Sunday, 24 June 2012

I travel with my Kids

Travelling with Iris and Sam to Austria (by car)
Written by: Jeroen Ensink

Are you scared on taking your children on a plane trip? You are not alone ~ most parents are nervous about it.  

I also do get questions whether I am nervous about taking my kids on a (car) trip. Their excuse for asking is that they really are,  and won't undertake any journey at all. Honestly, anything can happen but I would never deny myself a holiday, or anything for that matter especially with my two lovely kids, Sam and Iris.  I can only say to you, Just do it!  You don't have to be afraid that something might go wrong.  I have learned a lot of things because I have been travelling with both of them from the very beginning.  Iris was only six weeks young when I had my first short vacation and have stayed in a hotel. Sam and Iris are used to it now. When I go for a journey, they are always with me.


I learned a lot in taking care of them while we are on vacation anywhere in the world.  
I would provide books for them, bring old favourite toys and surprise them with new ones at times.  I do remember that I will never bring balls with us.  It is not a good idea as they can end up anywhere ~ if you know what I mean. 


Iris and same watching Carmen Steyr
Our best buys are books, sticker books most of the time.  It's great. They can peel the glossy sticker off that makes pages thicker to turn it easily. Its bright colours on many subjects attract them. This way, kids can have a break from the other books that they always read. They can be tired of similar story books, so, this I believe is a good technique. As for the food they eat, put aside fears of setting poor eating habits. Just bring on the snacks. I always tell them, "Welcome to the world of boredom eating".

Toy bars which are meant for strollers are a big help if you are travelling with a car.  It feature toys and snack cup.  They are big enough and would be easy to grab from the front seat for refills. It is a good idea to play a game and sing songs.  It sounds rather easy ....and yes, it does work!


Sam and Iris enjoying their drinks in HAAS Wels
When I started travelling, I had few reasons why I wanted to explore the world.  I want to share them with you, my fellow travellers. In a way, this will serve as your guide especially if you are new in travelling.
1. Make myself more worldly;
2. Learn about other cultures;
3. Meet people from other countries;
4. Learn some new words in foreign languages;
5. Master a foreign language I've studied;
6. Become a part of the globalization that is occurring;
7. Realize that The Netherlands isn't the only country in the world;
8. See things I've only read about;
9. Try new kinds of food;
10. Drink new kinds of beer.

Now that I have seen quite a number of places,  I have learned the following: 
One: I have learned that all people in the world are basically alike;
Two: I have discovered that everyone regards himself or herself as wiser and better than other people in the world;
Three: Travelling made me care about strangers. A famine or disaster isn't distant, abstract suffering if you've visited the region;
Four: Travelling taught me that not everyone shared my beliefs. In issues small and large ~ from child-rearing to politics ~ I learned that there are many ways of thinking;
Five: I have learned that there is more than one solution to a problem;
Six: Travelling taught me to be a minority;
Seven: Travelling taught me humility.


Spending Quality Time with Sam and Iris ~ St Hilaire de Riez Beach
Whenever I undertake a journey to a particular country I always want to know first about the surroundings, its history, its culture, which cities to visit and which hikes to undertake.  I browse over the internet to get certain information and read travel books just to make sure I am not missing anything.  Once I am travelling, I like to talk to the local people about their own country, their own region and those conversations will lead to collecting more information about hidden but beautiful spots to visit, the ultimate restaurant and the most important is the area to avoid.


Checking in at Hotel Europeen in Pont a Mousson

Ever since I had my personal travel site, I like not only to undertake the journey, but also write about it for everyone to enjoy.  Just to make sure I won't forget the details of my journey I write it all down in a diary.  I have given the diary a name "Diary of a Madman".  It contains all the information I have gathered.  I like to make it more beautiful and interesting so I glue in some pictures onto folders together with entrance tickets to museums, national parks, bus tickets and anything with a fee.  This way, I will be able to share our travels to all my friends or anyone who needs it.  I can reproduce all the information with solid tips and details that will help a traveller just like you.  More importantly, it will be fun to read about a journey that took place many years ago, read about what I exactly did and how I experience and enjoy it.  The memories, I would say.  Yes, it is written in Dutch language.  One day, I am writing it here in English for everyone to enjoy.

Iris supervising Sam while lighting a candle
It is nice to think that I managed to keep contact with the local people I met in most of the countries I visited.  I do nourish these contacts and will make it a tradition that I will pass on to my kids who are the reasons why I enjoy my travels.


The pictures of Sam and Iris will show how they like every part of their journey with their single parent. It is a challenge but i want to tell you, anyone can do it, if you really want to.


Sam
Quick snack at Kaffee Glockenspiel ~ Linz
Time to board a boat in Apremont
Beach in Narbonne Plage
Sam and Iris looking at costumes in Vienna Austria
Sam and Iris waiting for armlet with their names in Saint Jean de Monts
Iris a unique deer in Windischgarsten
Waiting for the train to leave in Windischgarsten
Some wild boar in Windischgarsten
Sam playing football in Windischgarsten
Enjoying Pizza in Seebacher Windischgarsten
Do we dare to go? ~ Windischgarsten
Having fun in Windischgarsten
Iris watching Sam
Enjoying the view in Apremont



Author Bio: 

Jeroen hails from Hoogeveen, The Netherlands.  A passionate traveller who never intend to go on a trip without his two kids, Sam and Iris. His Diary of a Madman contains all the information he gathered while on a journey with his kids.