On Tour With The Kid | CHOLE SULLIVAN
I'm Chloe Sullivan. I'm a business owner, music lover and most importantly, a single mother of a bright, adventurous toddler. While looking for holiday destinations I was a bit taken back to discover that a lot of the recommendations including kids were kids club or other ways that I could have her looked after so I could 'go have fun'. This is not the way we like to travel. When I get a break, I want to spend it making memories WITH my kid. Follow my journey to discover adventures that are about bonding, not babysitting each month in intouch magazine or at my blog ontourwiththekid.freeblog.site
For me, travel has always been intrinsically linked to music. It certainly wasn't due to the state of the art music system in the car I holidayed in as a child. On the contrary, In the late 70s when my travel memories began neither the Kombi, the Moke or the Datsun 180B that mum owned consecutively had so much as a working radio. My mother did, however, have a sensational vinyl collection at home and the turntable was always spinning.
From as early as I can remember road trips with mum meant singing together in the car. At five, I knew all the words to Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant. I wondered to myself why America couldn't have just named the horse, what Billy Joel did when the stranger came along and that there were good old boys somewhere drinking whisky and rye... though I admit for a long time I thought that rye was an abbreviation for Ribena. Before I could read Byron, Keats or Herrick I knew the joy of poetry and the power of a well-written verse thanks to Buckingham, Nicks, Taylor, King, Moss and Walker. I will be forever grateful to my hippy mother for her eclectic taste and passion for music.
My best childhood memories are not about fancy hotel rooms or of doing craft activities with a hotels babysitter. They are of camping, swimming in the creek, long drives on unsealed country roads on the way to folk festivals. Stopping at every roadside stand to buy things directly from the farm where there were produced including honeycomb straight from the hive. Which is kind of a metaphor for our holidays, messy but amazing.
By the time I was ten I had raced a camel across the salt flats in Alice Springs with the most famous camel man in Australia. I had sung on stage with The Bushwhackers at the Gulgong Folk Festival (I was 6 and knew all the words to the Rye Buck Shearer and to be fair I didn't really give them a chance to say no). Pro Hart had drawn a picture on a napkin just for me, I'd seen Arlo Guthrie in concert. I had swum at the bottom of a waterfall. Feed a deer from my hand and seen a sheep give birth. I'd spent time with the traditional owners of the land and I had eaten some of the best food in the country.
None of these things relied on staying in a 5-star resort. Not that there is anything wrong with a luxurious holiday. I love a great hotel pool and room service as much as the next person and I'm sure there will be some great hotels in our not too distance future. When you can afford it, you should treat yourself but a great hotel should add to your holiday experience not encompass it. It would be a shame to miss some soul changing experiences and memories that will last a lifetime, thinking that is the only kind of holiday worth having.
Every time I see the morning sun beaming through a window, I'm transported back to the kitchen at our family farm in rural NSW. Waking up early, packing the car and the dogs and heading off on our next big adventure. That's how I want the kid to feel about travel. These are all the great memories given to me by my devoted, hard-working, totally engaged single mum. Who never once made me feel like someone she needed a break from, even though at times I'm sure she did. Now it's time for me to pay it forward.
My plan is to have at least one adventure a month with my gorgeous little girl until the end of 2016. She is a good traveller and better behaved in restaurants and at shows than lots of adults so I think we'll be okay. My hope is that the trips will be full of fun, history, nostalgia and the kind of characters you can only meet when you stop at a country pub for a schnitzel.
Just a warning... Those things that happen that are so embarrassing you hope no one ever finds out, those things happen to me all the time. My best friend can attest to the fact that I can get myself into a situation worthy of an I Love Lucy special somewhere as inane as a McDonalds drive through. So if you are happy to laugh along with the girl and I, please feel free to check back in for our June adventure!