The Family Adventure Project and Family
on a Bike e-newsletter
Welcome to our October 2004 update: Turning Dreams into Reality
Heres your starter for 10
this months quiz. Sorry
but theres no prize.
1) What have the
following things got in common?
· bikini sexy in flippers
· the fate of Fransisco Pizzaro
wrapping airport baggage in clingfilm
ascent tent poles
2) Stumped? What about
· dinky curlers
· pichincho machine
isla navarino trout
If any of you are googlewhackers you should be able to figure it out by
deduction. For the rest of you normal people, all these are strange
but true routes that citizens of the net have taken to reach The Family Adventure Project website.
poor person used Google to
track down Fransisco Pizzaro and ended up bogged down in a cycling
adventure story involving a Spice Girl loving Chilean policeman
in rabbit slippers. We hope it helped. Someone wanting dinky curlers (presumably for
their hair) was directed to a tale about Dinky, a three legged
dog, and his encounter with a skunk.
Obviously the content weve recently added to our
web site is of much wider interest than we anticipated. So, whatever
youre looking for, its worth taking a look.
Turning a dream into reality
With six weeks to go before we head off on our dream
trip, were up to our necks in detail. Transforming dreams
into reality is essentially a practical affair; people need to
know, arrangements must be made, resources secured, equipment
prepared. Living the dream
means putting yourself and your ideas out there, and dealing with
the reactions and consequences that follow. Peoples reactions
have been interesting as always, ranging from enthusiasm and wonder
to bewilderment, disapproval and ultimately horror.
seem to be several different versions of our plans in circulation
at the moment. In part because our plans keep changing, in part
because weve become canny at pitching it differently to
those we sense are disapproving, and in part because some people
only hear what they want to hear. Some of the mother and baby group, who cant
imagine taking toddlers further than the fun factory, are convinced
were off on a 2 week holiday to New Zealand
seems a long way to go for just two weeks.
Suspicious relatives wonder aloud whether we have secret
plans to emigrate to the New World. Close friends assume its just another
mad attention seeking scheme. Only
one of these is true.
To fail to plan is to plan to fail
With so many things to consider and so many arrangements
to be made its been a tricky time for two people who would
prefer to just up-sticks and go with the flow.
With the turn of autumn here in the UK,
we feel like were putting our normal life into hibernation. And weve had our share of jitters
over money, giving up work, leaving family and friends, renting
the house out, losing one of the boys to a dingo. But
weve worked through them.
Our dingo risk assessment identified several possible
control measures: elastic child restrainers, GPS tagging, personal
issue pepper spray, not taking a dingo or keeping an eye on the
kids. Plenty of options there.
Combatting our fear of isolation and ensuring a reliable
connection to the virtual world has meant developing a technology
pannier crammed with laptop, phone, minidisk, camera, solar chargers
and enough cables to cover all configuration possibilities, data
formats and power sources. Well definitely be in touch.
And then theres the journey to sort out: routes,
travel arrangements, accommodation, visas, vaccinations, insurance,
equipment, and financing. Right
now the plan exists somewhere amongst piles of books, maps, travel
guides and timetables that have invaded our house, our minds,
our lives. Rough Guide to Canada
upstairs, Bike New Zealand downstairs, Pacific Islands in the en-suite, airline guide on the coffee table and equipment spawning
everywhere. Heres where were at right now.
The Family on a Bike In Search of Families
In Search of Adventure Tour 2004/5
Our current plan is to road test a few different styles
of family adventuring as we make our way around the world on a
ten month journey to New
the Pacific Islands, the USA and Canada. Two adults, two toddlers, two bikes, two trailers, and too much baggage,
meeting other adventurous families, and writing real-life stories
of family adventure.
While the tour is many things - an expedition, research,
writing project and holiday - our goals are simple:
· to be together as a family
· to experience first hand different ways of adventuring together
· to meet other adventuresome families
to learn about the natural
world, other places, cultures and people
You can read more about it on the Family
on a Bike pages of our website.
Our first leg is an independent cycle expedition to whats
often considered the worlds outdoor adventure capital. Were
going to pedal our way (and pull the kids in trailers) from the
southern most tip of New Zealand
to the most northerly point. Like a small nomadic tribe, well
be relatively self sufficient, lugging all we need with us on
a 4000km journey through New Zealands
diverse physical and climatic environments.
