We have a few reasons for wanting to embark on such a long trip, the main one being that we simply want to spend more time with our children while they are still young enough to enjoy being with us.
Children in the UK are the most academically assessed in the world. In addition, we are encouraged to fill their spare time with tutoring, ballet, swimming lessons, tennis and brownies. We would love to step off this treadmill for a while and enjoy simply being together.
Steve and I have a shared love of travelling, and it’s been something that we’ve talked fondly about returning to over the last few years. Our memories of previous trips together have sustained us through the years of sleep deprivation and tantrums. It seems obvious to us that, as our children grow older, we should share this love of travel with them.
We also think that travelling with our children will change our experience in a positive way. We will immediately have something in common with many of the people we meet, which will hopefully enable us to gain a deeper understanding of the countries we visit.
We think that extended travel (as opposed to short trips) will suit our parenting style. We usually take things slowly on our outings around London and believe that children benefit from having plenty of downtime to rest and absorb the experiences they have had. We don’t want to rush around, trying to ‘do’ a country in two weeks.
We are keen for our children to grow up understanding how lucky they are to live the lifestyle we do. The experience of living out of a backpack and seeing how many people around the world cope with very few possessions should be an eye-opener for children who have a bedroom each and more toys than they know what to do with.
We hope that by exposing our children to some of the world’s most fascinating cultures and beautiful natural sites we will have a shared experience none of us will forget.