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

River cruising for Millennials: U by Uniworld innovates with a fresh perspective

As far as Millennials are concerned, the image of river cruising hasn’t attracted many to the winding waterways of Europe … until now. A ‘tester’ cruise in October successfully brought a hand-selected crowd of youngsters together to dip-their-toes in this particular travel niche, usually more likely to be enjoyed by their grandparents. U by Uniworld’s disruptive take on this sector of the cruise market is bringing some welcome change. Thanks to their sleek black ships, A and B, (complete with silent disco, bean bags and cocktail classes) river cruises will no longer be the domain of Downton Abbey loving Baby Boomers.

U by Uniworld Silent Disco
Silent Disco

Strictly for the the 21 – 45 year olds, who have cash in their pockets and a curiosity to see the world through fun-coloured spectacles, these boutique-style ships are set to sail down the Danube, Rhine and Seine to the sound of celebrity DJ beats.

Biking in the Park
Biking in the Park

Short eight-day itineraries, starting in April 2018, should align with the work commitments of young professionals yearning for late nights in Amsterdam or Budapest against a backdrop of yoga classes, hammock-snoozing, gym workouts, spa treatments and Rooftop Lounge parties.

U by Uniworld Rooftop Lounge
Rooftop Lounge

Cabins, designed in contemporary black-and-white with pops of colour, are available as spacious suites with balconies or pod-like bunk rooms. All have Uniworld’s five-star hallmarks; Savoir beds, marble bathrooms, Bluetooth speakers and flat-screen televisions are standard.

U by Uniworld Cabin
Room with a View

Dine, the full-service restaurant, serves locally inspired food and ‘street-style’ dishes at communal tables to encourage social interaction. Room service is on hand for ‘post-clubbing’ breakfasts. Lunch is not provided, with the expectation that guests will be out during the day, soaking up the local culture.

U by Uniworld Dine
Dine

As an alternative to the cruise line ‘Godmother’, U by Uniworld have opted for a ‘Guardian Angel’ instead. On this occasion, Victoria Secret model, Petra Nemcova, has been chosen to represent the brand. According to Ellen Bettridge, President & CEO of Uniworld, this selection cements the intention to change the industry. “We’re making history with this concept, so rather than follow the traditional ‘Godmother’ path for each individual ship, we’re paving our own way forward.”

U by Uniworld
Petra Nemcova

Hopefully, U by Uniworld will know its limits; to produce a high-quality, game-changing experience for Millennials without patronising them or confusing this exciting innovation with stereotypes. Other river cruise lines will certainly be watching and should U by Uniworld prove to be a success we can expect many more brands to follow their lead. In the meantime, Bon Voyage to the lucky ones who set sail next year … please post plenty of Instagrams for us oldies.

U by Uniworld Selfie
Selfie

www.ubyuniworld.com

Radar: Silversea partners with iconic photographer Steve McCurry

Silversea has announced an exciting partnership with renowned photographer Steve McCurry to document the ambitious expansion of their fleet and destination portfolio. The creative pairing with this legendary master of visual storytelling promises unique insights into the authentic and immersive experiences Silversea offers guests.

Silversea’s purpose-built fleet of nine ultra-luxurious vessels, including the recently added Silver Muse, are sleek and nimble, allowing them to access secluded ports and off-the-beaten-track destinations. The luxury and expedition itineraries offer guests more than 850 destinations in more than 130 countries on all seven continents.

Silver Muse
Silver Muse

Steve McCurry, who is best known for his haunting portrait of a green-eyed Afghan refugee girl in National Geographic, is one of the world’s leading photographers and has been recognised with the Robert Capa Gold Medal, the National Press Photographers Award, and four first prize awards from the World Press Photo contest.

Steve McCurry
Steve McCurry

In July Steve joined Silversea on a trip to the Virunga Mountains in East Africa where he focused his lens on the few remaining mountain gorillas living there.

Further trips are planned to Istanbul, Sicily and Svalbard. Images from these adventures can be seen at www.steveandsilversea.com

 

Photos courtesy of Silversea and Steve McCurry.