Philosophy Talking Point Why Adventure?

Connections & the family team

Grizedale Forest Walk
Written by Stuart Wickes

Connections

I took this photo while on a walk in Grizedale Forest. It’s not often you’ll see our kids holding hands these days so it definitely says something about the moment.

One of the things I particularly value about our adventures together, whether we’re out in the woods at the weekend or biking across the Baltics, is spending time together as a family. Over 10 years of adventuring together I’ve noticed that when we create the time to spend together and spend it doing fun or interesting stuff, something special happens; we become more of a team.

It doesn’t happen when we watch a movie or go shopping, and it certainly doesn’t happen when we’re split five ways during the week dealing with work, school or community commitments.  But it does happen when we do something new, unusual or special together, especially when that something involves us all or takes us a little out of our comfort zone. Even something as simple as helping each other walk along a log.

I think doing new things together adds adds a little spice to family life and adds something intangible to the family unit. Shared experiences, funny stories, moments of connection – these little things strengthen a family and help turn a disparate collection of people who live and eat together into a family team.  And I think families need that as much as sports and works teams – to help them weather the journey ahead, whatever life throws at them.

Talking point

Do you think of your family as a team?  Do you think making connections matters in the family? What kind of things do you to create them, to build your family team?

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Talking Point is our series of short opinion posts. We pick a topic and photo from the archive, post a talking point and invite you to join the conversation. Leave a comment with your thoughts. 

About the author

Stuart Wickes

Stuart's the adventure addict half of the team, always trying to persuade the family to get out, do more, go further. As co-founder and co-director he handles the business, creative, design, technical and publishing aspects of the project. He is our chief photographer and videographer. With training as a professional learning and development consultant. an engineer and musician, his contribution is eclectic and unpredictable!

18 Comments

  • Stuart – I definitely see our family as a team. Considering we are working together to get Michael through med school which meant sacrifices from us all – we have no choice but to function as a team. Although it does not mean we are always doing our best haha. I agree when we travel and do something different, unique or challenging is when the best can come out of our team. All these experiences create a deeper connection within our family and I feel strongly that there no better way to foster these relationships then to get out and just do stuff (travel, explore, try new things). I always try to remind my boys there is no one out there like your family. It is the best thing you have and there is nothing better then sharing really cool experiences with them. Thank you for a great post. We are off to Scotland this weekend for a little adventure. Cheyenne

    • Cheyenne, Thanks for stopping by to comment. Deeper connections – just what I was trying to get at. Enjoy your weekend in Scotland,,, there’s plenty of adventures to have up there. Hope we can hook up sometime soon.

  • I like to think of us as a team, and I hope it’s something that persists even after my kids have grown and made their own families. We definitely do a lot of bonding during vacations, much more than during our regular daily life. I think that vacations take us away from all the “Have To Dos” (homework, laundry, sweeping, etc.) that preoccupy our minds and lets us build bonds through new, shared experiences. When we became expats, one idea that I had in the back of my mind was that we’d all rely on each other more simply because we were in a strange environment. Connections definitely matter.

    • I like the idea of the sense of team persisting beyond the nest – whether its bonds between you or something they take to their own families. Interesting what you say about having to rely upon each more in strange and unfamiliar environments. Did that turn out to be the case?

  • Amen! I feel this way every time we go on an extended trip together. The kids really get to know each other better especially, and I hope this lasts a lifetime for them!

    • I’m always amazed at how the kids get on better when they’re with each other 24/7. Well after a while, and obviously not 24/7, there’s plenty of health spats. But it’s like they rediscover each other again… Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  • I love this. I belong to a group of moms from a thousand different backgrounds but I am shocked by how many have not built a family so much as I we, the parents, do this for you and you the kids, take this from us. Yes, I want to give my kids – love, food, clothing, necessities and more. But by building a family or a team, we have taught them that the respect and love is mutual. We are all there for each other. These days I have one who is grown and out of the house. I know this family works because when he calls home he never fails to ask about his siblings, about mine and my husband’s races or business. He cares about his family and caring is a gift we give our children. It doesn’t come automatically. If we don’t teach them, they don’t learn it.

