By BERN MORLEY
My husband and I were quite adventurous young travellers. Of course back then we had the luxury of planning amazing trips to suit just the two of us and we weren’t particularly worried if our destination sent us off the beaten track. In fact, whether we were crossing decidedly dangerous oceans in dubious wooden boats, or staying in accommodation that didn’t actually have a flushable toilet, we were never really all that concerned. Because, we weren’t having to think about anything other than getting there, having a kickarse time and then coming home and planning to do some variation of the same, all over again.
But then we had a child. And then a couple of years later, we had another one. And just because we obviously like to be poor and permanently stressed out, we had ANOTHER one. We stopped holidaying like we once did.
This didn’t mean we stopped going on holidays of course, they were just, well, different. And much tamer. Often we’d come home from these holidays and wonder if we should have just put a pool in the backyard and hooked up Foxtel, the kids would pretty much have had the same holiday. And the thing being, our sense of adventure as travellers didn’t disappear JUST because we had children. So why then, did have we only let our children holiday at the “usual destinations’? Laziness basically. This is why Intrepid is so amazing. We are still getting out of our travel comfort zone yet completely safe in the knowledge we are being guided and looked after, 100% of the way.
Here’s the thing. This trip to Vietnam won’t see us staying in 5 star hotels or laying on the beach drinking cocktails. Right now, I’m sitting here typing this on my little balcony watching the light drizzle fall through the night sky. I overlook a chaotic city scene. There is much beeping and mayhem and the roads are teeming with traffic, rich with chatter and pungent with smells that are both glorious and ghastly. Today my children stared in wonder at the foreign scene playing out in front of them. We had to learn how to master the unpoliced traffic (walk slowly across and DON’T stop, they’ll drive around you but aren’t prepared for you to be erratic) The children were literally touched by adoring ladies on the street who found them “beautiful”. The locals helped us at every turn. We gaped in wonder at the family of 5 lodged on a single moped and played pool in an Irish Pub. We tried some Pho in a tiny tiled café and continued on to purchase, after some friendly haggling, a soccer jersey for Jack.