Alternative Adventure Activities for the Whole Family

With the summer holidays fast-approaching, it’s time to start thinking about ways to keep the kids entertained during the break while also making the most of your time together as a family.

Whatever age your kids are, whether they are tiny ones or teens, high-energy activities are a sure-fire way of keeping them busy – and tiring them out! If you’re looking for some inspiring and alternative adventure activities, take a look at these ideas.

alternative adventure activities for the whole family

Rock Climbing

Rock climbing is a high-adrenaline activity that is fun for the whole family. As well as offering excellent health benefits, climbing and bouldering involves plenty of teamwork.   This means every family member can enjoy showing each other the ropes.

Many climbing centres offer group sessions, with tutors teaching people from the age of four upwards.  Classes are generally tailored to ability, meaning everyone can enjoy learning at their own pace.

Zip Wires

There’s nothing like flying down a zip wire. If you have older kids, this is an exhilarating way to spend a day.

Make this activity even more entertaining by timing each family member to see who makes it to the bottom fastest, with the winner getting a treat. This is sure to keep everyone amused and keep the excitement going all day. A lot of adventure centres have minimum age restrictions, so it’s worth checking ahead first.

I’m actually heading to Go Ape this summer for my Sister in Law’s hen party, but I know Arthur and Freddie (and Mark!) will absolutely love it there too.  They have different courses for all ages which is really cool.

alternative adventure ideas for the whole family

Scootering 

If you don’t have any adventure centres nearby, why not try jumping on a scooter and heading off to the park? Whizzing around on a scooter is great fun, you can take them everywhere, and, better still, they won’t break the bank.

They are available for all ages, too, with brands such as Skatehut offering scooters for toddlers, so you can all can hop on and choose where to go. Scooters tend to be lightweight, collapsable or foldable, so you can carry them around when little legs start to tire.

My boys absolutely love their toddler scooter and my parents have just bought Arthur a ‘big boy’ scooter for his birthday next month!

Cycling

See the countryside on two wheels by heading out on a bike. Depending on the age of your kids, you could either try some thrilling mountain biking or for little ones there are cycling centres that specialise in bikes with child carriers.

We loved the camel trail when we were down in Cornwall the last time we were in the UK.  It’s a beautiful route and it’s lovely and flat too so it’s perfect for all ages.  There’s a rather fantastic vineyard on route too, which I can highly recommend a stop at, we took the kids and they were totally fine with that!

alternative adventure ideas for the whole family

Feeling body confident this summer

Bikini Ready!?

I don’t know about you but I’m kind of sick of  hearing the phrase ‘bikini ready’ every time summer starts to roll around!  I’m loving seeing other people, especially on across social media, shunning this phrase too!

I’m not trying to dismiss the idea of wanting to look your best.  I also TOTALLY get that in the summer you typically aren’t so covered up as you are in winter.  This can then obviously start making you feel a bit more critical of yourself.

There is also still so much pressure on Mums to ‘bounce back’ in to shape two seconds after birth.  I guess this one is also very much fuelled by social media.  It’s hard not to beat yourself up a little when you see that perfect insta mum back in pre pregnancy clothes as she leaves the hospital.

Again, I’m totally not trying to bash these Mums who can do that.  I’ve seen some of these women get a crazy hard time for being proud of their post baby bodies and that is just not cool either.

Self imposed pressure?

I think it’s really easy to blame all of these pressures on social media, and it undoubtedly has a lot to answer for.  But, I also feel it’s a little bit lazy to fully blame our lack of body confidence on social media.  After all women have been feeling the need to look good for far longer than the internet has been around, even before the days of glossy magazines!  I think that comparison has always been a problem.  Comparing yourself to others, wishing you had that girls hair or her legs or that your boobs were a bit more like hers.

