People tend to think that going on a long trip with kids will build pressure like nothing else.
A few years ago we were interviewed as a family for a tv show talking about long term traveling. Or something like that. Most families that were interviewed called it a ‘pressure cooker’. I don’t know. To me it seems something else entirely.
Traveling brings with it many interesting challenges. Some personal. Some for the family as a whole. Disrupting that balance is a valuable tool because it allows the gears to rearrange themselves till everything runs smooth again.
That’s why I think it’s important to let the issues float up early. Not to delay or be afraid of them, the opposite. We’re talking about a positive process that in short order will bring a constellation that is adapted to your new lifestyle.
All this is very dependent on your style of traveling and even more so on the destination you chose to begin traveling in. A caravan in Europe is not the same as a guesthouse in India.
One of the main things when you go on a trip with breathing space; you don’t jump nervously from place to place, but stay comfortably and roll slowly forward towards the next encounter. Getting to know new cultures, flavors, and people. Even a caravan in Europe isn’t isolated. There are more families traveling that way. You meet them on the road. In the stores. In parks. Everywhere. People from all over the world. Meetings are simple and easy, within minutes.
Southeast Asia is a sort of haven from that perspective. There are days when you haven’t even left for breakfast yet before the kids make friends. Or you find someone fascinating that will hold you for a conversation of three hours right there on the staircase.
The feeling is vented, open, relaxed. The opposite of a ‘pressure cooker’.
Everywhere you go you encounter people or experiences or simply interesting things. There is a feeling you have all the time in the world. The day goes on and flows slowly. There’s no need to hurry for anything. You go on walks in the villages or on the lake coast. I sit for hours in small cafes…
Suddenly the topics for conversation become more. Instead of talking about the daily/weekly chores list you find yourself talking about your thoughts, about your soul, about love. Or just about some nonsense.
Instead of worrying about the endless list of chores, from planning to organization and bureaucracy you now have time… time to play cards. Time to laugh for hours. To read. Time for silence. Time to breath.
• Choose well and wisely your first destination.
• Don’t be afraid of what it takes to bring back balance.
• Don’t be afraid of encounters of any sort. They’re a huge part of any trip.
• Come prepared to get to know your family again differently and deeply.
• Come with lots of love.
• At the end of the day, a trip like that does everyone good.
‘Pressure cooker’??? Far from it.