The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams
The day my first little adventurer arrived, one of the first things I remember reading in hospital was the following and it has stayed with me since….
And I sat there in the middle of the night, adrenaline on an all time high, I made a vow to my little daughter and myself, that I would fill her life with as much adventure, magic and memories that I could muster. We have since been blessed with another two boy adventurers and having my youngest born with septicaemia really hit home just how precious and delicate life really can be.
So my mission in motherhood for my little adventurers is to….
Growing up in a big family we didn’t have lots of opportunity to travel but I remember taking a few trips to Pakistan and living in my granddad’s farm house. Days and weeks were spent running across the neighbour’s roofs and running through my granddads vast fields.
Watching cows being milked, collecting eggs from haystacks 10 times taller than me, gathering berries from trees by throwing stones at them. Exploring mosques and nearby villages, making friends with children who were from a completely different walk of life but the beauty of childhood is that it didn’t matter… in your eyes you are all the same! That feeling of freedom, daily adventures was amazing and implanted in me a passion of travel.
My passion of travel is all consuming and my wanderlust is always on an a high. My passion is not to go to a resort and relax by a swimming pool (though this can be good for a day or two) but to go and venture out, to see, smell and touch the places we are visiting, to talk to locals, experience local traditions, festivals and a different way of live, always showcasing the amazing world to my little adventurers.
We have had some incredible experiences this year and so far in 2016 we have:
Read Greek Myths at the Acropolis in Athens and watched the sunset over the Parthenon
Raced in the oldest Olympic stadium in world
Slept under a dinosaur in the Natural History Museum in London
Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower and viewed Paris from the skies
Visited the only castle in the world which is still being constructed (and constructed only using medieval techniques)
Watched Maya make a tile which will be added into the castle, forever leaving a leaving a mark on history
Slept in a treehouse
Rode on the fastest rollercoaster in the world
Visited one of the most beautiful mosques in the world
Watched with incredible pride as my adventurers climbed through the Malaysian rainforest to walk the canopy walkways hundreds of feet in the sky
Been attacked by a monkey in the Batu Caves
Been to the top of the tallest twin towers in the world
Watched our 7 Year old paragliding (solo) over the Penang sea
Ziplined through the forests in Malaysia
Played with fireflies and saw them fly to our hands like little balls of magic in Borneo
Watched a beautiful sunset on a secluded Borneo beach
Danced in a traditional Malay dance on stage
Visited Victoria Peak and admired the Hong Kong skyline
Walked on the philosophy path on Lantau Island.
To name a few of our adventures this year. I could have gone on for sometime but I think you get the picture, we LOVE, LOVE Adventures, we take our little adventurers everywhere!
When we were asked to write about our most memorable family adventure, we were spoilt for choice. Over the last 8 years, we have been on some incredible adventures as a family which when I stop and think about them, I never in my wildest dreams imagined would come true.
The travels which will be one of my all time favourites adventure was our 3 weeks in Thailand and Singapore. It was our first long-haul adventure with all three children and we travelled to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Sentosa Island and Singapore. Each and every day of our trip was filled with fun, adventure and saw us exploring the best of what the Far East. So whether it was taking a tuktuk ride to the Grand Palace, with each and every building more stunning the last, to ringing every bell on the way to the top of the Golden Mount. Or watching my 2 year old ziplining across islands in Sentosa to having my little adventurers making friends in Singapore who are now their penpals. I returned with a happy heart and head full of glorious memories of very happy children.
The entire trip was incredible but one place which truly stole my heart and will forever be a highlight was our time in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is often overlooked by families visiting the country but offers so much more then the usual tourist spots. Located in the rainforests of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai offers travellers a unique insight to the culture and traditions of Lannah people. Our hotel here was amazing, but what I adored most was that it was so rich in Thai traditions and showcased their culture with such a sense of pride. From the hotel representing traditional Thai houses throughout, to sharing the art of bamboo weaving and experiences such as yoga and Thai festivals for children. My personal favourite, was the rice planting where we were all dressed in traditional farmers clothes and went out to the rice fields to plant rice followed by seeing the process through to how the rice is cleaned and crushed. I loved this experience and it was such an amazing way to get children involved and interacting with a culture, making for a truly meaningful travel.
