a field somewhere

Travel is Education – A Spanish Adventure

family holiday feetWe have just returned from a fab road trip with kids around Northern Spain. Our adventure, like most travel, has taught us all so many things, so I wanted to share them and give the kids a chance to look back at this post and remember our amazing family time together.

spain maps

Planning (or not)

We researched our trip together a little in advance. We bought a map and some language stickers and all talked about the things we wanted to do on our adventure. We made lists and planned activities to take with us. We packed lots of activities and books we’ve never found time to enjoy together, some games, plus some basic craft bits like drawing, glue and Sellotape.

kids on curb with map

broken down and lost

Confidence and problem solving

Although we had a rough plan before we left home we soon started to ignore it. The beauty of being under your own steam and wild camping in a home on wheels. The kids were immediately at ease on the trip and their confidence grew daily. Only 5 and 9 both girls behaved quite differently on the road. Often dealing with unusual of difficult situations outside of their comfort zones they showed new maturity.

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They seemed empowered to get involved with lots more problem solving and were happy to take turns in decision-making on many levels from what to eat, or simply, which direction to take.

handstand on beach

New skills

We were all challenged with the language barrier. I don’t think any of us quite expected such little understanding of English in some of the rural places we visited. The kids embraced this while I was still struggling to ask for simple things like ‘where is the toilet’!

2015-08-03 19.31.31I was super proud to watch them both play with a little girl we met from Germany and try to communicate and swap words. They even managed to teach each other a game each with cards and dice.

kids silhouettesEveryday our kids were learning solid new skills. We had packed regular school activities like spelling and reading with us yes, but the adventure taught them so much more. They gained huge amounts of patience and shared the little we had with us brilliantly.

learning card gamehorse riding mum and child

Daily swimming in the sea, rock climbing, map reading and appreciating nature were just a few of the other things they practiced. We found time to learn some new card games and even tried something new for the whole family with horse riding.

Culture

Spending time out of our regular routine showed the kids that life doesn’t have to be quite so manic as the city culture we’re used to.

spain gaudispain hp
It took my eldest a good week to stop asking when we would find some shops for her to look round, but by the end of the trip she’d forgotten about spending money and was making her own entertainment with simple things we found or had in the van.

family amore

The culture in Spain isn’t hugely different to our own but the pace of life certainly is. The kids slowed down and spent time appreciating the places we visited more.

They watched a guy play an unusual instrument for over 10 minutes outside an old church and actually stopped to really listen.

2015-08-03 18.07.39They took time to study the rock patterns in the caves we explored and spent hours staring out to sea on our ferry home searching for whales. They watched 2 beautiful blue dragonflies dance in a stream for much longer that they ever would at home. They appreciated what was around them, they slowed down and were far more mindful than we’d ever seen them before.

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2015-08-19 15.10.05Family Time

Probably the greatest gift of our campervan adventure with the kids, and any all of the holidays we have enjoyed together is enjoying our time together with no distractions.

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special thanks to our trusty Hymer

Travel IS Education – there’s no doubt about it. Kids are young for such a short time. They are incredibly adaptable to situations, and they learn so much more by actually doing. I have no hesitation about travelling with kids while they are little. Unfortunately, government legislation means many parents are put off travelling with their kids due to heavy fines during term times. Massively inflated prices for travel during school holidays makes it almost impossible for some.

So, would I take my kids out of school to travel? Absolutely. Life is for living. They are healthier and happier, wiser and more wonderful for their adventures. I am not an idiot and I will make damn sure both kids keep up with school work and the national curriculum, but I will not forfeit the education and importance of family time that travel brings.

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This post is written in collaboration with the  ‘Travel is Education’ campaign, which aims to highlight how travel can enrich our children beyond the classroom.

Read more in term time holidays – what’s a mum to do?

 

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We really believe travel is education.

 

 

10 thoughts on “Travel is Education – A Spanish Adventure

  1. Sherry

    Sounds like a great break away. I would really (really) struggle with the language and end up looking like some sort of mad woman trying to use movements and hand gestures! It’s so nice to be out in the sun too #CountryKids

    1. afieldsomewhere Post author

      It’s amazing what you can communicate without words. My husband learnt the ‘Large Beer’ hand action pretty quick!

  2. International Elf Service

    Oooh it looks like you had an amazing time and you can just see on their faces how much fun they were having. Well, you too! How lovely to be able to just go where you want to and really explore. Our kids would love to do this!

  3. Jenny Eaves

    That looks like an amazing adventure! How long did you go for? I would love to try campervaning, it seems the perfect way to enjoy a long break. I wonder how the cost compares to Eurocamping? I would also happily take my child out of school for a holiday, they learn so much on holiday, it’s definitely worth it! Fantastic photos and such happy children.
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

    1. afieldsomewhere Post author

      Just over 3 weeks. Was such fun and we spent less than £1000 on everything. We did free camp for most of the time though and have the luxury of being able to cook in the van so other than ice cream we didn’t but much!

  4. Morna

    That looks like a wonderful holiday. I would also take our kids out of school for a holiday. Not sure my husband would agree though! #whatevertheweather

    1. afieldsomewhere Post author

      I just read this morning of a land mark case of a dad winning in court over the government fine they imposed for taking his daughter out of school for a week to go on holiday. I can’t believe it has come to this stupid situation where we are being dictated to over what is best for our kids. Bonkers world we live in.

  5. Chloe

    I definitely think children should be allowed to travel, even in term times. You’re learning so many life skills and so much about culture by travelling. It sounds like they had such a lovely time and really enjoyed themselves. It’s so great that you involved them in the decisions and that you all managed to slow down. We really need to start taking a leaf out of the Spaniards book and slow down a bit more. Thank you so, so much for linking this to #whatevertheweather. xx

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