Author Topic: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures  (Read 2835 times)

EuroGap

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Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« on: December 19, 2021, 02:36:30 AM »
With the inevitable contemplation and reflection that accompanies the end of a year, and the start of another one, I received a welcome sense of clarity this morning as to something that has been brewing beneath the surface for quite some time.

Both SO and I are the adventurous types. We were both independently of each other travellers/backpackers straight out of high school, spending many months abroad during the time between high school and university. During our studies, and in the 5 years since then, the trips we have taken have been of the same sort.

We both feel incredibly lucky to have found each other, and often marvel at how well our values and priorities align. After 8+ years together, we both still feel the same level gratitude for this. Working towards FIRE was something that was just already within us, long before we discovered it was a thing, and projecting a FIRE life onto our already adventure thirsty vision of the future aligned perfectly.

As any FIRE person will testify, planning for the future comes quite naturally, and often not only for the financial side of life. The same went for how we envisioned working life leading up to us having children would play out. There were some trips that we felt we needed to do before we had children, and when looking at that list again, some things that we had anticipated we would have already done.

A brief list (among many others):
  • Visit Tanzania and hike Kilimanjaro
  • Asia / SE Asia: China, Tibet, Indonesia, Malaysia (Borneo), Vietnam, South Korea, Japan
  • South America: Chile, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia
  • North America: National Parks in both USA & Canada
  • Himalaya Trip: Bhutan, multi-week trek in Nepal
  • Road Trip New Zealand

Some of these don't necessarily lend themselves well to do with young children, which I think can be a contributing factor to the sense of stress and urgency that I feel. At the same time, I also don't want to delay having children for too long either. I'm 32 and SO is 31, an age just beyond when our respective parents had us. My father opened my eyes to the wonder of mountains, and my mother to the beauty of eastern culture, and they have instilled a sense of adventure in me that I greatly appreciate, and I thoroughly enjoy traveling with them. I hope to instill the same sense of adventure in my children, and be able to do the same types of things that I still to this day do together with my parents. Examples, among many, are ambitious day hikes of 25km+ and 1500m+ elevation, not bad for two people in their sixties.

I think what I am trying to reason myself towards is that I need to alter my expectation of these different trips, and understand that they can still be done with children, just in a different way. I anticipate lots of travel also with our children, considering for example the years leading up to when they start school, or being able to make the most of the various school breaks they will have, such as the 2 month+ summers or the long winter breaks.

I'm not sure I have a question here, just trying to piece together various tangent and divergent thoughts. Hope to hear your reflections!

fraylock

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2021, 11:05:23 AM »
I identify with what you describe.  My wife and I have always viewed ourselves as adventurous spirits individually and together, and I had similar contemplations.  We're now about five years ahead of you, us in our mid 30s, with two kids 4/1.  At that point, I too envisioned continued adventures incorporating the kids.

I will say that reflecting on the decision to have kids, I would still make the same decision without hesitation, but it is a MASSIVE change and re-orientation of your life, and much more than I expected.  Can we take young kids on backpacking trips and on overseas adventures?  Yes, and at times we have, but the truth is I don't really want to when they are this young, because it it is so hard and frankly unpleasant.  I'll backpack 25miles a day myself without batting an eye, but drag along a toddler and an infant and a short 2 mile hike can nearly break me.  A cross country road trip through New Zealand sounds amazing by myself or with my wife, but throw in two screaming kids, and I'm not so sure.

In retrospect, I wish I had tempered my expectations when we first had kids.  I think I had expected of myself that we would not let kids slow us down.  In reality, we were so constantly exhausted from lack of sleep, both of us working full time, etc that significant adventuring became an extra burden that we just couldn't bear.  I had a couple of years there in which I really felt a sense of guilt and despair that some of life's best experiences were passing me by, and I think a lot of parents feel that.  Thankfully, it gets a lot better as kids get older.

I think my advice to you as you pursue parenthood would be to allow yourself to temper expectations, for awhile.  Realize that there is a period of time, say 1-3 years, where your plans for adventure will be largely on hold.  The adventure is that of a new parent, and especially if you're not yet FIRE, that is enough.  As kids get older, once they can talk, feed themselves, and are potty trained, adventure awaits and it can be double the fun to share those experiences with your kids as they are older.

