I’ve been very lucky since I met my wife. I’ve travelled a heck of a lot more than I perhaps would have otherwise. We’ve been to the roof of Africa (and a fair few other bits of it), the frozen north (all right, a beer festival in Estonia during August but it would’ve been frozen there in the winter!), America, Canada and Belgium to name but a few. Having kids hasn’t exactly limited us in our experiences. Didn’t know it, but my wife was pregnant with our first when we were in Canada, we took Thing 1 to Estonia – very family friendly, these beer festivals, you know – and we’ve been to Egypt and South Africa with most of our kids at one point or another. Ah, the caravan of chairs. Happy days.
I love travelling. Hate airports, mind you. Soulless places that suck they joy out of everything. And the security Nazis! Even before we’ve got off our little rock we’ve had our shoes X-rayed, we’ve been prodded and poked with the metal-detecting wand after being “randomly selected” every single bloody time, had our hand luggage examined because something didn’t look right on the scan – that’s usually ink cartridges for my fountain pens. If I’m flying long-haul, I’d much rather not fly British Airways. As a family we’ve done both BA and KLM down to Cape Town. BA have the standard “On channel 1 is the movie. It will start x minutes into the flight. It will be followed by a short film about shoes and an episode of Mr Bean.” Anything for kids? No, not really. KLM, on the other hand, had the whole movie-on-demand thing down! For kids? The entire Disney and Dreamworks back catalogue. Knock yourselves out. Brilliant!
Last year, a few months after our youngest was born, we jetted off to Lanzarote for a blast of sun before winter set in here on the rock. Rented a car, rented a villa, had an absolute blast! I got a couple of dives in, my kids did Bubblemakers courses, we all snorkelled. We dined well, admired an island even more remote and stark than our own (volcanic terrain does not make it easy for vegetation). Amazing place. And the thing the kids remembered? Comparing bloody Meercats!