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Thoughts on travel
Many parents dread the thought of traveling with their own children. They find it extremely exhausting to go on a family trip. Flights can be exhausting even when traveling alone. Just the very thought of a security check can be enough to irritate a lot of people. Traveling by car is no better. Hours together in a small space with heavy traffic everywhere. Crowded highway stops with long lines to get to the toilet. Tired kids on overdrive in the backseat. They can, however, be pacified with tablets loaded with films and games. (That is, if they don’t get motion-sick!)
“Don’t you ever think about the children?” - is a frequently asked question to many family travel bloggers. Quite a few people seem to think that the desire to wander round the world, traveling almost indefinite, is solely a thing driven by selfcentered parents, and that they really do not care about the consequences of ripping their children out of their comfort zones with school, daycare, friends and football games. They seem to believe that those children are suffering almost unbearable neglect and that they will get permanent psychological damage - eventually even becoming a burden to society.
Well, well, this notion is perfectly allowed, but let me just try to shed some light on what exactly it is that makes “people like us” force our families into madness, playing Russian roulette with the mental state of our children. Let us talk about what kind of life we want to live and which values we want to teach our children…
Over the past few weeks there has been great debate over whether or not it is OK for families with children to travel around the world indefinite, without any goal or end date in sight.
Children do not have the same possibilities of saying “stop” as their parents do, if they no longer find traveling appealing. And when reading the many travel-blogs focusing on “family-traveling” and “the life-style of the digital nomads” one might think that things are almost always idyllic and that the children thrive no matter what.
And this may very well be the case. In fact, I am not writing this piece to judge anyone. We are all different, and we can all take responsibility for ourselves and our families.
The year 2014 was no more than a few days old as we arrived in the US capital. I have always wanted to go there. It is one of the absolute “power centers” of the world, with everything that comes of politicians, lawyers, journalists etc. But aside from that it is actually a quite beautiful city. Even though our expectations were high already, we were indeed very pleasantly surprised. The White House should - of course - be on the top of any visitors list. This is where most of the important decisions are made!
Before we know it 2014 is already gone, and we enter 2015. A brand new year! Where did all the days, weeks and months go?
Not permanently traveling at the moment, we do have some travel plans for 2015. Of course! In February we plan to go to Norway. Alexandra used to be a rather good skier and she has long wanted to start again. Maybe Norway will be the place? From our base in Munich it is not too far to the pists of Austria, Switzerland and southern Bavaria. Only problem is, that if we do not REALLY make our minds up to it, we keep “considering to go” without much action. We are working on a bit more of a “Just do it!” - attitude!
When being away from home on a longer trip it is obviously necessary to think twice about what to bring along, and what is really more “nice” than need.
Needless to say, you will need all the “basic” things on any journey, such as underwear, t-shirts, socks etc. You will also need proper outerwear. You can read much more about this in our general equipment article here!
To begin with we spent quite a bit of time thinking about the contents of our luggage, and yet we always have a few things just taking up space in the bottom of our backpacks.
But here is a list of 10 things we would never leave without, now that we have a bit of experience traveling around the world...
Many of us have tried to sit behind our desk at work dreaming of far horizons with sandy beaches, snow covered mountains or great wide oceans. The daily grind with bills, domestic tasks and obligations everywhere can sometimes seem unmanageable, and oftentimes we forget the most important and basic things in life in our endless journey towards the next promotion, the bigger company car or the next extension to the house.
Been there, done that!
Like thousands of other mature, responsible grown-ups we did everything that “one” is supposed to do in order to make ends meet. And little by little our everyday life started to make less sense.