We are soon to embark on a Geography project for our upcoming Geography Fair. I have asked the children a couple of times to have a think about what they want to do their project on, and they have, each time, said they want to look at Slovakia.
The sole reason that they want to look at Slovakia is that a few months ago, my Dad set off on his bike on one of his epic solo journeys.
My Dad has two mottos in life, and one is a quote from Barry Sheene; ‘Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out and meet the bl**dy thing’. It’s fair to say my Dad does embrace this philosophy. He has been on a number of long bike trips and the last couple of years has taken some solo journeys too.
His latest solo journey was to see him travel a huge distance and end up across Eastern Europe. I have a love of Eastern Europe, having visited Prague, Riga and Russia back in 2005 – all three countries were beautiful and different and utterly captivating, and I can understand why my Dad wanted to travel to those areas too.
My Dad’s motorbike journey was pretty epic and you can read about some of it here on his own blog. It’s certainly sparked the children’s interest as we followed his journey each day on our map. My parents have also just got back from two weeks on the bike around Spain (and a little into Portugal too).
It’s not often I pine for something, but I do miss those moments of being able to just book something and take off. When all we had to worry about was if someone was around to feed the cats and if we’d booked our airport parking via purple parking or not! Damian and I have had some pretty amazing travels, be it a week driving around Malta in the blistering heat or the month we spent in Australia where we saw some beautiful and amazing things. The experience of driving on near deserted roads as we made the journey from Sydney to Melbourne via Canberra was fabulous as is my abiding memory is trying to get to grips with the left-hand drive car as we crossed the Sydney Harbour Bridge; it was a very memorable moment.
We don’t have any long distance travels planned yet, but it’s in the medium term plan to undertake some longer holidays with the children; perhaps packing up the car and setting off for a three-week stint in Europe. Or just booking flights to and from different locations and hiring a car to drive in between, seeing the sights as we make our way across.
I like my parents’ idea of travelling light with little to worry about other than ferry crossings and up to date maps. I’m not sure taking off on a motorbike is practical right now, but I hope to be able to do something with the children in the not too distant future will help them understand the wider world – there really isn’t anything better than travel to really open your eyes to the wonderful world around us.
My Dad’s trip has really ignited the older two children’s interest in the world and I can’t wait to get stuck into our Slovakia project; who knows, one day soon we might find ourselves travelling there too.
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