My name is Jo, and I don’t holiday with my family (want to join me)?
Don’t get me wrong I love my family and we spend plenty of time around a campfire, but there are a few reasons why I don’t holiday with my family as much anymore. Our kids have experienced several 6 week+ adventures around Australia as well as South America. They are lucky kids, we are lucky parents. But because we have prioritised travel with them there has not been time or opportunity to travel as adults. When we travelled to South America I think we went out without them for a meal and cultural performance just once. Pretty much every other night we were in bed by 9.30pm! Travelling with kids is hard work and you are often compromised and of course want to keep them 100% safe. I mean heading to South America I never thought we would be seeking out MacDonalds in Peru – but we did because in a country where much is different, Macca’s is settling for kids. It was the last place I wanted to eat at, but sometimes that one familiar thing settled the kids like nothing else did. Trying interesting local cuisine is not a priority for kids and quite frankly not worth the drama or confrontation. Eat chips we said – because sitting down to a fried guinea pig was far too confronting.
Fast forward 3 years and I’m in Nepal, solo, no hubby, kids or friends. I’m not on a tour. I have a guide and a porter organised by Discovery World Trekking. We are walking the Annapurna Circuit. The food was fresh and tasty but never overly exciting – oh but the views!! I hardly saw any travelling kids on the Annapurna Circuit. The hike at altitude is simply too long and hard for them. However, I thrive when the challenge is physical, the culture diverse, and the food out of my control. The Nepalese people are known for their hospitality and while I am happy to bumble along with a thick accented guide, my kids would not be so tolerant. While I accept that the food is different, and the foods we are accustomed to may not be available in Nepal this can send kids into a dark despair!
Hiking is extraordinarily fulfilling for me, as is travelling within a developing nation.
It makes me tick / floats my boat / fulfils me.
I’m so lucky my husband appreciates and accepts this and supports my desire to head off. When I first became a parent I gave up hiking – for 15 years as it turned out. But once I remembered this passion it was like a fire lit up under me. I became more focused. Managed my time better so I could add hiking to my life again. From time to time my hubby came too. If the hike was short and sweet I could get my kids interested.
Sometimes you’ve just gotta put your oxygen mask on first – if you are more fulfilled you’ll be a better mother and partner. So I guess the point to this article is to remind you that you only have one life. It’s so important to reflect a little of what lights you up – and find a way to do this. If that means that you don’t holiday with your family from time to time, then do that!
If you feel you would benefit from specific preparation for hiking groups
you might consider 6 week HAPPY HIKE supervised 75 minute hikes.
Get sore knees when you hike?
Not sure what to take in your day pack?
How do you use hiking poles – and what are good features and what are a waste of money? Happy Hike sessions address all of this and more!
For regular preparation for hiking resources on what to wear, what to eat,
and how to prepare for bigger adventures you can’t go past this 10 email series created by Tasmanian Iconic Walks founder and global hiker Jo Cordell-Cooper.