How many times have you not put a picture of yourself on instagram or even just straight out deleted a picture because you see a flaw (or lots of flaws)?  I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve done that!  There’s been a few ‘fuck it’ moments where I post a picture regardless of how many chins I see or how big I think my arms look.   Pictures that I’ve loved because of how happy I’ve been in a moment or how extra cute my boys look in it.  And you know what?  People don’t see your flaws like you do.

I was definitely super aware of my body after having the kids.  I think that was kind of tough with living here and being in summer wear all year round.  Arthur and Freddie both had their first trips to the beach at 1 week old.  That didn’t exactly give me time to get my ‘beach body’ back.  But, you can’t live here and not go to the beach.  So, I just wore the bikinis I had that I could fit in.  And you know what, very quickly I didn’t care that I didn’t look how I did before I was pregnant.  I do really think that getting back into exercise as soon as I could helped me to have a more positive feeling about my body, even when it wasn’t looking how I wanted it too!

Feeling body confident this summer

Feeling body confident this summer

 

Great Underwear

Nothing makes an outfit look worse than bad fitting underwear.  Do yourself a favour, and treat yourself to some well fitting underwear.   I totally recommend this Evolution Bra from Knix seamless, moisture wicking, 4 way stretch…..it’s perfect!

Great Sunglasses

Hide those early morning, multiple night wake up eye bags with a pair of big sunglasses.  For me, you can’t beat a classic pair of Ray Ban Aviators but I’m also a big sucker for some super glam cat eye glasses too.  I use Sunglasses shop who do free worldwide delivery (yay!), but I also love nipping into duty free too, although that’s much harder with the boys!!

Buy The Dress

Or the bikini or the shorts or whatever it is.

Go and buy it – in a size that fits….squeezing into a size smaller is not going to do you any favours!

Wear it!

Stop Comparing

Comparing how you look to your best friend, or to a celebrity, or that beautiful mama you follow on Instagram is just toxic for your self esteem. But stopping is SO hard to do.  I definitely am terrible for this!  But, it NEVER makes you feel any better so what’s the point!

Take A Bunch Of Pictures

Seriously!  Because while you might not love it today, or even next month.  You will for sure look back at it in years to come and think that you looked great, and oh so young!!! I think this is possibly even more true if youve got kids.  Us Mums are often the ones behind the camera and it is so special to have those photos of you with them.  So chuck the camera at your husband, or your friend or a random passer by and say CHEESE!!

Also taking LOADS of pictures means you are sure to find at least 1 picture you like!!

Feeling body confident this summer

I’m not trying to claim to be some body confidence expert.  I’m definitely not trying to say I have no body issue hang up’s either.  But, I thought I’d share a couple of things I do to boost my body confidence!  Are there any you’d add to this list?

feeling body confident this summer

What to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier

Okay so you’re thinking about moving to Seychelles?  Or, even better you are definitely moving to Seychelles wohooo!!

You’ve seen the pictures, the beaches are beautiful there is tropical greenery every where. It’s always warm……

But then you start thinking about what you will take with you…..You realise that you’ll actually be living there and you have to do normal life stuff that you did wherever you’re living now, it’s not all beaches and boat trips (although they happen a lot too!!).  What are you going to pack?  How are you going to sleep in that heat?   You get the idea!

I’ve put together a list of things that help to make our life here easier on a daily basis.  I’m not saying that *I couldn’t live without* these items, but sometimes island life is a little more rugged than you might expect so these things help make your new home a bit more home like!  Some of these things you can buy here and some you’ll want to bring out with you!

So here it is my list of what to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier!

what to buy to make expat life in seychelles easier

Water Cooler

As much as I’ve just said this list is things I couldn’t live without……I really would miss my water cooler most of all if it went!!

I must stress that water here IS safe to drink here. It just doesn’t really taste all that nice.  Also, you really do have to drink lots of water here and tepid tap water is just not very appealing.

Most people drink bottled water.  When we moved here we just bought 5l bottles and kept them in our fridge all the time.  Honestly that is very impractical since it takes up so much space.

