How many disastrous trips away with the kids do you have to suffer before throwing in the towel?
One? Five? More?
We spent two weeks on a Bongo trip to France which was pretty much non-stop chaos.
Harry, three, spent a lot of his time trying to break the van. He had some success in his quest when the registration plate snapped off in his hands.
When we got home Harry wanted to know when we would be going back as he’d had a great time.
We’d also suffered similarly disastrous trips to Wales, Robin’s Hoods Bay and the Lake District, each time choosing to sleep in the Bongo van.
We recently spent a single night in the Mazda Bongo at the lovely Masons campsite at Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales.
It wasn’t much fun for mum and dad. Harry wouldn’t go for a walk and whined pretty much all the time. We had to endure his grumbling and complaining during a meal in the local pub.
He then demanded to go back to the van to sleep. But when we got there he wouldn’t lay down in the £80 camp bed that we bought especially.
We all had to go to bed at 8pm. Lights out, no talking, no reading. I nodded off, only to wake a couple of hours later and was then unable to sleep for three hours.
Meanwhile, baby Lottie slept soundly.
Why do we put ourselves through this? Is it worth it?
I now understand why parents don’t do holidays. It breaks up the routine. You are essentially making work for yourself.
But, all things considered, these breaks in the Bongo are priceless. Two days after we got home, Harry was asking about a repeat trip.
“When are we going to go again?” he asked his mum.
“It was brilliant,” he added.
And that, in a nutshell, is why we do it.
To give them a love for the Great Outdoors. To give them an introduction to “roughing it”, stargazing, camping, watching birds, chatting to other campers, making do, cooking on a stove in the open, collecting sticks, jumping in mud, running through puddles, and much more.
Til our next trip…..