Solidarity Exploration as a Family... Yes It's Possible!

Exploration in Solidarity Lands

Author : Elodie Pellequer

70 days of travelling in Tanzania, with planes, cabs, tuk-tuks and motorcycles, 26 different accommodations, as a family, with two children aged 5 and 2, we did it!

With a little preparation and organization, it is quite possible to embark on such an adventure, even in far away countries. Of course, a family trip with two young children implies a little more logistics, but not so much.

In fact, we have observed that children, even very young ones, are amazingly resourceful and have a great capacity to adapt.

Before embarking on a family trip off the beaten path, it is important to study the country of destination in order to better react in case of difficulties, especially health problems, which are the main source of anxiety for parents.

Before leaving,

  • Get information on the country, identify the main cities, the types of medical establishments, road access, train stations or airports to know the options for travel, fallback.
  • Take out travel health insurance.
  • Keep your vaccinations up to date, and consider rabies because there are often stray animals.
  • And take a first-aid kit for everyday problems, with a few basics (anti-diarrhea, general antibiotics, painkillers…). In case of a more serious problem, local medical facilities can surprise you with their diagnostic capabilities and availability of adapted medicines, like this was the case for us in Tanzania.

You must trust yourself, detach yourself from your habits of overconsumption, adapt to the country, to the climate, to the local way of life, be curious and learn to manage with what you find on the spot… and finally you realise you can do it without any problem: it’spart of the adventure and of the experience!

It is not necessary to plan huge luggage; it is better to privilege portability:

  • For the child: a cuddly toy, a few colored pencils, a few clothes, a pair of shoes, a water bottle (which can be used as a glass and a baby bottle), a cap, a fleece, a waterproof jacket (k-way) and a small backpack that the child can carry and fill with the treasures he will collect during his trip.
  • No need for an umbrella bed: heavy and cumbersome, they are available in most accomodations and if not, a mattress on the ground can do the trick (or, very exceptionally, sleeping between mom and dad…)
  • A light child carrier ackpack is recommended if the child is very young or tires quickly: the ideal is to bring a light fabric model that can be slipped into the bottom of the bag (many brands offer them).
  • The essentials: plastic flip-flops, a water bottle per person, plastic cutlery for improvised picnics, Swiss Army knife, washing powder / clothes line, headlamp, small toiletry bag (which can be hung on a hook), electric plug adapter and power strip, external battery, camera, microfiber towels for swimming in the sea / pool, packets of cookies / dried fruit for snacks…
  • The extras that make life easier for parents during the trip: a “story box” or tablet with a few downloaded cartoons, so you do not depend on wifi or 4G

Bags that are too heavy and poorly organized can really spoil the pleasure of the trip: remember that you always carry too much, that when you travel you don’t need much and that you can find (almost) everything on the spot if you need it, so there is no need to stock up on 3 packs of diapers before leaving or to take too many clothes “just in case”.

Like adults, during the trip, children discover the Other, share a new culture, experience different tastes, get used to sleeping elsewhere and meet new people!

No matter the destination, a family adventure within a solidarity exploration is a great source of discovery, sharing and exchange. It strengthens bonds, awakens curiosity and encourages autonomy.

If parents are confident and happy, the children will follow without any problem, so don’t hesitate, all you have to do is find the next country to discover!

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