Our plan is to move to New Zealand in 2 years when our kids are 6/3, but until then we're focusing on "micro" adventures and achieving FI.

If you haven't come across it, I recommend the podcast "ordinary sherpa."
« Last Edit: December 19, 2021, 11:07:25 AM by fraylock »

EverythingisNew

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2021, 11:09:55 AM »
Travel with kids is different and some trips are unpleasant as the previous poster said… this is very true! I have 3 kids (8, 5, and 3). We wouldn’t recommend any international trips between the ages of 1-5. These are years that kids take naps, wear diapers or need to go to the bathroom ASAP, and activities are all about them. They also don’t remember anything and often are not free. They walk slow, require lots of luggage (car seat, stroller). You have to hang out in the hotel room with them while they sleep (nap and early bedtime). It’s just not worth it. Our favorite vacations are visiting family and friends that also have kids and hiking around 3 miles. We hike almost every weekend!

Short answer, do international trips before kids. The national parks are great for kids. When they are older than 5 it’s fun to travel with them, but then they have school. Some of my favorite trips with little ones: cave and mine tours, dinosaur and space museums, short hikes to waterfalls, visiting friends with kids and drinking wine after the kids are asleep!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2021, 11:29:23 AM by KateFIRE »

K_in_the_kitchen

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2021, 02:05:03 PM »
We traveled a lot when our kids were young -- not internationally, and mostly by car and train, but we did take a few flights.

Traveling with our kids wasn't a terrible hardship.  When they were young they didn't watch TV, and we went on long road trips without playing videos or offering handheld gaming devices.  They hiked down 1.5 miles into the Grand Canyon when they were 5 and 6, which means they also hiked the 1.5 miles back up.  They could do all sorts of crazy hikes at that age, garnering the respect of many an adult on the trail.  They weren't whiners or complainers, and weren't the types to get bored.  Still, there were some trips where it rained hard and the lack of activity + an unfamiliar bed made falling asleep nearly impossible.  Or a trip where the baby cried for several hours straight in the car even with me sitting right next to him (that was the last time we left in the evening -- after that we learned to load them into the car at 4:00 a.m. and get four hours of driving in before they would wake up.

But that Grand Canyon trip?  They don't remember it, or any of the National parks we visited when they were little.  They don't remember much of the trip to Hawaii 6 months later (one had just tuned 7 and has a few memories).  They don't remember camping vacations or city vacations.  The first vacation they have solid, real memories of was a week in San Francisco when they were 9 and 10.

We really got a taste of it in Hawaii.  We were used to the kids' schedule, of course, but we traveled with my ILs.  They were accustomed to eating twice a day (mid-morning and then at dinner time) and wanted to get up and get going.  Our kids needed to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- the only meal that lined up was dinner.  The kids were game for everything we did, but they needed more frequent bathroom breaks as well as time in parks to run around (something we've always done when traveling).  They hated spending an hour in a store shopping for souvenirs with MIL, which she did daily.  Traveling with children mostly means traveling with the children's needs as paramount.

I know a lot of people who've thought their lives would be the same after having kids, and for a short while they can even kept it up, going to nice restaurants and putting the carseat with the sleeping baby next to them while they wine and dine.  They'd have a non-mobile infant and someone can watch the baby while they get their 5 hours training ride in.  Eventually really life sets in, especially if they have a second child.  It's harder to do things once the baby gets mobile or once there's more than one.

We were married a decade before we had kids.  We did a big trip to Japan (nearly a month), came home, and started the real talks about whether it was time.  We knew life was going to be different.  But I will tell you this -- I wish we hadn't waited so long, thinking there were things we wanted to do before having kids.  They are the best thing we've ever done other than marry each other, and if we'd started earlier we could've had more :)

fraylock

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2021, 02:28:51 PM »
I wish we hadn't waited so long, thinking there were things we wanted to do before having kids.  They are the best thing we've ever done other than marry each other, and if we'd started earlier we could've had more :)

Agree with this.  If you know you want kids and you're in a position to do it, I think it's best not to wait.  Having kids only gets harder as you grow older, both physically and otherwise; not to mention fertility drops off considerably in your 30s.

