Category Archives: sailing with kids

The most stressful things about family holidays

This is a guest post for fellow family travellers;)

It’s not the easiest thing to do – a family holiday is bound to be full of complications. After all, you hardly ever all agree on anything at home. Here are some of the biggest annoyances you’re bound to run into, and how you can avoid them.

 

Packing

 

Someone’s going to want to take too much. Somebody else won’t pack enough at all. It’s not going to be plain sailing getting the family to pack efficiently – and you can guarantee that you’re going to leave something behind. Just don’t do a Home Alone! There’s a plethora of tips online to help make at least this part of the holiday easier – consider making lists for each member of the family, so that they can tick things off when they’re in the case. Just make sure you don’t forget anything important at this stage.

 

Choosing the right destination

 

When it comes to choosing a place to visit, you’ll likely once again be at loggerheads. Everybody will ideally want something different from their holiday – the kids will be imagining an energetic resort packed full of things to do, whereas parents will want something a bit more laidback. Why not have both? There’s a huge range of holiday resorts and complexes worldwide that offer something for everyone, and you’ll want to make sure everyone gets to do something they want – CTI recommends active holidays for young children and teens, so make it exciting. Consider a destination that offers plenty of opportunities to explore.

 

Keeping the journey fun

 

Depending on how long the plane/car ride is to your destination – and how young your little ones are – there’s potential for them to get bored. Nobody wants to hear “are we there yet?” two hours before you arrive. If there are no movies to watch, consider bringing books, games and perhaps even a tablet with you. There are hundreds of apps that allow you to save movies and programmes for offline watching, so the time will literally fly by.

 

What will you eat?

 

Cuisine is always an important factor when it comes to holidaying – perhaps without you even realising. Nowadays it’s more likely you’ll be able to find anything you want to eat anywhere in the world, but you can’t be sure. Before you head off on your travels, have a brush up on the local cuisine and see what’s on offer where you’re staying. There’s nothing worse than when kids (and maybe adults) don’t like anything on the menu.

 

Finding activities for everyone

 

If you’re using these tips, you’ll have already considered this factor when choosing where to go. Wherever you are, you’re going to have to split your time up so that everybody gets to do something they want to. The little ones might moan over the fact you’re going on a boat trip, but why not book to head to the local waterpark the next day? Giving yourself time to relax whilst also dedicating days to keeping the kids occupied is incredibly important for a stress-free holiday, and so perhaps create an itinerary that works for everyone before you go.

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Would you live on the high-seas?

Another beautiful interview, this time with the amazing Shevonne Hunt from Kinderling Radio in Sydney. She’s found her passion and when it comes to her interviews and podcasts, you know Shevonne’s found her Dharma, her path in life, as not only her eyes, but every cell of her body sparkles. Encounters like that make me happy. Thanks Shevonne and everyone else, enjoy the short and sweet 10 minute interview.

School vs Home-school

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard!

Winnie the Pooh

Last week I had a moment when I dropped our five&1/2-year-old off at a PlayBall camp organised by lovely friends of ours. That same bench in the park which was loaded with kids’ lunchboxes, balls and drink bottles, something like 8 years ago was where Pablo proposed to me. Had I known back then that little later I’d be standing here with three toddlers back in Sydney after a three-year sailing adventure…

Where has the time gone?

And tomorrow Noah will start big school and I’m feeling rather sad about it. Last minute doubts and reconsidering all the home-schooling pros and cons. Yes, a hard time letting go. When we’ll be back on a boat, no doubt we’ll embrace home/un/free-schooling in the smoothest manner suitable to each family member. But being land-locked for a few years – I’m keen to equally embrace all that schooling has to offer here in Bondi Beach.

Besides a few hick-ups, I have great memories of school myself and that is despite (or because) of changing school and country many times. Have the ‘hick-ups’ screwed me up? Probably a little, but not less than what the great memories, experiences and friendships  have allowed me to become the person I am today.

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Where I’m at right now?

Living in Sydney, it feels to me home-schooling my boy who’s 150% ready and keen to throw himself into our local community’s amazing, sustainable and creative school environment would be egoistic more than anything else. When we’ll be travelling again and the world and its oceans will be our home and classroom, it will be a different cup of tea – an extremely stimulating environment more prone to something less structured. And yet, a little bit of structure no matter where and how – although labelled as the ‘baddy’ or ‘creativity-killer’  in most home-school circles – I have found provides children with safety, and through that more smiles, less tantrums, a higher self-esteem and ultimately even more space to explore their creativity in different ways.