    • Thanks for commenting Ann. I guess there’s lots of ways to build a family. I like what you say about giving much more than just love and practicalities. Whether we recognise it or not, I figure as parents or guardians we ‘teach’ implicitly, all day every day. I used to think what I said mattered but since no-one listened to that I came to realise the kids probably learn more what I do and who I am, and (more shockingly) that behaviour I don’t like is probably a reflection of me! I’m sure Ghandi said something about that.

  • I could not agree more – last Monday we explored a few places around us as a family and really talked, observed, joked – all the things I love doing with my family. We get so caught up in everyday life that we forget to make time for each other. Thanks for the great reminder and for linking up today!

    • Hi Becca,
      Sometimes Stuart and I need reminding that it’s enough to explore our own backyard together. Even if it takes a Herculean effort on the part of the adults to get everyone out in the first place!

  • I’d like to think that we are a team even if everyday life often gets in the way of real connection. I cherish the time that we spend together as a family when we are on vacation because it is the only uninterrupted time that we have where we aren’t running to and fro to various activities – stressed and distracted. My daughters still squabble when we are on vacation but at least they are spending time together – and with a 7 year age gap and one going off to university in the not too distant future – that time together is even more precious.

    • Hi Lisa, I think families are some of the most diverse teams you can get, with all their different ages, likes, abilities…oh and moods! 18 years seems like a long time but it goes in a flash doesn’t it? Thanks for commenting.

  • I also really like this post and you’re spot on. It’s nice when there is a common purpose and we experienced that in an amazing way during the summer – instead of a normal going-away holiday, we decorated some rooms in our house and we all pulled together in doing it. At times it was just hilarious!

    We have two daughters, 12 and 14. Right now they’re both in Germany on a school exchange trip and naturally we miss them. The 12 year old is a little homesick and when we spoke by phone last night she said “Daddy, can we pray, just like we do at home when you tuck me in to bed?”. Sure enough we did (we’re Christians).

    We have found this before: we get drawn closer together, especially when one of us is struggling in some way. While I don’t welcome the struggles that inevitably come along in some shape or form, it’s good when we go through them together.

    • Doug, what a lovely comment. What you’re describing is for me what a family is all about. Decorating rooms usually leads to war in our house but glad it was a uniting force in yours! Maybe you guys could come and redecorate our place??

  • I see this too when we travel, this team mentality. Travel experiences help build a strong bond between siblings, which why we should travel more!

    Thanks for joining our Family Travel Friday blog hop! Looking forward to reading more of your posts via email subscription. 🙂

  • I hadn’t actually realised until I read this post, but just about the only time my kids aren’t squabbling at the moment and hold hands is when we are out on a walk or adventure.

    Definitely a great reason to get out of the house altogether and make time for ‘family time’. Even just taking time out to play a board game at home … unless of course someone keeps landing on the snake in snakes and ladders. That usually ends up to tantrums and cheating!

    • So funny Tracy. Snakes and ladders can be a real team killer. But then I guess those kind of games are essentially competitive. Nothing wrong with that though. In fact a bit of intra-family competition is probably quite healthy. As long as I win. Thanks for commenting!

  • I just found your website today and have been enjoying a ton of blogs and discussions! We can identify with lots – giving kids responsibility, working as a team, cotton wool mum vs risk taking dad … Three months into a family gap year adventure together in S America we’re experiencing all this daily as we’re in each others company 24×7. I love Tracy’s comment above about squabbling and snakes and ladders – still very much a part of our existence in between the magic moments! Even or perhaps especially, when living our dream on an adventure like ours, we are having to work really hard to be a team – both as parents and a family – keep creating time and opportunities for little adventures within the adventure! Not being too frustrated with our different approaches! but seeing the kids hold hands and help each other like yours is magical. Looking forward to following your blog in future and keep reading the inspiring thoughts and comments. Mo

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