We do a fair amount of domestic traveling too, and I think this is fairly manageable after they are >1 year old, and short 1-3 day outdoor adventures after they are >4 years old.  For more involved, or overseas travel, I agree with @KateFIRE that >5 is probably a good rule of thumb.  With kids I find it's much easier to stay in one place, and keep activities to <1/2 day or less. 

Of course as kids are >5 you start contending with school schedule - hence I think the real value of FI, if possible, so you can take long stretches of time off when kids are on break.  That is our future goal.

Interested to hear how others have navigated this.

EuroGap

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2021, 03:38:48 PM »
Wow, Thank you all for your generous and very insightful answers.

One main theme I draw from you all is to go into it knowing that the first 3-5 years will, travel wise, be very different and limited, but that its ok as the adventure is of a different kind. But also, in the balance between having kids or setting out on ambitious travel, to not wait too long for either. Sounds like we should contemplate some form of sabbatical within the coming year.

I think we have quite good base conditions to still be able to feel the freedom and contentment that we yearn for even with young children, but in a scaled down version. We live close to nature, have easy access to large forests and lake areas within stroller-distance (including many well-groomed walking trails within them), where half-days or less seem very doable. Obviously I know nothing of what the experience would actually be like, but one can dream right? :). Additionally, our respective families have generational cabins in beautiful spots, where we could go for longer periods of time.

Summing it all up, I think what would be the best course of action for us is to go full speed on the ambitious and more difficult trips within the next 1-3 years, and to then start trying, and transitioning into a new type of life. I definitely look forward to that part of life as well, I just don't feel "ready" or like I've checked enough boxes on our list, but perhaps that will always be the case?

Say we have the potential to FIRE with two children aged somewhere between 1 and 4, would you consider car assisted slow travel as something worthwhile, with kids at that age? Our financial projections comfortably put us in that range, and considering the generous PTO parental days we each will have, being off for 1-2 years (or even indefinitely at that point) actually has quite a high probability.

Also, thank you all for the positivity you express about this, I read no regrets from you whatsoever in how your lives played out, which is heartening to say the least.

K_in_the_kitchen

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2021, 04:52:24 PM »
Say we have the potential to FIRE with two children aged somewhere between 1 and 4, would you consider car assisted slow travel as something worthwhile, with kids at that age? Our financial projections comfortably put us in that range, and considering the generous PTO parental days we each will have, being off for 1-2 years (or even indefinitely at that point) actually has quite a high probability.
I would totally do car assisted slow travel with children somewhere between 1-4.  If you can buy a class B camper van it will be even better.  Think about it -- you travel with your own bathroom (children can be incredibly fussy about bathrooms and can't always wait in line), bed (nap time whenever necessary), snacks and other food (stave off hunger related meltdowns), cold water, etc.  You can pull into a state park and one parent can explore with a child while the other kicks back in the van while the toddler conveniently naps on the bed you always have with you.  Most camper vans are nimble enough to travel anywhere a typical car can, including cities, which can be tough in larger motorhomes.  Plus they get much better gas mileage than motorhomes and can serve as a daily driver or second car.  We bought our first van when our children were teens, and I immediately wish we'd had one when they were babies!  Not all class Bs are well suited to carseats, but the new Winnebago Solis looks like a great van for a family.  We have a Winnebago Travato G, and while the newest Travato G jettisoned the second bed, they did so to gain safe, three point automotive grade seating for two additional passengers, and a couple of children can still sleep in the van, either using floor pads or an inflatable mattress across the front seats.  There are other vans out there with four captains chairs that also take carseats, but they're usually built on the Mercedes Sprinter and cost a lot more.  (Also, ignore MSRP on most RVs.)

MayDay

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2021, 06:25:14 PM »
My kids are teens/tweens now. We can do virtually anything with them, and THEY CAN REMEMBER IT! I love showing th m new things. It's way more fun than going myself.

But.

It was hell trying to travel with them as babies/toddlers. Hellllllllll. We gave up even trying until the younger one was about 3. And even then it required a willingness to just pull over to the side of the road and let one of them take a dump in full view lololol.

But traveling with them now? Wow. It's really cool.

