Monday 15 January 2018

A Family Holiday Bucket List

I think I am a long distance traveller trapped with the budget of a staycation camper. Now that Christmas is over for another year, my mind has shifted to the summer months. I am really looking forward to sunny afternoons playing in the garden with Ember, after-school trips to the park and weekend barbecues with the whole family. And, of course, my mind has strayed to holidays. Laurie said a few weeks ago that he wants to write a bucket list of things to do and places to visit. I thought he meant as a family but it turns out he has visions of cycling with a one-man tent, so I’m going to have write a separate list if I want to feature on it (sob).

Here are a few of the trips I would love for us to take:

1. Safari
I would love to go on a safari and see animals in the wild. I have always wanted to do this, but it’s something I have really had my heart set on since becoming a parent. Obviously, as vegans, we don’t go to zoos (I’ve written about that here, if you’re interested). Ebony has never seen a lion or elephant in real life, something which I think pretty much every single one of her friends has. I would love to take her to Africa to see those animals in their natural habitats. I can’t even imagine how amazing it would be to see such majestic creatures in the wild.

2. To disappear for the whole summer
I hate that the school terms and so long and the holidays so fleeting. And I really hate that it costs so much to take holidays during the school break. I was always taken out of school for holidays and I am so thankful for those experiences of spending time with my family. I want to say ‘and seeing the world’ but really I mostly read books by the pool so that might be a bit of a stretch. I would love to take advantage of the long summer break by packing up and disappearing for the duration. One of Ebony’s best friends disappears with her family for the whole of the summer and I am always so jealous of their adventures. I don’t know how we would make it work with Laurie’s job, but I would love to do it one day (luckily being freelance and working from home means it wouldn’t be a problem for me. Yeah, I said that smugly).

3. Disneyland
Oh I know, capitalism, Disneyfication, Princess culture, yadda yadda yadda. I get it, I agree, I’m on board. But I’m still psyched that we’re going to Disneyland this year. I loved going to Disneyland when I was a kid. It felt so magical and exciting and like I was finally living the dream like the smiling kids on the 25-minute advert at the end of every single Disney VHS I owned. I can’t wait to take the girls this summer. I know that Ember will be a little young for most of the rides and that we’ll probably spend the whole time chasing her around while muttering about how stupid it was to take a toddler to Disneyland, but I don’t care. Ebony is going to love it. She’s going to love the rides, and the castle and the fact that there are characters to say hi to.

4. Iceland
I really want to see the Northern Lights. I know the girls won’t be interested in a trip to Iceland when they’re teenagers, but I think they’d love an outdoor adventure holiday while they’re still young. I’ve never been to Iceland and would love to go in the next few years. I would love to take them to see the Northern Lights and the wildlife and the beautiful scenery.

5. Cycling holiday
I have so many fond memories of cycling around France with my family when I was younger. I am rubbish at cycling and I don’t have a bike, so this might be a long-term dream, but I would really love to cycle around France with the girls. Laurie took Ember out on the back of his bike for the first time today and she returned frozen into a toddler-shaped ice cube, so I feel she may prefer a warmer climate. Ebony just got a new bike for her birthday and a cycling holiday would be a great way to build her confidence.

6. Doing something useful
When I talked about this bucket list with Laurie, we both decided we would want to do something worthwhile. I would really like to find a (genuine) animal sanctuary to visit somewhere. It would be great to teach the girls about real conservation and be able to show them the ways people are helping animals around the world. Obviously, the girls wouldn’t be much use, but if we could find a place to stay that would help fund sanctuary work while also letting the girls learn more about what was being done to help animals, I think that would be ideal.

7. Explore Scotland
I love Scotland. It’s such a beautiful, wild place, if it was a little warmer, I would live there. We’ve taken Ebony to Edinburgh and Glasgow, but she hasn’t seen the rest of the country. I’d love to go on a family holiday exploring the Scottish wilderness. Also, I think it would be fun to see Ebony offend Scottish people with her terrible accent, and maybe her accent would improve which can only be a good thing.

Where are your bucket list places to visit as a family?

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