We bought our water cooler in our second year of living here. It was seriously the best thing we have ever bought.  We get through around 10 5 gallon bottles a month.  Each bottle is 50scr and we get them delivered to the house for free.  You can buy the water coolers here in a few different shops.  The guy who delivers the water bottles on Praslin also sells them, and will try and fix them if there is a problem with them too!

Fans

Your house may have ceiling fans, it may not.  Either way you will probably still want to invest in a few stand up fans.  They are great to have next to your bed at night, one to keep you cooler but also it helps keep any mosquitos away!  I’ve become a little addicted to the sound of fans though and struggle to sleep without them now!

Transport

Everyone (including us) thinks that they won’t need transport, particularly if moving to Praslin as its small.    But don’t be fooled by the size of the islands.  I can’t tell you how much easier it makes life.

What to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier

The bus service here is great, don’t get me wrong (and very cheap at only 7scr for any journey).  But, they stop running at 6pm leaving you stuck in the evenings.  Buses can also be REALLY busy, and like bus services anywhere the world, you can be left waiting a good while for your bus.  You’ll also quickly discover that for food shopping you can’t just go to one shop, you have to go to a variety of different places to get products you need or like better.  Many are not walking distance apart and doing multiple busses is just going to make it take ALL DAY! (I’ll cover shopping in a future post)

Taxis are expensive.  There are a bunch of ‘pirate taxis’ who are just guys who run unlicensed cabs, even they are expensive….but useful from time to time!

Many people also think that a push bike would be sufficient, and depending where you live and how close your work will be it could work.  But keep in mind that cycling after about 8am is very hot, and on really rainy days – which we get our fair amount of, it’s not very practical.  Also, people’s driving here can be pretty crazy here sometimes so you might not feel all that safe cycling, especially if you’re thinking about doing it with kids on the back.  There’s also just so many hills on all of the islands, so unless you’re super fit it’s going to be a big struggle!

I feel there is probably a whole post just talking about the realities of transport here, so i’ll leave it there for now and come back to it at another time!  In short I would highly recommend a scooter or a car!

Entertainment

TV, games, whatever!

When moving somewhere like the Seychelles, you’ll probably convince yourself you won’t want a TV….after all you’ll be outdoors all the time right!?

We lasted a year, which is longer than a lot of people! The evenings are when it makes the most difference.  It’s dark here year round by around 7pm and evening entertainment can be quite hard up.  We are now using Cable and Wireless TV package, i’ve linked to their site with a bit more information if you want to take a look!  Our little community has been a huge help with this and we find ourselves either with people at our house or us being at others for dinner at least once a week, usually twice.

We’ve also totally fallen in love with board games, I know, we are the coolest!

Internet

The internet in Seychelles is unimaginably better than when we moved here 6 years ago.  It’s still not all that cheap though.  We use cable and wireless for ours.  Here is the link to their home internet packages so you can get an idea of costs and packages available.  **SIDE NOTE I’M NOT BEING PAID BY CABLE AND WIRELESS FOR THIS POST 🙂 **

Foreign Credit Card/Bank Account

Your standard ATM card here does not work outside of Seychelles.  So, you’ll want a credit card or bank card that you can use for purchases outside of Seychelles.  It also helps to keep your credit rating up in your ‘home’ country incase you ever decide to move back!

A good camera

This doesn’t really need explaining!  Get yourself a decent camera, doesn’t need to be a big one.  You want to be able to share the amazing place you live with your friends and families….or at least make your instagram friends jealous!

Good quality Sunglasses

I was once told by an optician that cheap sunglasses do more damage to your eyes than if you wore none at all…..Something to do with the fact that putting dark lenses causes your pupils to dilate letting more light into your eyes and therefore causing more damage.

Anyway, that has stuck with me big time and I only ever wear decent sunglasses now.  I probably paid about £150 for my most recent pair (You probably don’t even have to spend as much as that).  I literally wear mine every day, even cloudy days are bright, and they will probably do me 2 years before I need to replace them.  So i reckon that works out at like 20p a day…..bargain!

