I had a baby and then I suddenly wanted to save the planet. Yeah, I know it’s a common theme nowadays.Mostly, I just wanted to get out of the house. My husband had a long list of chores for us to do – Home Depot runs, grocery shopping, family obligations.
Then one day I stumbled upon a genius book called “Last Child in the Woods,” written by Richard Louv. In it, he chronicles how the absence of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation has led to a large amount of disturbing childhood trends: the rise in obesity, attention deficit disorders and depression. It is a well researched, well written book and a must-read for any parent today. After reading that book – my family goals crystalized: we were going to spend free time each week, outdoors, playing in nature. And hence, this site was born. I have committed to ensuring that my family will be outdoors whenever possible. Hope yours is too.
Want to tell me about your extraordinary outdoor family travels?
What I have realized since becoming a mom, launching this site and traveling with my family is how important it is to stay connected to our glorious planet and spend time outdoors.
Nowadays, thanks to the crazy new technology available at our fingertips, I’m freaked out by how wired our family is, and that’s made me more committed than ever to getting us all outside. I want my child to see the world through his own eyes and not a glass screen.
This is a constant work in progress. Hands up, I admit that one night recently my husband, son and I were snuggled on a sofa having ‘family time’; one on an iPhone, one on net-book and the other on an iPad, all doing different things! I cringed, we weren’t even watching a show together, and decided to renew my fight for quality un-plugged family time. We might have been sitting together but we were not moving our bodies, inhaling fresh air or sharing together.
So when we do leave the house to explore the great outdoors – which yes, requires planning and focus – I make sure that we properly connect as a family unit (which often involves disconnecting from our machines), so that we can create beautiful new memories and enjoy each other’s company.
The life pay-off of leaving the house (and not just to visit Home Depot) for the family is huge. Kids needs to play in nature; I want my son to know what the sand feels like between his toes, what it is to swim naked in a river, climb trees and feel the wind in his hair. I can see how doing that is helping his development and education. He’s a curious child, full of energy and spirit. I’m sure that’s because he’s engaged in the world around him.
So more than ever, we need to experience our fantastical planet together. It’s a spectacular bonding experience but we have to be committed to the cause.
Therefore, I pledge to continue to explore, enjoy and experience the outdoors with my gorgeous family as often as is humanly possible.
Happy to not be doing chores!