light / Aurora chasing holiday to end 2018. He knew that ever since I studied the geography of Iceland for my A Levels (17-18 years old) I have been fascinated and dreamt of watching the Northen Lights. Fast forward twenty odd years and I am not in Iceland but Tromsø in Norway the capital of Northen Light chasers ! The 3rd largest urban area above the arctic circle 2200km away from the North Pole ! “This is madness” I told him as he surprised me with the news. I honestly didn’t think it was a good idea to take our boys (7 and 4 year) to these extreme conditions. They wouldn’t understand or appreciate it I thought. To some extent I was right. They just wanted to play with the snow and stay warm. They didn’t care about the very expensive activities my husband booked such as reindeer feeding and riding, husky sledge ride, whale watching and a guided aurora chase night !!!
I realised that it would be enriching for my children to be given such a unique opportunity, that it is my job to give them that if I can, one of the other million other things that we parents find in our job description (if there ever was !). Plant that seed of curiosity and install in them the love of travel and wonder. What a wonderful thing to do for our children.
There are many benefits for children to travel, they actually learn a lot. Aside from given them an adventure, you are teaching them about other cultures, languages, religions, way of life, different food smells and sights. You are nurturing and developing all there senses and teaching them important lessons; from mathematics (currency and exchange) to history, geography and architecture. They will learn more about their planet and human societies. Their little eyes and minds will open to the vast informations and learning that is out there and it will forever shape their life. They will treasure these memories (and you) and build on them in the future. I noticed that it taught my crazy boys to adapt to new situations / environment and be more social and slightly more patient.
Tromsø was an adventure for us, and looking back at it now I am so happy that we as a young family got to experience its uniqueness. We faced challenges and few low points but we also had an amazing arctic adventure. We will not miss the cold but we will most definitively miss that natural beauty of its landscape and the activities we did. We learnt so much about Sami culture and their way of life. We also learnt Norway is so expensive!
My advice to any young family is to go for it, travel and have an amazing time of discovery. Most importantly you must prepare for your jounery and do your research before traveling. Find out as much as you can about the place(s) you are going to, is it suitable for children, do they need to be immunised for certain diseases, activities for them, provisions and such. Make sure your children are suitable for your chosen travel adventure. Be realistic, can you really do that mountain climb with your toddler? Will your travel sick child handle a 6 hour road journey ! (yes I did that as I crossed the deserts of Iran whilst potty training the small one and the eldest had travel sickness!) Think of the safety and comfort of your child first, but do not over do it or be discouraged. Again it is a balance. Do your research well. After traveling to the near Arctic recently and to the Indian ocean last year, a month tour of Iran (with only a guide book!) the Middle East and Europe, I am getting more and more aware of what is suitable for my family and what we can handle. Yes you will get it wrong a few times and its never easy but you will know for next time. It works out in the end, children are far more strong than we think and can handle a lot. You must also push that comfort zone out a bit once in a while to know what your limit is. As we grow our holiday destination and adventure grows with us. I can’t wait for our next travel experience !
Wishing you a great 2019 with many adventures of all kinds. If you like to read more travel post on my blog let me know.
Do they then not travel through the Earth, so that their minds gain wisdom and their ears thus learn to hear? Quran 22:46