Our Trial Run – Sri Lanka here we come
This is just the beginning but I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about what has led us to this point. To be honest traveling (or in my mind escaping) has been pretty much all I’ve thought about for the last few years. We’ve had so many long discussions at 2am about what we want to do but we have always just carried on with life. The main reason for this is always the one thing stopping us – MONEY! I’m forever following family travel blogs that make it sound so easy. Often the family are just in a completely different positon to us so it’s hard to relate. I’ll admit the fear of failing miserably is also a big concern of mine, I don’t want to escape our life to end up exactly where we started because of mistakes. However, we’ve also realised we can’t keep making excuses or we’ll never get anywhere. We will both regret not trying far more than we would ever regret trying and failing.
We decided we needed a bit of a trial run, a proper trip away as a family rather than just a long weekend away somewhere near home. We both lived in Sri Lanka before having the kids, it’s actually where we met so it’ll always have a special place in our hearts. We decided this would be a good place for our trial run, a month together as a family. We thought it would be a good chance to see if they enjoyed being away from home and experiencing a completely different culture. I think we both felt safer choosing Sri Lanka as we knew what to expect and roughly how things work there. Plus it’s much cheaper than most of the places I’ve visited in Europe. We had big plans to travel all over the island but in reality dragging two young kids around in the heat with all our luggage wasn’t that much fun. I will add that the lady that checked in our luggage at the airport was extremely impressed with how little we were taking but it still felt heavy in 30 degree heat while also carrying a toddler! Very stupidly we forgot to pack our baby carrier – biggest mistake of the whole trip! I had even bought a new one that was suitable for use in hot weather but it sat unused at home in the freezing cold. If there is one piece of equipment I recommend when traveling with a toddler it’s a carrier, it would have made our lives so much easier. My personal favourite is from http://novababycarriers.com/ . There are so many fabrics to choose from and it’s by far the most comfortable carrier I’ve used, even with a heavy toddler.
Even with the bad points both kids absolutely loved it, they even loved the 13 hour flight. This was mainly down to the amazing film selection. If you happen to be affected by the ban on carrying electronic devices on board, then check out some useful tips on how to survive the flight with young kids here!
I’ve always felt a bit guilty that I’m doing this for myself and that if we travel for longer periods of time in the future then I’m wrong for taking them away from their family and friends. After our trip to Sri Lanka I feel completely different. Just seeing how much they learnt and watching them experiencing things for the first time was amazing, things they would never do if we stayed at home. Of course I think I’ll always worry about taking them away from what is considered a normal life but there are so many positives I think it’s worth it.
I think the biggest thing we learnt from our month away is that slow travel is what suits us best while the kids are young. We had planned to be constantly on the move visiting different parts of the island but in reality constantly packing up our stuff and endless hours of travelling wasn’t what worked best for us. Of course it works well for some and I think it will for us as they get older. It is also a great way to keep cost down as you generally get a discount when you book longer stays. We are always sticking to a very tight budget, we are happy with basic accommodation as long as it’s clean and safe. I know this doesn’t suit everyone but all of our travel experiences have been very low budget and we love it. That doesn’t mean we would say no to 5* luxury if it magically fell within budget!
Suggestions on where our next adventure should be are always very much welcome.