The Family Gap Year: Nomadic Sabbaticals with the Kids

Courtney Adamo and her nomadic family ©courtenyadamo

The ‘hamster-wheel’ of suburban life is losing its appeal. Families are struggling with traffic-clogged morning commutes, fighting for places in decent schools, blindly pushing their kids through rigid and irrelevant subject curriculums and then having to pay double for a packed-out Majorca week during inflexible school holidays … just to get a brief rest.

To counter this, some families are opting for a year of ‘eventure’ where education comes from the wider perspective of travel and adventure. With over 40% of parents expected to be freelance workers by 2020 and homeschooling growing at an exponential rate, the choice to shun the conventions of traditional family norms is on the rise.

Embarking on a global adventure as a family is an opportunity to live and learn together – far from modern pressures. Travel is a great teacher and Instagram is awash with people embracing this idea.

The Bucket List Family ©bucketlistfamily

The @bucketlistfamily have been travelling together since 2015, choosing to sell everything at home and take their children around the world. Working as travel journalists, with a huge Instagram and You Tube following, finances their long-term commitment (not to mention selling an app to Snapchat!).

But taking time off together as a family doesn’t have to be a such a permanent choice. Many people decide to take a year (or less) away from their hectic lives, opting for a ‘sabbatical’ approach so they can maintain and return to their jobs and schools, hopefully as more well-rounded people.

For those dreaming of ditching the school-run, chicken dippers, homework and ‘no-screen-time-before-bed’ nags …. repeat …. then where will you go? Popular choices for the intrepid travelling family include a Rwandan safari, shark-swimming in the Bahamas, Greek island-hopping, hiking in the Swiss Alps, snorkelling the coral reefs of Belize and joining a community project in Nepal.

You’ll need money of course, but when all the pennies are spent you will be richer in experience with memories of invaluable time together as a family to last you all a lifetime.

For inspiration see:

https://somewhereslower.com

https://www.thebucketlistfamily.com

http://journeyofanomadicfamily.com

Trip of a Lifetime: Trekking to the North Pole

Ice Trek North Pole
Ice Trek North Pole Expedition

The North Pole is a geographical concept; a frozen point on an ever-moving slab of sea ice forming and moving with the seasons.

Ice Trek North Pole 2
Negotiating the Arctic Sea Ice

Sadly the Arctic is warming as global oceans heat up and melting sea ice reveals darker  water which absorbs more solar radiation. Higher temperatures are melting this frozen landscape with record lows of sea ice being recorded year upon year. The quality of the ice is also in decline as thicker ice, built up over long periods of time, is replaced by thin layers which are more mobile and unpredictable. This dynamic, shifting ice is a nightmare for polar expeditions which could soon become impossible to complete.

Trekking to the North Pole is a trip of a lifetime. Icetrek are specialists in guiding trips of this type as well as providing the specialist equipment needed for such an undertaking. Their North Pole Last Degree Ski Expedition heads off on April 4th 2019 and places are still available. Starting at Longyearbyen in Svalbard the 10-day trek covers 112km across pressure ridges, open leads, sastrugi and ice rubble … all against a backdrop of freezing conditions and 24-hour daylight.

Ice Trek North Pole 4
The North Pole

The €41,690 price tag includes all equipment, helicopter transfers, exert guiding, expedition food, on-trek accommodation and training. Rated as a Level 4 challenge, participants must be fit enough to pull a 45kg sled against drift in temperatures as low as -30°C. Unsheltered exposure could be as much as 6 – 9 hours each day.

Ice Trek North Pole

Icetrek Expeditions is a world-leading polar adventure travel company, offering trips to the Arctic and Antarctica. The company was founded in 1999 by Eric Philips who is an International Polar Guides Association Master Polar Guide and one of IPGA’s founding members.

www.icetrek.com

Images courtesy of Icetrek