As a last word it seems to me that there is no one solution to fit all. Every child is so different. And like in Yoga and Ayurveda, the paramount to optimal well-being on all levels, and there within the optimal space to learn and grow, is taking the individual into account and finding the most suitable approach at the time.

Education is a social process. Education is growth. Education is not a preparation for life. Education is life.

John Dewey

How owning less is Free-ing

A few days ago a friend of ours interviewed us for her book on patriarchal hierarchies. Because with three kids and the whole shibam there’s really no spare time for special decor – and also because at times raw can just be beautiful – here’s the uncut, raw version of her transcript, some of it will appear in print next year. We really enjoyed t as it went far and beyond the usual focus on sailing which we’ve had during most other interviews.

Dini – “All of our friends started climbing the career ladder getting into mortgages and the possession hierarchy and we felt that wasn’t really our plan. We had to do what felt right in our hearts and what we valued most.”

Dini – “With a family even more so we felt that’s what we have to show our children – not something that society might say you should do, as in getting the house and a mortgage and a ‘proper job’. That really didn’t resonate with us.”

Pablo – “In my case I also wanted to do something completely different. You only live once and you have to give it a go for your wildest dreams.”

Background summary, Dini – Left Australia when oldest child was almost 2 and the now middle one was a couple of months old. Sold everything, ended house lease, resigned from jobs.

Pablo – “Those are the things an adventure brings. Getting to the unknown and doing things that you’ve never done before. For me, it’s all about the feelings from the trip – buying a boat, going to amazing places. These were the highlights.”

Dini – “I think you need to be prepared that whatever your dream or adventure is, you need to want it so much in your heart that it’ll push you through very low moments, because they will come for sure.”

Dini – “The obvious highlights are a typical amazing sunny day with a nice breeze and you set off to an unknown island and ideally you make some new friends.”

Pablo – “For me I’ll always remember and I’ll always miss: waking up anchored in some beautiful bay. And the first thing I’d do is to jump in the water, as my coffee to wake me up. How amazing is that! Jumping in the water, that’s how I started my day. It cannot be a bad day because it started in the best way.”

Dini – “I’d swim to the beach, do my yoga, go for a run… and a couple of times I’d come across these ruins, especially in Turkey, that in Australia would be THE national monument because they were so beautiful, so well maintained and so OLD – but because there’s so many of them it’s not even a tourist attraction… just those moments that you totally don’t expect.”

Dini – “When you get a beautiful sail and you’re in tune with the wind and the waves, just with nature. It’s sounds quite romantic actually, you always live in tune with nature when you live on a boat. But a part of it can be quite exhausting, because if you get a few days of strong winds you might not be able to get off the boat or you’re restricted in what you can do next. But when it aligns it can be really beautiful as well. And of course the sunrises and sunsets at sea….

P – “When we were in the middle of the Med, crossing for example from Malta to Turkey, at some point it’s just water. You don’t see land anywhere. You don’t see boats. It’s just your little boat in the middle of the ocean. And you know underneath you there’s nothing but 10km of water. You feel humble, like you’re such a little thing in the world.”

D- “And at the same time empowering because you have to be so self-sustainable. All our energy came from wind and solar (except when we had to run the diesel engine) – that’s how our kids understand it. You are your own little world. You need to make sure you have enough food. We made our own water through osmosis. It’s very scary and adventurous but at the same time very empowering and very humbling. Wildlife is always another big highlight. You don’t feel like a superior human species, as we often think when we live in a city. We’re not.”

P – “You realise when you go back to normal civilisation, in a country like Australia, we have it so easy. We take everything for granted: water, electricity, food, shelter. It makes you appreciate little things in life. I think that’s why we have some sort of crisis in our time because we just don’t appreciate a lot of things that we take for granted.”

D – “Also having time… on the boat, so often we would just sit there as a family, we might read, we might play games, we might talk, we might just sit there – that’s something you never do in land life. I don’t know any family that just sits in the garden and spends time together. People are always rushing.”

D – “It’s like the ocean: the waves of the ocean slow you down, and you’re forced to adjust to it. Maybe at the beginning you fight it and you still want to do a thousand things, and then after a while you have to give in because it’s the rhythm of nature.”

P – “Most people are scared to follow their dreams.”