Darian

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2021, 01:39:30 PM »
New parent here who also loves travel and it's HARD. We have a very active 1 year old, and right now the only trips we can handle are car trips to places less than two hours away. Any longer than that he starts screaming uncontrollably wanting to get out of the car seat. We went on one plane ride to visit the grandparents when he was 5 months, and even though he wasn't mobile yet it was still bad. He cried the entire time he wasn't being walked up and down the aisle. We've scaled way back to local trips like cabin stays in state parks.

As for your question on slow travel- maybe it will be possible? I think it depends on the kid. Some kids (ours) don't handle a lack of routine well. I think having your own RV would really help with this. You also wouldn't have the network of family and friends to fall back on for help with childcare. In the early years, taking care of the baby will be like working 2 full time jobs at once, and even being FIRED, it will get exhausting if it's always on you.

I second the other posters who've said that if you know you want kids, don't wait. It's been the most transformative experience of my life, and looking back, SO and I wished we would have started earlier. Another way to look at it: you can delay children to try and fit in these adventures now. But there's also the flip side: the sooner you have children, the younger you'll be when they're grown up and you're free to resume whatever travel you want.

startingsmall

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2021, 04:04:30 PM »
This is perhaps my favorite article ever written on traveling as a parent:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/vacation-or-trip-a-helpful-guide-for-parents_b_7789310

I read it while on a beach vacation trip with my husband and our then-3-year-old. It literally felt like the single most true thing I had ever read, because that trip was NOT the relaxing vacation I had planned or envisioned. But now my daughter is 9 years old and, while we haven't done any family travel lately due to COVID, she's reached the age where she can actually enjoy daytrips and hiking and other similar things. Yes, I have to take her interests into account and structure the day to set her up for success, but we spent yesterday at a state park together, doing a little bit of hiking for me (2.5 miles) and a little beach time for her. It was a compromise and we were both happy.

We'd hoped to have two kids. While getting pregnant with our first was a breeze when I was 33 years old, we tried for #2 for several years when I was in my late 30's and had no success. (Granted, we did not try any medical interventions because I had some mixed feelings after a miscarriage.) Although everything will certainly change with kids, it's also one of those things you don't want to put off for too long.

Expatriate

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Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2021, 01:10:26 AM »
Maybe a slightly different view than most.

Your story sounds familiar. Our wanderlust seemed endless, and our bucket list actually grew with every trip we did. Being based in Europe, our work allowed three to four 2-3 week trips per year. Which we did for many years.

We both liked the idea of having kids, but realized it would be impossible to combine those with our travel passion. So we postponed.

You know what? Impossible as it seemed still when I was 35, traveling at some point got… old. One week and a half into a three week trip to Madagascar, by all standards a unique and amazing country, and we felt we “had seen it”. What?! First world problems…

So for us the change came very naturally. I was 38 when our first kid was born. It’s been amazing. When you don’t have that urge anymore to see the world, and are just happy to spend your days off work to see them play and run around.

The bucket list is still long. And we will definitely pick it up again - when they’re old enough to enjoy and remember.

Fertility is a legit concern. But most of our friends got kids in their late 30s, and the only ones we know that wanted but couldn’t, wouldn’t have been able to have kids earlier in life either. Yes, some got help with IUI treatment - thank you medical science. I’m not a doctor and YMMV, but to us it seems that IF you’re able to conceive naturally (a very big if), you’ll very likely still manage in your late 30s with some medical help.

So… I guess my point is, it might be worth trying to see if you can satisfy the wanderlust before having kids. Take unpaid leave or resign if you need to. You might just get the best of both worlds.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2021, 01:12:22 AM by Expatriate »

Cassie

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2021, 02:05:18 AM »
I had my kids young and we traveled by car or train. By 45 they were all grown.  Then traveling increased going to Europe numerous times, cruises, etc.  Have went on some great trips with my adult children also.

NonprofitER

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2021, 11:48:13 AM »
We lived in New Zealand as USA expats when our [only] child was born, and traveled for up to 2 - 4 weeks at a time for her first two years of life - much of which was around Australia/NZ, and to-and-from the USA to visit family. I didn't find it that onerous other than settling into sleep routines in different places and having to take more "stuff" than we were accustomed to traveling with. We did a lot of baby-wearing, so she was used to being toted around in a sling, etc. There's a lot of really inspiring blogs about families that travel FT with young kids and tips/tricks to keep in mind.

