I love everything about holidays and get excited from the minute we decide we are going away. I can spend hours researching where to go and where to stay. To me, the anticipation is as much part of the process as the actual holiday.
My love of travel stems from my own childhood. My parents had a caravan and every summer we went to the beach, then when I was older, a lake for water-skiing. We went to Fiji and when I was 11-years-old, a 5 month motorhome holiday in the UK and Europe.
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Memories of this holiday still live me even now and it is experiences like this that I want my children to have. However, I am aware that in planning each family trip, I am influenced by my own likes and dislikes.
For example, my children recently discovered we own a tent. They were so excited and I felt some guilt that the last time the tent had been unfolded was about 7 years ago. See, I am not a fan of camping. I dislike public amenity blocks, let alone the hole in the ground found in some bush camping spots.
I am not a snow bunny, preferring the bush and countryside in spring and autumn. Lounging about is nice for a while, but not for the entire holiday. I like to experience local attractions.
With a husband obsessed with fishing, the sea and inland waters also play a key role in determining where we travel.
I also love to fly to my destination. It makes me feel like I have been on a ‘real’ holiday. And although I could return to Europe again and again, it doesn’t worry me if I never visit many countries around the world.
In acknowledging my likes and dislikes and organising our holidays around them, I am aware that I could be influencing my own children and the future decisions they make in relation to travel. But is that a bad thing?
They have been to the Sunshine Coast on a family road trip. They have been up close to whales at Hervey Bay and done some of the Gold Coast theme parks.
They have been on a paddlesteamer at Echuca and walked through the eerie landscape of Cape Bridgewater.
They have seen the dolphins at Monkey Mia and travelled across Bass Strait on the Spirit of Tasmania.
They have visited schools in Fiji, walked the ruins of Pompeii and been with their grand-mother to her birth city of Budapest.
They have battled with a Roman Gladiator in Rome and eaten farm fresh ice-cream at an English dairy farm.
They have swum in the Mediterranean and been beneath the earth to learn how young children once worked in the Welsh slatemines.
And while my own desire to visit these places is what leads us to there, is that a bad thing?
In being lucky enough to experience wonderful holidays, just like I did as a child, I believe they will grow to cherish the wonders and joy of travel as much as I do.
And I hope that when I am no longer an integral part of their daily lives, they stop and remember the wonderful family holidays we had together that planted the first seeds of a love for travel in them.
Published 21st February 2013