 

What to buy to make expat life in Seychelles easier

 

 

Writing this post has given me loads more ideas for different posts about living here and moving here so I’m super excited to get going on those including a bit of a packing list!  Is there anything obvious you think is missing!  Or anything you don’t think should be on there?  Let me know, I always love to hear!

Great Date Days for the Whole Family

Going out together as a family is how you learn and bond together. It’s a great way to treat the kids, to have fun out as parents, and to show your children all the wonder that the world holds. From easy days out like a picnic in the park to an exciting trip to the aquarium, by getting out there and exploring your home with your kids, you can bond together and make beautiful memories that can last a lifetime:

Picnic in the Park 

Once warm weather comes by, there can be nothing better than a habitual visit to the park on the weekends, which is perfect if you or your spouse are often busy at work during the week. It is budget-friendly and great to simply enjoy your time together. Start by working with your family to make the food to take with you, then pack up a blanket, some lawn games, and find the perfect spot in a nearby park. An afternoon together once a week can become a family tradition you and your kids will love.

family date days picnic in the park

Solve Puzzles in an Escape Room 

If you want to have a fun adventure with your family, however, opt for something more unique. Escape rooms require you to work together as a family to solve clues in order to get out. They are a fun and different way to spend an evening together; not only are they entertaining, but they can also help your kid’s cognitive functions develop. So surprise your family with a session at the Syracuse Escape Room and have fun solving puzzles with your whole family.

family date days escape room breakout games

Visit a Pet Farm 

Pet farms are perfect for family excursions. You can show your kids animals, let them pet some domesticated favorites, and generally learn. Sustainable living starts first with education, so teaching your children to be respectful of the animals and the farmland that we use. A great day out and a lot to learn, there is no better way to spend the day with your family.4

family date days visit a pet farm

Other similar days out include a trip to the zoo or a trip to the aquarium. You will want to opt for institutions that focus on conservation efforts. Rehabilitation is a worthy goal, and zoos can do a lot to help in these efforts, but not all places are equal. Take SeaWorld, for instance, which was the focus of Blackfish documentary in 2013. Teach your children about the animals in the animal kingdom, and you can help teach them how to respect the planet and grow up to be thoughtful, conscientious adults.

Museum 

There are so many benefits to taking your kids to the museum. The more often you go, the more they will learn and appreciate the history that is available. Museums have a lot of different activities perfect for kids as well, so they can learn in an engaging and colorful way.

Going out for the day and learning something new or solving puzzles together is so incredibly valuable. Just as valuable, however, is simply spending quality time together out in the sun. Whatever you end up choosing, do it together as a family and make it into a new tradition.

family date days visit a museum

Raising A Child In A Bilingual Household

Raising a Child in a Bilingual Household

If you and/or your spouse speak multiple languages, then one of the things you’ll need to decide is which ones you’ll use when speaking to your child. Many parents like the idea of raising bilingual children, but there are also those who believe it’s better to start with one language.

Here’s everything you need to know about raising children in a bilingual household, from whether it’s smart to the different ways you can do it.

raising a child in a bilingual household

Is It a Good Idea to Teach Children Multiple Languages?

This question can be answered with a resounding yes. There’s a misconception some parents have that children will become confused by hearing more than one language from an early age. In reality, children can distinguish one language from another very early on, especially when each language is much different.

The idea that children will become confused if they grow up hearing, say, English and Spanish, is a myth. The only other potential drawback people worry about is that their children could be behind when they get to preschool or kindergarten. This could happen, but it all depends on how much exposure the children get to each language. If you give them a good balance, they’ll be fine.

Now, let’s look at the benefits of learning more than one language as a kid. Being multilingual will be a huge advantage for your kid as they get older. They’ll have an easier time in school, and proficiency with another language could open up more job opportunities for them.