P – “People create their own prisons. You are a prisoner of your own freedom. I think it’s about liberating yourself from your own prison. Your own baggage plays a big part of that. It’s a mental game.”

D – “To put things into perspective, they say there are about 10,000 live-aboard sailing boats out there at any one time of those just 1% are families – so there’s only about 100 families cruising the world like we did. So we were nuts!”

P – “Me being from Argentina – having instability is normal. That is what I got from my parents; they were in some bad economic situations but they showed me you can always get up and come back.”

D – “People slide into a mortgage because in our culture you need to own your own house. The way people talk is that the bigger the house you have, the more you must have achieved or the cleverer you must be.”

P – “Society is telling you that if you want to climb the hierarchy and you want to be at the top, you have to have a lot of material possessions. You need to have the big house and your wife needs to drive the latest 4-wheel drive BMW/Mercedes.”

D – “It definitely does exist, this hierarchy, especially in terms of possessions – but there is always the option to opt out. Maybe because we grew up in different cultures, it’s easier for us to step out and see that, that you don’t have to buy into it.”

D – “I’ve got three kids, I don’t have the energy to start a Che Guevara-style revolution. But I feel that it’s a silent revolution just being a living example that you can live a different life, rather than aggressively fighting against it.”

P – “I think a lot of people are realising that there’s nothing there in possessing, or climbing up the ladder in the corporate world, or trying to get the mortgage for the biggest house. I think a lot of people like us can see there’s emptiness there and it’s not going to fulfil your spirit.”

D – “People have realised there’s limits with possessions. They don’t really make you happy.”

D – “The more people have, the more fear they have of losing it. The less material stuff you have, the more you can just go with the flow of life and see where it takes you. And get all these wonderful surprises that otherwise you’d miss out on.”

P – “If you get rid of material things that you don’t actually need, you will feel freedom somehow, you will feel lighter with more options.”

D – “For example, we bought a boat with a relatively low budget compared with many other sailing families and we never worried about getting robbed – and our lock didn’t even work properly. Whereas we have quite a few friends who have boats worth 15 times as much as our boat, and talking to them I felt they actually enjoyed their experience much less than us because they were always worried about people kidnapping their kids or stealing things from their boat. So in a way it was freeing living on a boat that always looked like the poorest in the harbour.”

Connect with your Dreams

Life in the city goes on. Although Sydney’s pace is tranquil compared to London, Tokyo, Honk Kong and New York, it’s still easy to get caught up in endless to-dos and – out here in my beloved Bondi – supposed ultra-spiritual musts, like daily instagramable moments close to falling of a cliff; yoga-marketing; engaging in the ultimate diet trend… you name it. I’ve kicked it all – back to basics for me these days, back to my own practise, back to old-style meditating. It might seem boring, but man, it keeps me grounded in this fast-moving world.
Today I had my first 6am flying yoga class since Indi was born with my personal very favourite teacher and, in my opinion, best kept secret in Sydney, followed by my first coffee in months – was flying for the rest of the day. Total vata-aggravation, not sustainable, but fab for a day. Needed to balance it out with a glass of red just then as we grabbed pizza for improvised Friday dinner. In a nutshell, all good here.
Every morning I still get up in disbelieve how ridiculously easy land-life in a Western country is. It feels like waking up in Disney Land every day… wonder when even Disney Land is going to get boring (and I know it will, but I’m not there yet!). Until then, namaste, be grateful for what you have. And dream. Dream big – because what more is there to do?!?
We like doing it.
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We like talking about it.
We like inspiring you to also live your dreams.
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Come join our transformational yoga retreat in Bali, 15-22 April’17.
Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
Dreams are too real to just dream them.

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Namaste. Blessings. Love – always. 

Being in awe

A friend sent me a scientific article this morning which seemed to prove how optimistic feelings and moods influence positively on the body’s physcial health and well-being. More specifically, the feeling of being in awe was linked to reducing inflammation in the body.

It’s interesting how science more and more proves what is pretty obvious when you live ‘in tune’. Sailors would know that despite the challenges of living among the most hostile environments, there’s not much to beat sunrises at Sea. Parents would know there’s not much that beats that first little smile or gaze of a newborn. Anyone, who embraces live to the fullest would know, that being in awe can be a daily, casual thing which enhances our health and well-being on so many levels. So turn off your device  (I’d say it’s pretty unlikely to find  that feeling through a screen…) and look around you. Notice something to be in awe of?

With love, lightness and gratitude. Dini

Beautiiful Things