The good, the bad and the awesome: Our most memorable family adventures
Since we met more than a decade ago, we’ve travelled thousands upon thousands of miles – around Africa, India, Asia and Europe. So, when our two little ones arrived, that didn’t mean we curbed out sense of adventure. Far from it! In fact, we now felt a responsibility to show our children the world too. So even if it means a little scrimping and saving at other times of the year, we always get away for at least one adventure. Here are just a few of the most memorable ones so far:
Penguins in Cape Town
We had many incredible moments in South Africa – including catching a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, gazing up at stars in the inky black skies of the winelands and running from the beach at Camps Bay when wind whipped up the sand so it felt like tiny needle pricks all over our skin. But, the standout attraction for us was Boulders Beach where we were able to picnic within arm’s reach of African penguins. While the first section of the bay is crowded with tourists and not many penguins, clamber over the boulders in the middle which give the beach its name and you’ll find a throng of black and white birds. They’re unafraid of visitors and we sat just a couple of metres away from them, watching them waddle past us and then splash into the Atlantic, zooming like bullets under the water.
Surfing in Cornwall
Holidays aren’t all about seeing the big wide world. Although that’s obviously a big part of it. But it’s also about spending some quality time together, doing things we’d never get the opportunity to at home. When we managed to drag our two away from the waterslide at the Parkdean caravan park we’d chosen in Newquay, we decided to see if Cornwall lived up to its reputation as one of the world’s greatest surf spots. We opted for a family session which gave us an hour’s taster surf lesson followed by an hour of rockpooling, learning all about the local marine life. Although, while the children were soon whizzing about atop the waves, I found rockpooling was more my forte.
A bag snatch in France
Staying with friends in the gorgeous South of France, we found ourselves falling victim to a crime. On our way back from a night out in the picture-postcard pretty village of Valbonne, we had to stop our car to punch in the entry code for the resort we were staying in. At that point, motorcyclists dressed like police stopped beside us, opened the car door and snatched my handbag from under my youngest’s feet. Thankfully, he was so little at the time, he wasn’t upset and there was nothing in it other than nappies and baby wipes. But, the real police still went to look for the thieves and, although they didn’t catch them, came back to our house with my bag that they’d found by the side of the road. It didn’t spoil our overall impression of the Cote d’Azur though. Even though it has a reputation as one of the world’s most expensive places to holiday, we picked up fresh produce from the markets and made picnics, our children played with French youngsters in Valbonne square and we discovered the unspoilt Iles de Lerins off the coast of Cannes for a 10 euro ferry trip.
Clown fish and camels in Egypt
It took our two a little while to get the hang of breathing through a snorkel. But, once they did, we couldn’t get them out of the Red Sea at Sharm el Sheikh. Here, on a chunk of coral just a few metres off the shore, we saw more sea life than you usually do in an aquarium, including parrot fish with their bird-like beaks, spiky lionfish, clown fish just like in Nemo and we even spotted a sting ray and a turtle. And, there was no way we were coming to Egypt without seeing the pyramids so we all boarded a night bus to Cairo. Despite the bumps, our two slept most of the way but were delighted to wake up now and again only to spot wild camels running across the road, caught in our headlights.
A road trip through Spain
Sometimes, the best trips are those which aren’t really planned at all. We simply got the cheapest flight into Spain and the cheapest flight back out of Spain, driving between the two airports and stopping wherever took our fancy. It meant we stayed in rural Andalucia, spotting shepherds herding their goats on our walks and stopping to feed donkeys, we waded out for what seemed like miles without ever getting out of our depth at La Manga beach, we got lost in Valencia before visiting the best zoo we’ve ever been to and we spent our final few nights in a farm-turned-hotel where my daughter rode the horses before dinner and then we watched the sun set over the fields.
Hi World Travel Family readers! I’m Katie from delightso.me and Alyson has very kindly allowed me to write this post for you. While we’ve not yet taken the leap that Alyson and James have, we travel as much as we can. Having our children in tow means we get to see the world through a child’s, well actually two children’s, eyes which enriches our own experience wherever we go.