expectations/wishes: we were more than ready for a familyvacation and some time together. after all the big moving to the countryside and all the stress that building a house brings along. the need to get away was big on my side. the travelbug was strong and i was ready to visit and discover a new place with my loves.
a few months ago our friends asked us if we want to join them for a family rockclimbing holiday in croatia (close to rovinji). through them we started rockclimbing several years ago and she was my favourite rockclimbing partner. one i learned so much from and one i felt totally safe with hanging on that rope in the routes. they also have two little girls and the times before we met with our kids, went pretty well. it all sounded great and so we decided to join them. they also have a wonderful travelling inspiring blog and you find much more information about our trip there if you hop over to their site lifeforfive also we didn’t have to organize anything there, just our own packing. i was longing and hoping for a relaxed, childfriendly and -appropiated holiday with conditions that allowed us adults and parents to have some time out, to refill our batteries. an activity like rockclimbing, where you’re out in nature, where you’re active and feel yourself, where you can go to your limits and overcome limits and boundries, where your thoughts and concentration are on the rocks and routes, promised to be something that fitted us and our passion to enjoy and feel energized at the same time. also our moneybudget cried for a simple and lowbudget kind of holiday. so camping and sleeping in our vw bus helped our financial situation and reminded us on a great and fantastic time in patagonia/southamerica with the little ones, when we travelled and lived with them in a simple bus.
highlights: croatia surprised me with a beauty i didn’t expect. it reminded me of some parts i’ve been to in italy and the mediterian style immediatly caused holidayfeelings, no matter if it was sunny or rainy or a clear or cloudy. the architecture, the red soil, the olivetrees and vinyards. i loved it all. and we only drove 5 hours to get there. during our time there i was fascinated and so thankful that our girls loved to be outside all the time. we had days, where we had to put them in totally raingear right after waking up in the bus. they always found something to play with and as you can imagine, water itself was so interesting for them. they collected shells and stones at the beach, sticks and whatsoever they could find. they got along pretty well with the other girls and were shouting their names out of our bus over to their bus as soon as they woke up (of course they fought as well and jealousy was there as well). i loved to see that my girls loved the ocean. the water was still pretty cold, but they would go in right away and on warmer days, they were running around naked, sitting and running in the water. i was really thankful to watch this, ’cause at home, they are not the biggest water and bathing enthusiasts. another really surprising and positive experience for me was the moment i realized while climbing up the walls and rocks, that my vertigo/fear of heights, i developed after having the girls, was almost gone. i felt so safe and happy, that i didn’t feel it as much as before. no, it was almost gone and i could enjoy the view from the tops. it encouraged me a lot and totally increased the joy while doing that sport. one of the biggest highlights during those two weeks was watching the sunsets at the beach….the freedom that stirrs up in me, while soaking in the moment, is hard to describe.
challenges: besides all the wonderful, restful and joyful moments, we of course had some challenges and hard/uncomfortable times. the weather during those two weeks was really changeable and our kids got little colds and also dealt with diarreah (it might have been the seafood or water or or or). anyways, that was a little challenge for me because my girls are usually always healthy, have no running noses and diarreah, while living outside with limited clothes for the little ones, of course was pretty ‘urgggghh’. for me, the cloudy rainy weather was’nt the greatest motivation and i was hoping and praying for the better sunny days. i’m glad though the girls did’nt care at all if it was sunny or not. that helped me ten times. another challenge for me as a mother or parent was realizing that my girls did act different with other kids and friends around. we lived close and shared every meal and one big table. i know that those different circumstances do something with all of us. my girls, one particulary, didn’t listen to me as well as before and started hitting other kids. something i didn’t notice and saw before. it made me a bit insecure, even though i remember my mama telling me, that she always thought it was more stress, when they spent holidays with other families ’cause we acted different and needed more attention. i know that this is a normal behaviour and typical. especially for sensetive kids that need their structure, security and so on. but in the situation, even though i knew all those facts, i still felt uncomfortable. when we spent some time, just the four of us as a little family, the girls acted way more relaxed and normal. so we knew its important to have some moments during some days, where its just the four of us. i loved that in the evening, when our four kids would sleep and we/parents sat outside with a candle and some vine, we could talk and analyze so freely about all of that, ’cause we all felt very similar with it. just that wonderful exchange helped me so much.
a typical day: it took us a while to get everything sorted in the morning. the kids would wake up and we would prepare some breakfast, get the little camping gas cooker going and make some espresso. one of us would go and make the dishes. the others would start to get the kids dressed and to pack, after we decided what we want to do. rockclimbing and the ocean for the girls were our favourite. and because we had 3 two year olds, that still needed a nap to have a relaxed and joyful afternoon and evening, we had very slow mornings followed by a lunchpicnic in the park nearby the rocks and ocean. then put the girls in the back of our buses to have their naps and started to walk to the rocks and the ocean after their sleepingtime. we carried a lot. all of our rockclimbing equipment, a little gascooker and food for our dinner, we would cook/grill right by the rocks and the ocean. ohh, and of course we needed warmer clothes for the girls, changing clothes for them and some blankets to make us a cozy spot for the afternoon and evening.
packlist for the little ones: here are some important essentials i took for the girls, that i find helpful and necessary: raingear(from head to toe), nuschelitücher(those fabrique scarfs i use for their heads, for their necks and for them to fall asleep), 2 of their favourite books, lots of childrens sunscreen, childrens patches for the hard outdooraccidents, some medication for them, clothes that are allowed to get dirty and that they can wear even when dirty. i had a woodenbox where i would store their personal belongings like books, their waldorfdolls – they wanted to take with them but at the end did’nt really play with ’cause the other kids were way more interesting – and some nuschelitücher (fabriqueclothes) that were their babies blankets or their blankets, pillows, whatsoever. my friend was super good and took some leftover fabrique, scissors, leftover feltpieces, coloured wood bowls, wire and last but not least chalk. that was so helpful and we were able to create things with them that kept them busy for a while. i’ll definatly have to equip myself with those wonderful simple things for our next trip, which you can easily combine with naturefinds of your little ones.
next trip: our next trip will start end of august. we’ll spend 4 weeks in norway and sweden, travelling with our vw bus, our ‘family cave’. i’m really looking forward, especially because we will meet my parents up there, who are totally sweden and norway proofed. after the wall came down and germany was united and we were able to travel to other countries, we spent every summer up there. we’ll definatly get ready for all sort of weather conditions and i’ll pack a bit more warmer woolclothes for us….you never know up there.