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Memories are made of this

PUBLISHED: 07:53 15 June 2018

Nick Conrad is looking forward to his family's motorhome holiday.

Nick Conrad is looking forward to his family's motorhome holiday.

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Nick Conrad is going motorhoming - something he never thought he’d be doing.

Here is a sentence you never thought you’d read – motor homing is now considered ‘chic.’ The new fashion for four-wheeled getaways has been fuelled by young families wanting an adventure and being deterred by the high cost of conventional holidays. Travel with three children can be challenging, and though I’m happy to tackle the airport occasionally, the alternatives are increasingly appealing. But is a holiday almost sleeping on top of each other in a big metal box really for me?

Well, we will find out soon as I’ve just booked my first motorhome break. The romantic notion of freedom combined with a flexible itinerary tempted me to give it a try. I’ve shunned caravans, motorhomes and canal boats following a particularly bad experience in the Isle of Wight eight years ago. Through holidaying with close friends, it was the extreme close proximity to those on vacation with you that I found off-putting. The wafer-thin walls are extremely unforgiving!

With children it’s different. Ours are aged four, two, and two months, so ‘privacy’ is a distant memory and a luxury. The children invade my bed most nights, and I love the idea of us all squeezing into this confined space to make family memories. And in booking this break I’ve reconnected with my youth and this fantastic country. As a youngster I loved visiting museums and attractions. I have enchanting memories of days out at the York Rail Museum, Jorvik and Beamish. These places made a big impression on the younger me, and I’m hoping in turn my children will remember and cherish their visits. Though my favourite break will always involve the sea and a beach holiday, surely what I’m planning is more nourishing for the young brain?

One of the many things my father did extremely well was instil a sense of ‘adventure’ in all his children. Be it trips on our boat out of Morston Quay, cycling around the countryside or surfing, we had a lot of fun. In picking a holiday, many parents understandably prioritise their need to unwind and relax. Maybe we should be equally as conscious about making memories.

Instilling a sense of adventure in our kids is so important. It can give them confidence and awareness of their surroundings. It’s so wonderful that the best adventures are on our doorstep - after all Norfolk epitomises the concept of the ‘Great Outdoors’. For even if they don’t naturally have a sense of adventure they will eventually find one in Norfolk!

Sadly, our children now spend a shorter amount of time outdoors and are less connected to the natural world. Research by the National Trust found that children spend only half as much time playing outside as their parents did. If children grow up disconnected from nature, then it stands to reason that they will place less value on the natural world, and that’s bad news as far as conserving our countryside goes.

So I’m hugely looking forward to the great outdoors and undertaking a Great British Motorhome staycation. It’s an escape into the wilderness, away from the ‘clasp of connectivity.’ And though we might feel like sardines crammed impossibly into a tin box (on wheels), I love the idea of replicating what my father did and starting a whole new adventure.

Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell - not stuff to show.

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