The idea that children can learn a language with ease is also a bit of a myth, but it’s certainly easier at a young age than it is later in life. And the best part is that by learning a second language while they’re young, children will be more likely to speak it naturally and like a native would, especially if one parent is a native speaker.

Methods to Raise Your Child Bilingually

Once you’ve decided that you’d like to raise your children bilingually, the next step is deciding how you will do it. There are several options here.

tips for raising your child to be bilingual

Each Parent Speaks One Language

This is a very popular approach for its simplicity. Children hear a different language from each parent and talk to that parent in the same language they use. With this method, each parent can use their native tongue (if those are different), which helps the children learn the language like natives would.

The potential issue is when kid interact with one parent much more than the other, in which case they’ll have far greater proficiency in one language.

One Language at Home, One Language Elsewhere

In this method, the family uses one language at home, and another language everywhere else. It’s sometimes used by immigrant families, and it’s nice because it allows everyone to speak with each other at home. Kids also get an excellent understanding of their parents’ native tongue this way.

There are two issues with this method. The first is that the kids will likely not be as proficient in their outside-the-home language, and that will put them at a disadvantage when they start school. If one of the parents only has a limited proficiency with the language spoken in the home, then they could make mistakes and cause their children to learn the language the wrong way.

Determining the Language Based on the Situation

This involves switching between each language. Children will use the language that fits who they’re speaking to and where they are. That could mean speaking one language with one set of relatives and the other with another set of relatives. Parents can also help their children learn how to do this by changing what language is spoken at home each day.

Learning this way is a bit more challenging for the children and requires more effort on the part of the parents. But it’s also a balanced approach that will help children communicate well no matter what they’re speaking.

Switching from Language to Language at Any Time

For parents who don’t want to be too rigid with how they speak, there’s this method. The family switches what they’re speaking whenever they want. Like the method above, this is a good way for children to learn how to communicate in either language, and it’s a very natural approach.

With this method, there is the possibility that children like one language more. That could lead to them using it more and not being as proficient with the other language.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to raise children to be bilingual, and the right method varies for each family. Whichever method you choose, you’ll be making the right choice in teaching your children another language from the beginning.

When to Fly to Avoid Flight Delays and Cancellations

Starting off your adventure with a canceled or delayed flight can throw a major wrench into your travel plans. During the lead up to a trip, you might find yourself worrying about the possibility that you could end up spending longer in the airport than you had originally intended.
The good news is there may be a way that you can stack the odds in your favor.  Travel sites and airlines are frequently known for keeping track of important flight data.  By using this information, you can learn a little more about the best times to schedule your flights.

Read on for tips to avoid flight delays and cancellations!

When to Fly to Avoid Flight Delays and Cancellations

The Best Times of Day for a Flight

When scheduling your next journey, one of the first things to think about is when in the day you’re going to take to fly.  In most cases, the early bird will get the worm with flight choices.  Flights that leave between 6 am and 7 am are generally the most likely to be on time.  This is because they haven’t had chance to be affected by other issues that might have appeared throughout the day.
The later in the day your flight is, the more likely it is that you’ll face a problematic “stacking effect”. One slight delay quickly becomes a huge issue, or even a cancellation. The trend for increasing flight delays continues up to 6 pm in most cases, at which point it starts to taper off again.
According to experts, even the smallest delay can cause a ripple effect causing even more delays in the future.

First thing in the morning, you’re starting with a fresh set of planes, fewer passengers, and shorter lines.  That means that you don’t have to worry as much about unexpected issues. What’s more, air traffic is lighter the earlier you fly.

