As Chris Martin and Gwyneyth Paltrow have recently decided to consciously uncouple, which seems to have caused a little controversy. It makes me wonder what other people have decided to consciously do, as a Parent.
Long term travel as a family, can change the way a person views the legacies they have decided to leave their children.
Before taking time for some long-term travel with my Husband and Children, the legacy I had decided to leave my kids was a no brainer, intending to leave our children, our home. This the legacy gifted to me from my parents and in turn, I automatically assumed that this would be what I would leave my offspring. Little did I know, that through a change of events, the legacy I would leave to my children, would develop in a completely different way.
Traveling turned our family inside out. Home had been the place we came back to every day, after we had spent our time at school and at work. No longer was there one particular place to stay, we had forward momentum on a very physical level. This affected us all in different ways when we first left the Country. From being excited, relieved, to sad at leaving the people we loved behind. Our routine went from School, work and training on a daily basis, to mobility, movement and fun. Suddenly our World had become larger. From living within a Society, we had now stepped outside it, in a very self-sufficient way.
Our home returned to its roots - US - no longer was there one particular spot to stay in and yet the one place we all stayed in was family and so the first realisation that brought about the thinking of My legacy, was that our roots were and are, inside all of us. Travelling gave us an enormous insight into the view of others within different cultures. It showed us what our Country has offered, taken and given influence too around the world.
So a bit like the Pioneers of old, we stepped out and started exploring. Not just the outer landscape of the Globe, involving the histories of the countries and how they were entwined with ours, but we were lucky enough to spend time foraging around in our internal landscapes, discovering things we didn't know about ourselves or had forgotten along the way, each of us to our own degree. One of the funny moments for me, was when my daughter realised she was a Child.
The reason we left initially, was to heal hurts that had arisen through circumstance, choice and the uncontrollable aspects of living. Life can be dramatic, painful and traumatic at times. There are many things beyond our personal control, but travel can bring back the wonder, discovery and adventure in everyday life.
Through travel, I learnt we could rebuild the wonder of living and with the experience, our hope for a fulfilling future. To spend time with the natural side of life was of great importance to me, for us as a family. Daily we were reconnecting with nature, taking time out to focus on personal interests developed within, as a family, together. From climbing mountains to short walks; snowboarding to exploring coral reefs. Learning first hand as we went, about the Human impact on the environment: coral bleaching, logging, climate change, cultural differences, poverty and affluence. Lifestyle and difference. The impact of tourism, good and bad meant dipping our toes continuously into the new challenges and surroundings that arose.
Travelling on public transport meant we engaged with local people in Countries such as Fiji. Giving our kids a chance to connect with others living a different way of life. A smile comes to my face as I think of San Francisco and a bus ride from airport to the City. How the people on the bus on hearing our English accents, engaged us all in conversation as we discussed the differences and similarities of our Countries, words and meanings. Yet for me the main thing for me during this time, was re-connecting within our family. For this period, we were our own little Society.
Last but not least, our travels reconnected us with the wonder of life. In a way, making the most of everyday simplicity. The chores we spent time doing at home were still with us. The washing up done after a meal cooked, clothes to be washed. I experienced the joy of hand washing every couple of days in the warmer countries, something so simple, physical and pleasurable, when done outside with the warmth of the sun on the face.
Learning about different foods in different places, embracing the freshness, quickness and vibrancy of Thai street food. Eating dinner for breakfast, when it became more practical and economical; rice, poppadoms and vegetable Dahl the staple in Singapore, enticing the kids' taste buds, encouraging them to give different foods a go wherever we were.
Bringing our family together, to work as a team when budgeting for foods and items. Living with only a backpack each, a sweet release from every day living within our Home Country, where it can be terribly tiring to be bombarded as a consumer, with everything there is on offer, our family working together as a unit, keeping to mind the individual within, no easy task. From this experience, I developed within me and found myself able to write for my Children, the legacy I choose to leave them.
Legacy to My Children:
I want your lives to be one of wonder and discovery.
You are the Pioneers in your own world, exploring the inner and outer space we all live in.
I'm not saying that there will not be painful experiences in your lives but hopefully you will learn that the wonder of life balances them out. Sharing with them the preciousness of their lives and our World, encouraging them to love and care for themselves, others and it as I do, in their own way.
Tell me, what will your Conscious Legacy be?