Category Archives: Travelling with children

Our Nepalese adventure

Ewan and Tessa
Ewan and Tessa

First published in ‘The Green Parent’, Feb/March 2016, Issue 69

My family and I stand entranced on the roof of the world, pausing for breath as we gaze at the awe-inspiring view of the Langtang Himal before us. We are on the summit of Kyangjin Ri, thousands of prayer flags fluttering in the wind, awesome snow-capped mountains rising majestically in every direction around us. The silence and almost unearthly stillness of 4,779 metres is suddenly broken by the soft chuckles of my twenty-month-old daughter Tessa, as I pull her round out of the sling to join us for a proud family photo. We stand relieved, exhausted, amazed, as our trekking guide freezes this moment in time. I hold Tessa tightly in my arms as our four-and-a-half year old son, Ewan, stands safely between me and his Daddy. As we continue our fifteen-day trek, I muse on what has brought us to this moment; four faces smiling into a camera, snow mountains projected sharply behind us, dazzling azure sky above, like a family airbrushed into a photo-shoot, yet this is real. So, what led us to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, six weeks in Nepal with two young children? Continue reading Our Nepalese adventure

A Nepalese Adventure

Mummy and Tessa descending from the summit

First published in The Mother’s Milk Books Writing Prize Anthology 2014: THE STORY OF US, edited by Teika Bellamy, Sept 2015 

Your rhythmical sweet breathing calms my racing heart as I climb steadily at this high altitude. You sleep soundly, strapped firmly to my back in a sling, the safest place on earth, your sanctuary. I feel you stir as I reach Kyangjin Ri, hundreds of prayer flags fluttering in the wind, awesome snow mountains rising majestically in every direction. You are only twenty months old, ‘bis mahinar‘, as I have replied to continuous enquiries from local Nepalis and amazed tourists alike. I force a smile to encourage my husband on, as he labours in this thin air with a far greater weight than I, that of our four-and-a-half year old son, Ewan. Continue reading A Nepalese Adventure

A prayer for Nepal postscript

Here is the account of the earthquake from my Tibetan friend Sonam, in her own words;

Sonam

‘We are fine and all to Tibetan in Pokhara are in safe place. No such big disaster in Pokhara. But I had a very terrible experience for the first time in my life by 7.6 magnitude earthquake.

I was sitting on bed, hanging with my mobile when earthquake start. I thought that it will stop because in this 2 months we experienced 3 times earthquake but very small like 4 or 5 magnitude. But this time, its not suppose to stop than I slowly fall down myself on the floor and get off from the room. I shouted as my uncle is in another room and my father sitting outside. My brother Sonam was in kitchen. I start crying and ft that we will die today. Shaking n shaking …all the trees and the electricity tower just near out of our boundary…Oh my God. I can’t explain. Enchanting Tibetan Mantra and crying.

Than after 40 sec it stop. Than we get out from our house compound and went to neighbour house where there is big space.
It was seriously a bad and black day of the whole Nepal. No light n battery off. Bro karma is in kathmandu at his gf home. Very worried cant able to contact. Ohh my god. Don’t know how to react the situation. After that went to other house where they have big battery to charge. We are a far relatives. After that I get contact with Bro karma and heard they are safe, staying n sleeping outside. Next day electricity come and watch TV than saw such a big destruction and lose of peoples life in kathmandu .
That tower, we been last time and nothing left now. Surprised and shocked.

Now, we are fine and safe. I update in Facebook.’

Thank goodness Sonam and her family are safe.

I also want to share the absolutely devastating news about Langtang. We spent 16 days trekking there in November 2014. I have just found out that Langtang village has been completely buried and therefore obliterated by a huge landslide, destroying 55 homes and killing many villagers, workers and tourists. This is utterly devastating news, it is mind-blowing. I am still in shock. We were there only six months ago, interacting with locals, walking through the village, and now it is no longer. We ate lunch there. Continue reading A prayer for Nepal postscript

Donation giving to Tibetan Refugee Camps

This blog post to about travelling in Nepal with my children and the donation giving we were involved in when we were there. 

12Nepal-1442
Tessa and Dolma

My one-year-old daughter squeals with happiness as she is thrown high up into the air by an equally delighted Tibetan woman, who bounces her ceaselessly into the bright blue sky and down into her open arms. Overwhelmed and humbled, I fight back tears as I observe this beautiful interaction between Tessa and Dolma. I have returned to Tashi Palkheil Tibetan Refugee Camp, sixteen years after I lived here as a gap year student, this time with a different purpose and with my young family. Continue reading Donation giving to Tibetan Refugee Camps

The day of the improvised sling

Reprinted with permission The Natural Mothers Network

Published on 23rd April in Natural Mother\’s Network Mothership magazine

We are walking on the Isles of Lobos, a small, uninhabited island close to the island of Fuerteventura in the Canary Isles. Following the islands way-marked paths, my twenty-one month old son, Ewan, is growing heavy in my arms. My brother and Dad have already carried him on their shoulders for some time, now it is my turn. Regrettably, my Boba sling lies in our chalet, forgotten as we packed in haste for our day-trip. As a baby-wearing advocate, slings are an essential piece of equipment for us which I have used almost every day since I discovered them when Ewan was small. This is why I am missing the sling so much today, wondering how we can improvise in order to still explore this island thoroughly, with a sleeping toddler in tow.

Continue reading The day of the improvised sling

Travelling with our little one

Welcome to the June edition of Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Vacation and Travel.

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by The Positive Parenting Connection and Authentic Parenting. This month our participants are sharing ideas, inspiration and information on travel and vacations! Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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I could write a book or two about travelling; however, aware of my audience, I shall attempt to be brief!  

The travelling bug

I have been described as a ‘roamer’ and a gypsy because of how much travelling I do. Indeed, I cannot sit still for long and love to explore. Perhaps this is why my son is so active, and why I married a fell runner and climber! I caught the travelling bug after completing a gap year at the age of 18, where I lived in Nepal, teaching Tibetan refugee children. This was a life-changing experience, which has greatly influenced my life choices. When I met Rich, my future husband, we pursued our shared love of mountaineering and travelling by escaping to the mountains of Wales, Scotland and France as often as possible. On graduating, disenchanted by a stressful job in London, I moved to Vietnam to teach English in Hanoi. Living in Vietnam gave me the opportunity to travel a lot in South East Asia. Richard joined me as part of his sabbatical from IBM, where we travelled together round Vietnam, China, Nepal and Tibet, before returning to the UK, where we shortly after got married, spending our honeymoon in Kenya and Zanzibar.

Continue reading Travelling with our little one