We have traveled locally with our children since the were very young. Lucy did her first camping trip at just a month old, Oscar did his first cross country road trip at just two years, and they’ve both sat on airplanes and in airports as toddlers. But, so far, they’ve never traveled outside of Australia. This means by default that they have never been in a non-English speaking country, and even though they have quite exotic taste buds for kids, they’re not used to chilli infused everything on the menu.
We’re setting out on this Global Adventure together, all four of us. So even though it’s really tempting for Simon and I to push our own travel comfort zones to countries and cultures that we’ve never experienced for phase two of our own world travel, we are taking baby steps with the kids. Together, Simon and I traveled much of the UK, Western Europe and a tiny bit of the USA, and we’ve had little stopovers in South East Asia. When it comes to traveling overseas with our kids though, from the outset, plans have evolved around Europe. It’s a region of the globe that we feel completely confident about heading to, and making it work.
Before kids, we packed our lives into two suitcases and headed to London on one way tickets. The currency exchange was so bad at the time that our Aussie dollar was only worth 1/3 of the British Pound, the only way that we could afford to come home was if we worked for it. But we did much more than just work to earn our trip home, we settled in, set up house, paid utility bills saw a lot of the planet, and came home with enough saved to put down a deposit to build our first Australian house. We were completely green. We had no idea what we were doing, we were young and naive, but we made it work and we had an amazing adventure.
We read lots of travel blogs, and it’s hard not to notice others singing the praises of South East Asia. It’s cheap for Aussies, it’s not too far from home, the people are friendly and the beaches are to die for. Having said all that, right now, it’s just not feeling like the right destination for our family for the first leg of our slow travel around the world. Simon and I have only spent about 5 days combined in South East Asia. We have never worked there, and we’ve never ‘lived’ there like a local, so we are shying away from learning to do these things with our children in tow. In a way, we feel like the kids need to ‘catch up’ with us travel wise, but also we need to get that ‘go anywhere’ mentality back. As much as Simon and I are intrigued by exotic travel to South East Asia and South America, realistically, we know it’s been a while since we were completely out of our comfort zone. If our stress levels rise, the kids will feel that.
There is so much that we want to share with our kids, and so many lessons that we will all need to learn on Our Global Adventure, but until we get back into our international travel ‘groove’ and get a little braver (us and the kids), we’re going to take it easy. If we were planning a 7 night getaway to a Bali resort we’d have no hesitation in hopping on the next flight with Lucy and Oscar. But, this is slow travel that we are planning – living and working with locals, maybe even going to school, (Shock! Horror! If they want to!). So our gut instinct is telling us to tread carefully. Soon enough we’ll all be seasoned travelers, and no mountain will be too high to climb, no river too wide to cross… and we just can’t wait!