I met my husband while he was in the middle of travelling around the world. I had just arrived home from a month in South America myself.  We connected at a house party, cold beer and nachos, sharing  our passion for adventure, and our dichotomous love of adventure and stability.  Over the coming years, we built our life, travelling with our growing family as we best could.

Our trips became closer to home as our budget got tighter, and our kids multiplied.  Trips to Europe being replaced with camping and “stay-cations”.    As our stability grew, our ability to travel seemed restricted.

But it wasn’t.  Our IDEA of how we should travel was archaic, and one night (over many a glass of wine) we realized that in our efforts to meet everyone’s needs, we had sacrificed something valuable.

We saw ourselves as a “family unit”, and we were wrong.   We were a unit, yes, but one made of individuals. We each had our likes, interests and passions.  I had no time for sleeping in a damp tent, and because of this our camping adventures have disappeared. Without realizing, I finally stopped trying to ensure that everyone had a good time, that all needs were met.  I stopped, because in my striving for perfection, nothing was getting accomplished.

So I disassembled our unit, and let go of the ideal of perfection I was trying to achieve.

We started from scratch, each one of us as individuals, and built in new family values that met our needs.  The biggest change was that we could be a group of 2, or 3, or 4 frequently. But being our full contingent of 5 would now be a rarity.

With our new plan, our travels became more frequent.  Multi day trips of caving and electric bikes with my husband and daughter. Camping for my son. Weekend excursions just the two of us. With this freedom, we realized that by allowing our kids to be individuals, we were becoming a stronger unit.

When the chance came up for a Press Trip to Beaches in Negril, Jamaica, we gave the kids of the option of participating.  We told them we would take 1 of them (out of 3) and together they should decide who should come.

It took them seconds to decide… no fighting, or desperate pleas.  They knew themselves, and each other and realized this trip was best suited to our middle daughter.

beaches moms, beaches negril,

We didn’t know what we were getting into with Beaches, and this was a first trip for all of us to Jamaica.  From the welcome, to the daily activities, the food, the staff and the beach we were impressed.

Being able to make it “all about” our daughter was even better. No fussing over 3 different dinner ideas, or where to play for the day, or managing a range of bedtimes.  This solo trip with her let us get to know HER preferences, and enjoy each moment, completely focused.

We also had the chance to participate in the Sandals foundation Reading Roadtrip with her. Something that would not have happened had her younger brother joined us!

This gave her the opportunity to visit an Elementary school in Jamaica, meet the students and experience something very different than her school back in North America. Eye opening for sure, and an event that turned our tropical vacation into a life learning experience.
Volunteering with kids
Being a parent of 3 is amazing, and challenging, and being a sibling is just the same.  Sometimes you need to step away from the chaos and just be an individual.  By letting go of some of the control over our family, and my expectations of how  it should be… I was able to experience something better. I know each of them better as people and have grown closer as a family.

I let go of the idea of a perfect family holiday, and in return I got dozens of imperfect family experiences.



A mom who knew there had to be more than an overwhelming suburban life filled with good jobs and soccer practices, Julie swept her family off onto a small island in BC to start over! Craving a life of fulfillment she blogs about facing fears and courageously going after your dreams! She believes that if you do something, you should do it fully: eat butter, sweat hard and laugh till you pee. Julie’s blog is filled with stories of how her family adapts and continues to strive for a fulfilled life… while enjoying a few perks along the way!


  1. I LOVE THIS!!! Being a single mom, solo trips with each of my kids are more and more important. Traveling with both of them is fun, but its hard, and having the one on one time when we are away from the commitments of school and sports is exactly how I want to spend time with my kids, rather than shuttling one to hockey or the other to soccer or having 15 minutes alone with them in the car! Although they both begged to come on our upcoming trip (and they both are…. see SUCKER written on my forehead), we have some solo adventures coming up later this fall, and I cannot wait!

  2. This is amazing! What a great idea. I need to work on letting go of expectations and trying to plan for every little thing and everyone’s happiness. I’m trying this!

Write A Comment

Pin It