At the moment my husband and I are the main decision makers when it comes to going on holiday. I have no doubt that will change as our girls get older. Disney World, for instance, is sure to happen at some point and we are looking forward to going on safari when they are older.
My five-year-old daughter, Mrs T, is already rather travel savvy (which makes me hugely proud). She enjoys gazing up at the world map in her bedroom, pondering which places to visit one day. Iceland and Russia are countries which intrigue her, reminding us that Russia is “the biggest country in the world”. While New Zealand always gets a mention as it is where her friend Millie lives.
When challenged to come up with the ideal holiday by Travel Republic, I was fascinated to see what her response would be. Here’s an excerpt of our conversation which surprised me on a number of levels and gave an interesting insight into the mind of a five year old.
ME: If you could go to any country anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Mrs T: Hmmm…maybe I could go to where Paw Patrol live.
ME: Adventure Bay? You know that’s not a real-life place. Why would you like to go there?
Mrs T: To see the pups and join a rescue with them.
Any other real life countries you’d like to go to.
Ok. We live in London – it’s a city in England, remember?
(changing tact) What do you like to do on holiday?
Well…I like the sea, the sun, the swimming pools. Having a sunbathe.
Who would you go with?
Maybe I could go with Chloe (her friend who lives next door).
How about Daddy and Cheeky (her sister)?
Yes, them too.
Do you like to go to hot places?
Yes! Like Bali, Hong Kong. Like Spain, like Australia.
I like Spain. A lot. I like talking Spanish. I like the food, very good food. I like the beaches too.
Is there anywhere on your map you’d like to go where you haven’t been before?Madagascar!
What is so special about Madagascar?
The animals. It is quite scary because it has lions in it. Do you know, we can take pictures of the baby lions when we go there.
(Clearly Disney’s Madagascar films have influenced her thought process).
Ok, lions don’t actually live in Madagascar but there are loads of animals that do, like lemurs (I show her a picture).
Aww they are so cute. I love lemurs. They look a bit like kittens.
How would you like to explore the rainforest and see all the animals?
Oooh yes, we could see zebras boogying and there might be rhinos and hippos.
(After a quick google search) I’m afraid there are no zebras or rhinos. There are snakes though.
Snakes are quite scary.
There are hundreds of other animals which live there. It’s very unique. There’s iguanas and crocodiles.
Are they scary crocodiles? I like baby crocodiles but not adult ones.
(After having a bit of a think) Maybe there’s a gate and a bridge and we just look down at them.
So you’d like to see them but not get near?
There’s lots of different types of frogs too.
Wow! Are there pink frogs?
I don’t know
Imagine if there were stripy ones with rainbows on.
Shall we go to Madagascar one day and find out?
YES! We can see the frogs catching the flies like this (pokes her tongue in and out of her mouth while moving her head around erratically).
Where would you like to stay in Madagascar?
In a hotel.
A hotel in the jungle?
No, the jungle is really scary. I don’t like jungles. (we’ve never been to one)
How about the beach?
Yes, by the beach. I like the beach!
Is there anywhere else in the world you’d like to go?
There lies another conversation altogether but I shall never tire of such exchanges. Talking to my daughter and travel: two of my favourite things. In her five short years, Mrs T has been fortunate enough to visit 15 countries. I can’t wait to explore more with her, Cheeky and my husband. Madagascar is absolutely on list and it seems Russia is now too.