Our second leg is an island adventure, on Western Samoa
in the midst of the Pacific Ocean. With the help and guidance of a local eco-tourist agency, well
spend some time on an uninhabited desert island Swiss family
Robinson style; and explore the environmental treasures
of these tiny islands. A chance for us to see if we can fake it
as Polynesian dancers and live without guilt in paradise.
Our final section of this family journey is an adventure
in logistics. Travelling with our bikes and trailers were
going to make our way coast to coast across the USA
and Canada by car, train and bike from Los Angeles
to New York, visiting some of the National Park highlights and lesser known natural
wonders across the vast North American continent.
The devil is definitely in the detail and some of the
logistics are still beyond us. Like how to get two bikes, two
trailers, ten panniers, two rucksacks, a tent, two tired toddlers
and four large bike boxes across New York to JFK airport on a
hot August day. Any ideas? They say anything is possible in America.
Lets hope so.
One of the challenges in realising a dream is figuring
out whether its possible or not or how to make it possible.
In our dreams we glide effortlessly on our bikes around the globe,
a harmonious little team, deeply fulfilled in each others company
and in awe of the world around us. In reality we dont even know if well
be able to move at all when the bikes are loaded, the trailer
is attached and a cute 25kg lump climbs in. They say anything
is possible with training. So, wed better add that to our
A toddlers view
A lot of people ask whether the boys know whats
about to happen to them. Well
Matthew (3¾) knows he is going to New
and that its
a long way isnt it, even further than Granny in London. Cameron (2¼) is on an accelerated
toilet training scheme to try and reduce our nappy load. His aim
is terrible but timing improving. Were hopeful.
He reminds us each morning that hes going to get
sweeties on a plane with whales in Newland for doing potty. In their world its known as the big trip and the bit that
figures biggest is always
Whats new on the website?
Weve added more
content to the website since the last newsletter and have started
to collect and publish other peoples family adventure stories. Right now were featuring:
· A mother and daughter story of new beginnings on an adventure in Denmark
· A feature on travel writing by a Rough Guide author
· A piece profiling six families who adventure together in different ways
Plus route maps, stories of our honeymoon cycling adventure
and a feature on getting started with cycle toddling. Why not
take a look? We hope to update the site on the road with details
of our progress and stories we collect on the road.
We continue to welcome your help and support
We welcome your feedback on all aspects of the project.
You can send us a message by replying to this email newsletter
or by mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our technology
pannier means well be contactable throughout our travels.
Wed love to hear from you.
Were still keen to make contact with others around
the world who are willing to share their stories and experiences
of family adventure. Were also keen to make contact with
other organisations who support, encourage, organise or run family
adventure projects, vacations or experiences.
Send us your details and well be in touch.
And while on the road, we hope to meet up with others
with a love of adventure. So if youre interested and will
be in New Zealand,
or Canada when we are, lets see if we can hook up. Our route map and schedule
is online so you can see if and when were down your way. If we call in we promise to keep the kids under
control, put a nappy on Cameron and leave before we outstay our
adventurous families survey is still live online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=51005471877
or without all that typing via our website. Anyone with experience
of family adventure can use it to tell us about it, so please
encourage your friends and contacts or have a go yourself.
Finally, your stories, ideas and contributions for our
website are always welcome.
And for a few more weeks, normal life continues
Amidst all this planning, equipment testing and fretting,
normal life continues for a frenetic while longer: work to do,
bills to pay, people to see, playgroup to attend.
But the freedom of the open road is not far away now, just
6 weeks, 3 planes, 20,000km, and 48 hours providing one on one
flight entertainment for two excited, testosterone and sweetie
filled toddlers. After that the cycling will be easy. Wont
As Mahatma Gandhi once said Whatever you do will
be insignificant. But it is most important that you do it.
Well, as things stand, for some strange reason, we are doing it.
Until next time,
Stuart, Kirstie, Matthew and Cameron
The Family on a Bike
our other newsletters here
The Family Adventure Project
families to live adventurously
us: www.familyadventureproject.org or www.familyonabike.org
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