Around The World Indefinitely…..

It’s not uncommon after you’ve been working for a few years to sit at your desk or on your commute daydreaming about handing your notice in or pleading for a sabbatical and taking some time out to go travelling around the world.  And, some lucky people even bite the bullet and work out a way to do it (any 3o something couples looking for inspiration and advice on how to do it should check out suitcasestories.com, a brilliant site, written by a couple who have decided long term travel is what they want to do, they even manage to do it in luxury too)

But, what about when  you factor children into the equation too?  Master ATWWAH loves going on holiday, he’s just like his mum and dad, and on our recent holiday got really upset on our last day as he didn’t want to come home.  There were tears.  It probably didn’t help that I wasn’t keen on going home either and had woken up in a teenage strop declaring it wasn’t fair that we had to go home that afternoon.

Dubai

Master ATWWAH didn’t want to leave….

 

I never did the gap year thing between A-levels and university, that summer was spent doing a ‘real job’, as my parents told me, in a dressing gown factory in north Manchester folding garments and getting verbal warnings for talking.  My dad used to drop me off each morning ignoring my pleas to let me quit and quite rightly telling me I’d appreciate going to university after doing a low paid, boring job all summer.  And, the year after graduating instead of taking myself off on my travels I crossed back over the Pennines from Leeds and got a low paid job doing something I wasn’t interested in while I looked for a job in marketing.

So, maybe that explains why I have this new fascination for reading about people who take their kids on long-term trips and wondering if it’s something we’d ever do.  I even got as far as planning a route in my head and a time of year we could do it until Mr ATWWAH then listed all the practical and utterly logical reasons why it may not be a good idea (one of us having a seriously ill parent, his work situation and our mortgage being the main ones!)

This morning I was reading in the paper about Simon and Kim Brown who have taken their three year old daughter on a three year sailing adventure around the world predicting the dangers they would face would be no different to the school run and that being ‘home schooled’ in this way would be a multi-cultural experience.  However, three months in and they were having reservations after their daughter’s behaviour went downhill with spitting, punching, kicking and hitting a regular occurence.  Kim admitted she hadn’t really thought about the impact it would have on their daughter and maybe the lack of routine, unpredictability of their situation and lack of anyone but her parents to play with was contributing to her bad behaviour.  She spent time crying on the deck upstairs while her daughter had tantrums downstairs.

I’m not so sure it’s the case though.  I’ve sometimes had to go in another room and have a little cry as Master ATWWAH has been having a tantrum about something ridiculous at the end of a long day and from talking to friends with similar age kids they all have.  And, I think most toddlers go through stages of being unruly and fair enough they may not display all of the bad behaviour the Browns have described but three year olds are still finding their way in the world and getting frustrated whether they are at home or at sea.

I must admit I’m not sure home schooling whilst travelling is something I’d want to do.  The goody two shoes in me would always worry that not giving Master ATWWAH the ‘usual’ education would somehow damage his prospects in later life or affect his ability to adjust to normal life when you returned.

But, it must be great to take your little one on an extended holiday showing them loads of the world and also at an age where you can still pretty much determine the itinerary and not them.  Although then I’d always wonder if they would really remember it when they were older, possibly not, so does that mean all your good work at ‘showing them the world’ was a waste of time?  And, also what if they hated it?  How guilty would you feel?

Last month I read this article on blogzine Selfish Mother (great name) about a couple who just ‘jacked it all in’ and took their three year old on an adventure.  They are still on the adventure four years later and don’t sound like they are in any hurry to return despite their daughter not always taking to it all.  Although it does sound like they’ve now got a great life in Bali and are ‘settled’ for the moment.

So, practicalities aside, would you do it?  And if so, would it be a short term thing or would you jump in with both feet and vow never to return home?

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