In 2011 we, finally had an overseas trip! (Well, Aussie!)
I so love to travel and have really missed the excitement of travelling internationally. We needed a new car and had to borrow some money so I thought, in for a penny in for a pound (well slightly more but you get the idea… ) So I took the kids, and with some friends, went to Queensland to an Unschooling Retreat!! Yeeeha!!!
It was so gorgeous up there…WARM….! We stayed for a week in a big campground, flash cabins, heaps of great things for the kids to do and a whole bunch of unschoolers! There were speakers, discussions, kids activities, fun evenings, trips out. It was such a treat to live for a week with other like minded parents, removed from the outside world, except for trips to the supermarket. There was so much love and support, so many parents intentionally choosing natural education, respectful parenting & freedom. It was a beautiful week and reminded me how important like minded and inspiring community is to me.
Charlie discovered he does love water slides after all, Ollie made new friends and loved the fire sticks, devil sticks, mini golf and go carts. Hannah loved the travel, the string games with Gabrielle, the outdoor movie screen(!!), the independence to catch a bus down to Airlie Beach and visit the 2nd hand book shop. It was so cool having older children. Seeing their independence and confidence was wonderful! It certainly made it an extremely relaxing week for me.
On the last night we went to say goodbye to new friends that Ollie had made. In a quiet moment the Dad pulled me aside and said the most wonderful things about Ollie and wanted to know what I had done as they wanted their son (Ollie’s friend) to turn out the same! I was blown away, and tempting though it was to accept all credit I assured him that I was very hands off and only supported Ollie to be himself, which is an honour in itself!
(N & V I hope you don’t mind me telling that story! 🙂 )
Thank You so much to Erica and Maree for all the organising, it was a fabulous week! (And Maree is organising 3 conscious parenting conferences in Australia in a couple of months…have a wonderful time!!)
After the retreat we went with several other families out to DayDream Island, went snorkeling, swimming, did a bush walk where we nearly tripped over Kangaroos lazing on the path! Plus a wonderful boat trip in a gorgeous part of the world…..
It was hard to leave, but for us the adventure was not over! In Brisbane, we went down to North Beach, just north of Surfers Paradise and had a couple of action packed days. Our kids are all pretty cautious, so going to Movie World was a BIG deal, and what do you know, now they are all converted to the joys of roller coasters!!! They were pretty blown away.
Then the next day we sampled the delights of Currumbin Zoo, complete with high ropes course and all the wonderful animals. Even a touristy Aboriginal Dance (someone said one of the guys was Maori!!). Such a great day again and I loved the walk on the beach afterwards while we waited for our bus. We climbed up Elephant Rock and had such views! It was so fun being tourists.
The children are all such wonderful travellers, so much fun and so easy going. They were the very best travel companions and derived so much joy and had such fun discovering new things! It really made the whole trip so exciting seeing the world through their eyes.
The day we left was just gorgeous. We went across the road and swam in the beautiful, clear, warm sea. There were heaps of people and the surf was wild and strong. The sun was hot. It was a real magic moment and I loved swimming until the last moment, then going to the airport with the salt still drying on my lips, my hair still wet and my body all clean and tingly. I almost felt guilty as though I was smuggling some piece of the beach home with me and wondered if it would show up in the scanners at customs. Even lovelier was waking up the next day, back home and still with sand in my hair from the gold coast. Now that is what I call a holiday souvenir!!
I am so grateful for such a wonderful family trip. My favourite thing in the world is being out adventuring with my kids. We have an itinerary for our round-the-world trip which is a work in progress, added to now and then, changed, although always with Harry Potter World and LegoLand at the top of the list somehow…that is our next dream!!