Travelling with kids, are you NUTS?
Well…. we are most definitely not normal. But then again, nobody is normal. A normal person doesn’t exist in the same way an average person doesn’t exist. If being normal means being part of the modern rat-race society, constantly hurried, spending hours away from each other working a job that pays for a bigger house than you probably need and buying a lot of stuff you also don’t need, only to find in old age (or earlier sickness) you haven’t seen anything from the world other that the daily commute…. I’m happy to say we chose otherwise. I don’t know of anyone saying on their deathbed with a smile ” Boy, I sure am glad I’ve lived a normal life.”
We only have one life, might as well make the most of it. There is so much to see and so much to learn and to experience! The world is such a beautiful place!
So nuts then? That is in the eye of the beholder. Probably to some we are nuts. But we are by no means careless, frivolous or naive. I am way too nervous for that. I like to prepare, research, ponder and eliminate risks as much as possible. So we will embark on an epic voyage, maybe doing what some believe to be high risk activities. But we believe that with the proper care and preparation, as well as a healthy dose of common sense, a lot of risk can and will be avoided.
Sure, we are going to find ourselves in uneasy situations at some time or another. We will have engine problems, boat problems (everything on a boat that can break, will break), we will have storms and angry seas. We are not the boss of Mother Nature or Neptune. We might get sick or injured. But we face the same risks staying home, won’t we? Except for the huge waves anyway. Robin was 1,5 years old when she broke her leg on a trampoline at a friends house. She broke her arm at 4 when she fell during gym class at school. People get sick no matter where they are in the world. I’ve read that the chance of someone getting cancer at some point in their life is almost 50% today. I might get in an accident while driving to work. Anything can happen. Might as well have it happen with a great view!
It is one thing to choose to sail around the world for ourselves. It is another thing to “drag” our kids into it. And yet we do. We believe seeing more of the world will make them better people. It will give them life experience beyond their years. It will give them context to view current and coming events in. They will learn new skills. Meeting new people will teach them empathy and compassion and teach them that you can learn from anyone you meet in your life. Sometimes that learning comes in the form of a nugget of wisdom being passed on to you. A person can know something you don’t. A person can do something you cannot. You can learn from them. But sometimes it is more subtle. Dealing with someone who gets under your skin can teach you patience. Or where your boundaries are. Or simply gratitude that you won’t have to deal with them again or you are not like that yourself!
Everything is a learning experience and learning never stops. By visiting new countries we will all learn more about the world. Learn about the flora and fauna we’ll see underway. Learn to sail in all conditions. Learn to fix stuff. Learn to bake bread from scratch. Learn to gut and cook a fish. We try to teach by example as well. We didn’t know how to sail at all before we started having serious plans. I will write more about what we are learning and how we are preparing in another, upcoming, post.
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