 

The Best Days for a Flight

You might be surprised to learn that Saturday is one of the best days to fly according to some statistics. That may be because people prefer to start their vacation earlier in the week.  Or maybe people assume that  weekends are going to be busy, so they ensure to book throughout the week instead.
Whatever the reason, research shows us that Friday is generally the worst day to travel. Up to 30% of flights being delayed that day on average. Additionally, Friday is also the day when more flights are scheduled.  This means that there are more chances for problems with air traffic and cancellations.
Here’s your insight into which days you should choose for your next trip or vacation:
the best days to fly.png

The Best Seasons for a Flight

Importantly, the details given above can differ depending on which airline you choose to fly with.  Also, which airport you’re traveling from, and where you’re going to.  Another point to consider is the season. Although the question of which season to pick is a little harder to pin down, here are some general rules to follow:

Avoid Fridays during Summer: You already know that Fridays are the busiest day of the week for airports, but the problem becomes even worse during summer when the children are out of school and more people decide to take vacations.

Be flexible around the holidays: If you’re flying around the holiday season, remember that a lot of other people will be hoping to get home to their families too, this means that peak activity levels and prices can both begin to spike.

Travel during the low season: Finally, make sure that you always look for the low season around your destination – which is when it’s less likely to get the most visitors. This will help you to choose a more delay-free time to fly.

Looking at all the above, it seems as though the best thing you can do is travel as early as possible on a non-holiday Saturday sometime during the year. Of course, even with statistics, you can never know exactly what’s going to happen with any given airline.

Ultimately, you should always be prepared to handle the stress of a cancellation or delay, no matter how hard you try to avoid them.  Building extra time into your plans to account for delays will help too!

 

I hope these tips have helped, let me know what you think and if you have any more to share!Don’t forget to check out my tips on staying healthy while traveling with the family!

The Next Step

So, I’ve been pretty absent from my blog for a little while now.  This past week, I think its really dawned on me why.

 

This is the year of change.  It’s time to starting thinking about what the next step will be for me.

I know it’s still a pretty long way off, but Freddie starts school in September.  All of a sudden, I feel out of a job.  Right from when Arthur was born I felt like being a Mum was my actual job.  Obviously not a paid job….We’ve all seen the motivational messages about no payment, 24hours a day 7 days a week blah blah blah.

I think that largely came down to the fact that when we moved out here it was through Mark’s work.  I didn’t feel like I was really had a role of my own. Then all of a sudden I had something super important to do, raising this teeny baby.  No one ever made me feel that was the case, but it was just what was going on in my head!!

So fast forward four and a half years (yikes!) Arthur has now been in school for over a year and I know it will be a blink of an eye until Freddie is in there too.

taking the next step

I’ve always joked about how excited I am for the kids to be at school and I can spend my days as I please, as a lady of leisure.

But the truth is, I’m freaking out.

I now feel like it’s the time to do something for me, there’s no ‘excuse’ any more.

I would LOVE to be able to continue to expand with my writing.

 

But What Is The Next Step?

 

I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years now and I love it.  Ive dabbled here in there in writing elsewhere. I contributed towards a book .  I’ve written a bunch of articles for an amazing travel site called Culture Trip about all things Seychelles, and I’ve even written an article for British Airways about Romantic Travel in Seychelles 

But honestly, I don’t know what it is I need to do to push it to that next step.

Obviously I’ll have more time in the day to dedicate to writing.  So, I guess initially I need to spend more time on my blog and getting it out there.  But, I’ve written before about not liking the ‘pressure’ of blogging and I still feel the same way.  I’m not going to join things to get comments from people who are only writing so that I comment back on their posts, or anything like that!

Do I start approaching people asking if they’d want me to write for them?  I’ve never been so great at anything like that!!  Or is it better for things to just be little more organic like they have always been up to now?  I feel like I’m so out of the world of work since we lived here that I just can’t focus or pin point any direction for myself!!

 

 

I didn’t really know what direction that blog post was going to go in when I started writing that!  It kinda turned into a mini affirmation for myself.  Sorry about that!!!  I feel like I’m freaking out about the next step for myself more than I did when I left school and university, is that weird?

Of course, these two will still always be my job, and that’s the best even if they can be total monsters, wake up at crap o’clock in the morning and make mess like no one I’ve ever met!!
the next step