We started doing more "adventure" traveling when she turned about 5 (now aged 12.5). We relocated back to the USA to live so to get anywhere internationally outside of the Americas takes a subtantial flight or flights. We generally do 3 - 5 week long trips once or twice a year (they've gotten longer the older she is), and that has helped us get off the beaten track and not feel too rushed in our itineraries. But honestly, she's such a seasonsed traveler at this point that there's nothing that she holds us back from. We've done SE Asia, USA National Parks, South America, Europe, and regular trips back to New Zealand. She's hiked, biked, road tripped, camped, and city-traveled. While she definitely doesn't remember everything about all the trips she's been on, she does retain memories from all our trips - and more importantly, she seems to have benefited from having a more global perspective.

The biggest obstacles we've seen limit other parents travel are:
1. Inertia - just getting to the point of actually planning/booking a trip. A lot of people say they want to incorporate more travel into their lives, but somehow never seem to prioritize it.
2. Finances - which presumbly you have under control since you're posting here
3. As kids enter school, very limiting school schedules!

#3 has been surprising to us as parents. Most public schools in our state have very strict rules about the number of days a child can miss without triggering truancy issues. Our child goes to a private school that thankfully doesn't have an attendance policy and actively encourages family to do extensive travel by having flexible policies for kids to do work prior/after their trip, or even do school work remotely during travel - but this seems to be unusal. A lot of families we know struggle to travel bc their only option for extended travel is during June - July, or maybe two weeks over Dec, which is also high/expensive travel season for most places. We tend to time our trips for shoulder-seasons, and don't have to worry about school stuff. But that's something to keep in mind! 


One major caveat I have is that we only have 1 child. I  assume costs and challenges are  multifactoral once you have 2+ children, since you'd need to balance their  different developmental ages/stages, school schedules, temperments, etc. 

WorkingToUnwind

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2021, 03:19:28 PM »
I've never been a huge traveler, but I do appreciate travel and adventure. I studied abroad for a year in college and explored Europe a bunch during that time. I then did lot of smaller trips with my vacation time when I was working full-time before kids, including a honey moon dirt biking around Tanzania and some fun tropical getaways. My husband and I also spent a year doing a mini-retirement in sprinter van traveling North America to hit up the best skiing and mountain biking destinations.

I must say, I love the activities I do with my two-year-old daughter way more than any of the travel I ever did before her. It's completely different, of course. We're not traveling far. We're going to local playgrounds, parks, the beach for a couple hours, doing 1-mile hikes, seeing animals at the zoo for an afternoon-- think mini adventures. But it's wonderful. Seeing the world through her eyes and sharing these little adventures with her is way cooler than the big travel I used to do. We spent a month living and working remotely in Park City this past fall, and that was pretty awesome. We got to explore new playgrounds, take her on amazing bike paths, do little hikes with her, visit a new library, and introduce her to our friend out there.

My husband did a little mountain biking while we were in PC, but for the most part we were doing toddler stuff. It's just a different flavor of travel. Much slower, much more tiring, but really fun when you accept it for what it is and don't try to replicate what you had before kids. I went through a huge adjustment after my daughter was born, thinking I'd have the same life and she'd just tag along. It doesn't work that way, and I had to mourn the old life a bit. There are aspects of it I still really miss. But we'll get back to them when she's older.

Mr. Green

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2021, 07:34:44 PM »
Just wanted to toss out the sobering reminder that having a child doesn't necessarily happen quickly. We decided to have our first as we FIREd in 2016. I was 32 and my wife was 31. Pregnant within 10 months. Miscarriage in 2017 and a multi-month delay before we could even begin trying again. Decided to take a break from trying and travel since we were FIREd. Started trying again in 2020. Pregnant within 4 months. Another miscarriage and another multi-month wait to try again. Confirmed no fertility issues, just bad luck. Third time was the charm and our first child is due in March. I'm now 38 and my wife will be 36. I'm not sure if I would have changed anything but I sure as hell wasnt figuring on being 38 when my first child was born.

As soon as our baby is old enough to not be wrecking havoc on our sleep patterns we plan to take another vanlife-style multi-month trip across the US.

