Can I really do a gap year (or more) now that we're a family?
Let's face it, when you have children, all-night beach parties and gap-year romances are no longer on the agenda. However, taking six months, a year, or even longer out is no longer just the domain of the young.
If you loved travelling before you had children, there's no reason why you won't also love it now that you have a family.
Children definitely changed the way that we travelled and the experiences that we had - and mostly for the better. Children add a whole new dimension to travel. They break down barriers and we find that people are often much more willing, and even eager to engage with you on a more personal level when you have children in tow.
We found that our experiences while travelling with children were completely different to those we've had while travelling alone or as a couple. We were far more likely to be asked to appear in locals' family photographs, to share snacks and seats, and were asked lots of questions about our family and our adventures.
A travelling family is far more interesting to a local community than a couple of backpackers.
But what about the children?
Our children know an awful lot about other countries and cultures. They don't know about them because we've shown them photos in a book or watched a documentary on TV; they know because they've experienced them.
Playing with a new Russian friend in a Moscow hostel using Google Translate to communicate; feeding baby goats in Mongolia and sleeping in a real Mongolian ger out on the plains with a nomadic family; picking olives in Greece and then taking them to the community olive press and seing the oil being made; our girls have enjoyed an amazing range of experiences. They can say please and thank you in numerous languages and can relate on a very personal level to people who've come from another country to live in ours.
The list goes on. There's so much to learn and so much to be gained.
If you love travel, then we hope that you're starting to get excited about the possibilities.
It starts out as just an idea, a dream, but before too long, you'll have made it a reality.