Travel has always been the biggest priority in my life. Well, before having River, my life literally was travel. I didn’t have a home base and my entire life was in a backpack. For the four years between turning 18 and getting married in Nepal I was a complete nomad free spirit. I spent months in Africa couchsurfing with strangers and was literally barefoot for weeks because my shoes disappeared from beside the fire one night in Uganda and I couldn’t afford another pair. I lived on a prawn trawler for 4 months and met the love of my life in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Now I am a mum and don’t even have an up to date passport!
I would love to show my daughter River (18months) the world but I have been pretty anxious about stepping outside of our safe little bubble.
But 2019 is going to be the year of adventures for River and I (and Sudan if he can keep up with us). I want her to taste exotic food and feel the rhythms of life in far away places.
Here is my 2019 family Travel bucket List:
Well I guess I have to put this one first because River still hasn’t met her grandparents and family in Nepal.
To be honest I’m not entirely over the moon to be taking River to Nepal because I hold a bit of fear for the place since the major earthquake in 2015. I was there and it was a very traumatic time for me, so of course I am very anxious about taking my baby there.
But 2019 is going to be the year of letting go of fears and that starts with a trip to Nepal.
So, we would stay in Kathmandu for the bulk of the trip because that is where our family lives. I also have one of my best friends still living in Kathmandu as well, who I used to live with before I married Sudan. So we would be catching up with friends and family, eating a lot of delicious food (I have a plant based diet but I don’t think I will be able to pass up the chance to have Sudan’s mum’s amazing goat curries… and buffalo dumplings omg) and taking in the temples and vibe that I love so much.
I would also want to get out of the hustle and bustle and go to the lakeside town, Pokhara. Pokhara is one of my favourite places to hang out in cafes and chill. Hmmm I guess chilling will involve a lot less smoking weed and drinking beer and a lot more running after a toddler, but I’m sure she will love the live music and social environment of the place.
“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe.”-Anatole France
Ubud, Bali – Indonesia
I have been drawn to take River to Ubud for awhile now. I was never interested in visiting Bali in my backpacking days as I had this idea that it was a bit of a dirty bogan place that loud Aussies just went to for a cheap holiday. Lately though I have been seeing a lot about the town Ubud in Bali and I’m like really keen to go there now. Ubud seems very laid-back and has a lot of health retreats and yoga there.
I think that it is pretty common for families to travel to Bali so I feel like I would feel at ease taking River there.
Wow now I really want a green juice and rice paddie views, just thinking about it!
Okay, this might sound crazy to most parents but high up on my family travel bucket list is to do an overnight train trip in Thailand. I think that River would actually love the long journey and the romance of long train rides really appeals to me.
I would love to take her to Chiang Mai to visit the Elephant Sanctuary there. I don’t know, maybe she is too small to actually hang out with the elephants but think that it would be an amazing experience to be able to share some time together with such gentle, wise creatures.
Thailand has got amazing tourist infrastructure and is a haven for travelling easily and cheaply. A few years ago my sister brought her 6month old to Thailand. We travelled by bus and ferry and all sorts and the whole trip went so smoothly.
I can just picture River being worn on my back and strolling through the night markets, eating pad Thai and having a nice cold beer.
Fiji is quite a popular travel destination for New Zealand families. It’s cheap to fly there, safe and drop dead gorgeous.
I am not too interested in staying in fancy resorts or anything though and would love to have a local Fijian experience.
A nice chill out trip to Fiji would be the icing on the cake for 2019- our year of travel and adventure!
There are soooo many more places that I want to take River, but I think that these four destinations are a good starting point and I will see where we go from there!
Where would you love to travel to with your tribe? I would love to hear about your dream destinations.