WorkingToUnwind

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2021, 07:46:33 PM »
Just wanted to toss out the sobering reminder that having a child doesn't necessarily happen quickly. We decided to have our first as we FIREd in 2016. I was 32 and my wife was 31. Pregnant within 10 months. Miscarriage in 2017 and a multi-month delay before we could even begin trying again. Decided to take a break from trying and travel since we were FIREd. Started trying again in 2020. Pregnant within 4 months. Another miscarriage and another multi-month wait to try again. Confirmed no fertility issues, just bad luck. Third time was the charm and our first child is due in March. I'm now 38 and my wife will be 36. I'm not sure if I would have changed anything but I sure as hell wasnt figuring on being 38 when my first child was born.

As soon as our baby is old enough to not be wrecking havoc on our sleep patterns we plan to take another vanlife-style multi-month trip across the US.

Congratulations on your upcoming baby! We met two families on the road who were traveling with 1-2 year olds when we did our year in the van. One was in a fancy sprinter and the other in a small RV. Both made numerous comments about how it wasn't really what they'd envisioned and the experience was kind of disappointing due to the restrictions created by traveling with a toddler and conforming to nap schedules. We've thought about doing a van or RV trip someday again too. I'd like to talk to some families who did it with little, little ones who weren't disappointed in the experience though. It was kind of a damper to hear their experiences, but n=2. I know there must be those who do it and love it.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2021, 07:49:00 PM by WorkingToUnwind »

Expatriate

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Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2021, 12:42:54 AM »
It all boils down to expectations.

You can’t leave small kids alone. They need to sleep during the day. They usually don’t like to walk for more than 30 minutes, nor want to sit for hours in a stroller or carrier backpack.

A van trip where you just drive and stay put to let them play while you watch the sun go down in some remote place is probably a great experience.

However, most friends love “van life” because they can camp in remote places to go hiking, biking and skitouring. That just won’t work, at least not until they’re 6-8 AND have an interest in sports and the outdoors.

If a semi-active holiday is what you’re after, you’ll be much better off going to a resort town or hotel where you can bring them to a day care so you can do whatever you want during the day. Sure, that’s expensive, but then at least your holiday doesn’t turn into a “divorcication” ;-)
« Last Edit: December 26, 2021, 12:56:39 AM by Expatriate »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2021, 07:16:19 AM »
IMHO, the world is in flux now and traveling is going to be a pain and unpredictable. I wouldn’t delay the family thing at all if that’s what you want. Family is the priority and if you have the kids now when you’ve got the energy and bones that don’t ache, all the better. Those places will all be there in 10 years. You’re not missing out. Prioritize your list and start going now while you’re trying to conceive. Once you have kids everything about your thinking will change. You’ll work out a new plan after you learn what your kids can handle.

SailingOnASmallSailboat

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2021, 07:18:21 AM »
It all boils down to expectations.

You can’t leave small kids alone. They need to sleep during the day. They usually don’t like to walk for more than 30 minutes, nor want to sit for hours in a stroller or carrier backpack.

A van trip where you just drive and stay put to let them play while you watch the sun go down in some remote place is probably a great experience.

However, most friends love “van life” because they can camp in remote places to go hiking, biking and skitouring. That just won’t work, at least not until they’re 6-8 AND have an interest in sports and the outdoors.

If a semi-active holiday is what you’re after, you’ll be much better off going to a resort town or hotel where you can bring them to a day care so you can do whatever you want during the day. Sure, that’s expensive, but then at least your holiday doesn’t turn into a “divorcication” ;-)

This completely depends on the kid(s). Some kids are fine with time in backpack carriers, some aren't. Some are able to walk for ages at 2, some refuse to take a step alone. Sure, you take their routine into account with naps and such, but there's a LOT you can do. Yes, your point about expectations is spot on, but your sweeping statement about what kids are like is not.

To some extent, the kids will get used to whatever you do as a matter of course. If you like active outdoor activities, start doing them with the kids when they're young. If you only do it once in a blue moon, it'll be harder.


