Laura Hogendoorn is editor-in-chief of Mamaplaats and a columnist for Kek Mama. She lives in ‘t Gooi, together with her boyfriend Oscar and their children Roef (8), Sierd (6) and Maia (4).
“Mom, I have decided to take a road trip through Mexico next week. With the kids.” There is silence on the other end of the line. I already know exactly what my mother thinks: you’re out of your mind. And somehow I understand.
The plan is to cross a country that appears in all lists of the most dangerous countries in the world with three children aged seven, five and three. A country where corruption, child abduction and drug trafficking are a daily occurrence. And my mother knows me: I’m not going to lie on the beach in a tourist resort. I want to taste the real Mexico, where it is not recommended to come as a tourist. I’m calling my father.
“But darling, what’s wrong with Giethoorn or Assen if necessary? Villains live in Mexico,” he replies. And my friends think I’m crazy too. “That’s sad for the kids!” and: “The children won’t remember anything about that later!” are common responses.
We’re going anyway. And it’s fantastic. Okay, of course it is sometimes hard to swallow when you are stopped by twelve corrupt cops with your rickety rental car or when you have had the youngest in a baby carrier on your back for three days during a wild trip through the dense jungle. But we see the most beautiful nature, the nicest cities and, above all, meet very nice people.
Read also – Traveling through Colombia with children: 8 tips for an adventurous holiday >
We are now a year further. And I write this column from far Vietnam. There we are currently cycling with our children from Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh in the south. For a moment I still doubt whether I will inform my surroundings about this trip. But I decide to bring it out precisely and look at it from a different angle. What if I can inspire other parents to overcome the doubts and go on an adventure with young children? That would be fantastic, wouldn’t it?
“What if I can inspire other parents to overcome the doubts and go on an adventure with young children?”
Let’s do what we feel most comfortable with and don’t criticize each other in advance. And… I now have more to explain to my friends when I book a wonderful weekend at FarmCamps with the family. Simply, in the Netherlands. Is it still allowed?
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