Wednesday, January 17, 2007

RTE Radio 1: The Big Adventure (contd)

The episode of this show that I mentioned in a previous blog entry aired on Monday last. The two women being interviewed were Christine Breen and Geraldine Osbourne. My wife has already read Christine's account of her family's nine-month trip around the world, and found it full of useful advice (even if the trip we plan would be reasonably different in nature). Geraldine Osbourne took her young family to live in Nunavut, a vast but sparsely populated region in the North East of Canada.

I found myself nodding and smiling a lot during the show. There's a lot in common in terms of the motivation to do a trip like this. Even if I don't know these families, and probably have had a very different life and upbringing to them, I felt like we belonged to the same tribe. The interest in travel is either there or it's not.

Christine's view on what the experience did for her family was encouragingly close to what I hope the trip will do for mine. She described the family as a travelling bubble, and said that during that time they started to see each other more as people than as parent/child. I'm aiming to chill out enough so that my kids don't have to put up with me managing them so much - but mamma and daddy are still the boss, kids!

Geraldine's view on the effects of the trip on the family were also positive, but perhaps more darkly observed thanks to the fact that some of her kids were teenagers at the time and that she was also putting up with 3 months of total darkness at a time. Her overall view was that this was an experience that the kids would always look back on and come to appreciate even more in retrospect than during the time itself.

Geraldine confirmed one of the effects on the kids that we had hoped for - something that motivates my wife and me a great deal: They get to see how big and varied the world is, how much there is going on, how many different ways there are too live. Living in Ireland in 2007 , I can tell you that this is a big deal. I want my girls to get some perspective, and not get caught up in the drama of little town life to the extent that they close their minds to everything else.

The presenter Manchán Magan very kindly included questions about schooling which I had mentioned to him in previous email conversations. In the case of Christine Breen, she 'got away with' taking her kids out of school - confirming our opinion that much comes down to the way the school management chooses to view the matter. We'll be speaking to the management of our daughters' school in the next week or so, and I'll be sure to post on the outcome.

Nice one Manchán - the show was very helpful to us. Looking forward to future episodes.

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