Bee21

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2021, 02:10:51 AM »
It depends on the kids. My kids travel well and have been to 22 countries. They probably won't remember any of these, but it was time spent together as a family and we had heaps of fun. You just have to accept the fact that having them around  will limit what you can do,and where you can go. Once you accept these limitations and won't feel resentful you will have a great time. I brestfed on 3 continents and did multiple 24 hr flight with a baby and a toddler. They love travelling and enjoy experiencing different cultures. They don't have the latest iphone, buthave seen proper princess castles and dungeons, climbed mountains and understand that people speak different languages, eat different food and have different money.

Travelling is doable, but looking at your wish list...you will have to do the adventure part before having babies as they won't want to climb the Kilimanjaro.  They are not interestsd in museums or galeries either, will,want to go to potty in the middle of cathedrals and the nicer and more expensive the restaurant is, the more they scream. Plus plane tickets are expensivev(it costs us around 7k just to get out of Australia). You will spend less on food and accommodation (thank god for airbnb with cooking facilities).

some kids travel better than others. We went on international trips with friends who spent their week holed up in a hotel room with vomiting/diarrhoea while we took our similar aged kids snorkelling the reef and on jet boats. I will always remember the baby (not mine) who screamed non stop from sydney to singapore. Or that poor mother who had to change her clothes 3 times in 4 hours bc the kid was vomiting all the time. You never know.

MayDay

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2021, 01:13:22 PM »
It all boils down to expectations.

You can’t leave small kids alone. They need to sleep during the day. They usually don’t like to walk for more than 30 minutes, nor want to sit for hours in a stroller or carrier backpack.

A van trip where you just drive and stay put to let them play while you watch the sun go down in some remote place is probably a great experience.

However, most friends love “van life” because they can camp in remote places to go hiking, biking and skitouring. That just won’t work, at least not until they’re 6-8 AND have an interest in sports and the outdoors.

If a semi-active holiday is what you’re after, you’ll be much better off going to a resort town or hotel where you can bring them to a day care so you can do whatever you want during the day. Sure, that’s expensive, but then at least your holiday doesn’t turn into a “divorcication” ;-)

This completely depends on the kid(s). Some kids are fine with time in backpack carriers, some aren't. Some are able to walk for ages at 2, some refuse to take a step alone. Sure, you take their routine into account with naps and such, but there's a LOT you can do. Yes, your point about expectations is spot on, but your sweeping statement about what kids are like is not.

To some extent, the kids will get used to whatever you do as a matter of course. If you like active outdoor activities, start doing them with the kids when they're young. If you only do it once in a blue moon, it'll be harder.

This is an optimistic view.

Many/most kids do not just get used to what routine their parents enact. Most people with multiple kids end up with wildly different personalities despite parenting approximately the same way.

Assume your kid will never sleep while traveling, refuse to walk more than a block, have a meltdown if confined to a stroller or carseat, and flip out if they don't nap at the exact right time. And then be pleasantly surprised when only some of those things are true.

lutorm

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Re: Bucket Lists, Children & Adventures
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2021, 11:50:08 PM »
Just wanted to toss out the sobering reminder that having a child doesn't necessarily happen quickly.
This is true. We started trying in ~2015, when the prospective mom was 34. Took until 2018 to produce #1. Then two years later we start trying to produce #2, which ends up taking one miscarriage and two more years until finally arriving two weeks ago, with mom being 41. She's lamented how much harder being pregnant and going into labor at 41 compared to 37.

While I'm happy we waited until we were in a stable and economically secure position, I did not imagine that it would take six years.

As for traveling, we took #1 from Hawaii to meet the grandparents in Sweden when he was 5 months and it was surprisingly painless compared to what I had feared. But we didn't travel around, we went to their place and largely stayed there for 2 months. There is no way I would want to be hopping from hotel to hotel with an infant, dragging sleeping arrangements and seats, etc., around with me. COVID put a damper on our travels since then, but we're planning a similar trip with both kids later this year. We'll see how it goes with two. It certainly gets more expensive.

As for the general traveling idea, I fully embrace the idea that kids should be introduced to different cultures. But I'm also acutely aware that long-haul travel is, by far, the dominant factor in our carbon footprints and I also want to instill a sense of personal responsibility (as well as not fucking up the world even more than it'll already be). I think the solution is to drop the tourism travel and instead do fewer but longer trips where you go somewhere and stay for a while. That way you get to know the local culture more, too.