I took my two children (aged 12 and 14) on a two-week adventure trip to Nepal and it was a fun filled trip with mountain trekking, white-water rafting, elephant safari, jungle walks, cycling tours and cultural tours all crammed in. We flew back into Heathrow with huge smiles on our faces.
Then the news broke that a massive earthquake had rattled the country, very soon after. My feelings since then have been mixed about the trip. I felt incredibly lucky to have got out when we did. I felt privileged to have visited the historic sights before the earthquake crumbled them to debris. I feel shocked that so many people we met, villages we passed through have been affected by this calamity. And underneath is this horror that it could have been us in that nightmare, had we not got out in time.
But rationale reasons and I think, I did the right thing by taking my kids there. Oh of course, one can think, why could I not just go for the easy, laid-back beach holiday. It is not a nice headspace to be in, imagining your family in the worst of situations. However, I do not regret taking my kids to Nepal.
The main reason we chose to go to Nepal was so that we could inspire our kids. We wanted them to be inspired to travel, to take interest in other cultures, to love mountains, to build up their self reliance… I took my kids to see Everest and I wanted them to come away thinking, they could climb it, if they so wish.
As parents we mitigate the risks because the fact is children are exposed to risks every moments of their lives: crossing roads, riding their bikes, walking home from school etc. Since, we came back from the trip, both my kids have asked me separately, what we would have done had we been caught in the quake. We have talked about this hypothetical situation and talked of possible problem-solving scenarios. I think the lesson we have come away with is that when bad things happen, no matter how difficult, it is always possible to get up and find a way.
Which I do not think is a bad lesson for life.
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