We visited Chiang Mai in rainy season, from the moment we landed a huge storm blew into the area and we dreaded that our time would be marred with thunderstorm after thunderstorm. We needn’t have worried, the storms lasted an hour or so but handed us with the great opportunity of letting our children out into a real monsoon downpour and dance in the rain with no concerns or inhibitions. As a parent it was seeing childhood at its best, making the ordinary extraordinary!
This was only the start of our adventure, we explored Chiang Mai and fell in love with the night market, full of local handicrafts but it was the stall holders who made the experience, they all adored children and would take ample time showing how things were made, crafted and their purpose. We would then spend time watching street food being made, impressed by the wafer thing rotis never ripping and treating ourselves to a warm Nutella banana rotis (or two) and ending each day with the best massages in town, setting us back a mere 1.50.
The days were filled with visits to weird and wonderful attractions, totally bizarre but hours of fun. We visited the Poo Poo Paper Factory which is by far the quirkiest attraction we have ever been too. The site uses the tons of elephant poo which can be found in Chiang Mai and turns it into paper. The tour around the factory is only an hour but it was great to see how the process working and the little adventurers even managed to get hands on. It was recycling at its very best!! However, this was beaten into second place by the most interactive art museum we have EVER been too. The 3D Art in Paradise gallery can only be described as cool. The exhibition is rooms filled with illusionist art which allows visitors to take part in the picture to complete the illusion, so from walking across falling bricks in lava, hanging on by your fingertips to a window ledge or being stuck in an hour glass, this museum will make even your youngest adventurer love art.
Chiang Mai is steeped in culture and has over 300 temples however, its very easy to make the little adventurers tire of them after visiting several. We decided to visit two which turned out to the best in the area. The first was Wat Phra That Dow Suthep, it is truly a golden oasis tucked in the mountains. Set atop a mountain, the Golden temple is a sight to behold. However, my personal favourite was Chedi Luang. It may have been crumbling in places, closed off to the public but was breathtaking. It stood opposite a new and beautifully decorated temple but its majesty was still much more profound. Warning here, your children will be mobbed by families wanting to take their pictures….
Along the way we treated ourselves to an afternoon tea of ice creams and sampled such gorgeous Thai food whilst watching local Thai dancing. Each moment of our time in Chiang Mai was perfect, it almost felt like we had taken Felix Felicis, (“Liquid Luck” from the Harry Potter stories) as everything was perfect, the right amount of culture, experiences, quirkiness, shopping, relaxing and all in breathtaking scenery. You would be mad to miss out!
I started my travel blog with the sole aim to inspire families to embark on adventures. Having children should never limit your travelling and as a family traveller all I can say that travelling with children is not always the easiest but its rewarding beyond words can express. Your children will find the magic in everything and will show you how amazing our planet, people and mother nature are. An adventure is never too small so whether you are hunting for fossils in North Yorkshire, sat outside the coliseum in Rome, watching a star speckled sky in the Outback, climbing to Tiger’s Nest in Bhutan or crossing Antarctica, the biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams…SO get your children and get planning your next adventure!
I will leave with you Maya, who took it upon herself to help with my entry. She wrote her own “recipe” and with the help of her brother / dad made a video of a Great family adventure and I couldn’t be more proud of my funny, confident little adventurer!! (apologies for the poor lighting, I didn’t have the heart to delete their efforts…)
RECIPE OF A GREAT FAMILY ADVENTURE
This post is an entry in to the Trips100/The Family Adventure Company blogger challenge to see what #WhatsYourAdventure