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Postcard from…South-East Asia

The Marcos Bancroft Cookes from Daneshill School take their girls on an epic adventure

Where did you go on your family adventure?

We took three months out to travel around New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Sri Lanka, complete with hiking boots and rucksacks.

School NoticesWhy those particular places?

We wanted to spend meaningful time with our girls, something all working parents find so hard to do. To enjoy the magic of showing them ‘real’ travel, exploring remote corners of the world and seeing how others live.

What were the trip highlights?

The list is endless, but certainly our two week volunteering programme spent teaching English to children in a remote village on one of the Philippines’ most beautiful, but impoverished islands. The girls adapted almost immediately to basic living conditions with bucket showers, no basins and all manner of enormous insects! Also, our trip down the Mekong to arrive at one of my now favourite places on earth, Luang School NoticesPrabang. 

Where there any low points?

Perhaps our second volunteering camp, a truly insufferable, asbestos-ridden, 45 degree furnace of an elephant conservation camp in Sri Lanka with shared dormitory and no proper mosquito nets!

Was there a piece of kit that you wouldn’t travel without?

Packing cells. The girls had a list of their (minimal) wardrobe, and knew what went in each cell. No need to unpack – everything is folded and ready to use.

Your advice to others thinking of doing the same?

Ignore the naysayers who say that your children will miss schoolwork and find it hard to catch up, or that ‘they are too young to remember’ a big adventure. It is simply not true. Write a blog and make your children keep a travel journal – it’s a thing of beauty they will treasure forever. 

Your next big adventure?

Hopefully, South America next December, we’re researching a few volunteering programs in the Galapagos. 

Feeling inspired? Check our other member families’ postcards from North America and South Africa

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