Family

We’re very lucky, because we have to travel a lot. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t see most of our family. Today the German cousins arrive to stay with us in the North of Portugal. We went to visit them in Germany last year, when we did our trip around Europe. Last week was spent in Portugal with the Welsh grandma, then with the English, Jersey and Portuguese cousins, and with grandparents who have Indian and Portuguese heritage. Just in case that isn’t enough of a mix, the kids also have cousins in France and Australia. The ones from France are currently in Wales and England. And one of the Australian ones will be in England in November. (How’s that for a Geography lesson in a paragraph?)

Time spent abroad seems to have many advantages for children. It’s hard to quantify it, but to me it’s about the ability to adapt to change, and to understand how different people do things differently. There is something amazing about the way that the world has opened up since I was a child. And about the opportunities this means for our children. These days it is basically nothing to hop on a plane, or a boat, or into a car, and head off into the distance. And, more and more often, to decide to stay there when you get there, because ‘hey, it’s a bit nicer’. My partner tells me stories of travelling to Portugal as a child, and having to queue for hours to pass the border. These days, it’s just a quick stop to pay the tolls. If you wanted to move to Europe tomorrow, and you had the family situation, and the funds or a job, there is basically nothing to stop you. (*Go on, leap!*)

In any case, wherever your family live, one of the best ways to have a happy holiday is to spend some quality time with them. (If your family is anything like ours, there will be plenty of drama too.) There are only so many days in a lifetime, and the best thing I can think of to do with them is to spend more time with my family. So even if you don’t have to get out your passport every time you want to visit them, I hope you get to spend some quality time with your family this summer. And on that note, I’m going to sign off from my online world for a week, to do just that. #happyholidays

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The family who plays together, stays together. 🙂

 

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