“Are you married?” Tashi asks, as I sit down next to the fire. She’s stirring a pot of thukpa, a hearty Tibetan stew.
There’s a silent moment, and Tashi reaches over for the jar of salt, sprinkles some onto the palm of her hand and drops it into the thukpa.
“Many people never get married in the country I come from”
She looks confused.
“Are you a momma?” she asks.
Again, a stunned face. She expresses sadness that I am yet to experience the joys of being a mother.
I can’t fathom the fact that these women have never seen the world. They can’t fathom the fact that I’m not a mother.
Every time I go on an adventure in rural Nepal I find myself having interactions like this and it always makes me think about differing opinions on when it’s best to have kids. I have friends of all ages and across all stages of life. “I wish I’d had kids earlier” many older friends tell me. “I need to get the travelling out of my system, then I’ll settle down” seems to be a common phrase thrown around amongst my adventurous friends in their twenties and early thirties.
If you’re putting off having children because you think your adventurous life is going to end, here are a couple of families from down-under that would probably tell you that life begins when you have kids – and that your adventures can take on new, exciting dimensions!
This is just a little snippet. I have started collating stories of families doing awesome adventures (and living less conventional lives – whether that be temporary or more permanent) with their kids. I’m working on a longer-term multimedia project, with the aim of inspiring others to continue living a life less ordinary with their children.
If you know of anybody who has a good story, I’d love to hear more.
I bumped into this Australian guy and his Austrian partner, who met overseas (he was your classic outdoor dirtbag, moving between different ski seasons) en route to Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal. They live in NSW where they go on many mini adventures, and then save up for longer trips. During their adventure in the Annapurna area they had no porters or guides, and their youngest was just 3 months old. Turns out that 3 months is a perfect age to travel because living on breast milk protects babies from many viruses they would otherwise be more susceptible to. They said it was fantastic travelling with young babies as wherever they went, they had free babysitting because the local ladies would get so excited!
I bumped into this Australian-Finnish family in the remote village of Hongong, in-between Makalu and Kanchenjunga, in Eastern Nepal. Parents met 10 years ago while living in Kathmandu for a stint, learning Tibetan. They now have three children, and have spent the last year living in Kathmandu as a family, while completing some research into education in rural Nepal. They had a research trip, and instead of leaving the kids in town, decided to bring them along on the 3-4 walking trip through remote villages. They’d hired porters to carry two of the kids in baskets, and the father carried the youngest.
I met this kiwi family in Botswana, at the end of three months road tripping around Africa in this truck with their four children. They spent their time camping out in game reserves and exploring some remote, wild places. Their youngest was three months old when they set out on the adventure. Right now they’re living in Vanuatu.