This post was written by Asha, who was awarded Second Place in our Parents’ Writing Competition 2020.
This adventure will start with us pushing back our camper van doors early in the morning and feeling the fresh air and sun on our faces while still cosy in our sleeping bags. Looking out at the world around us and watching the stillness is magical, there is nothing better for the soul.
The day will start with us walking a few miles through the beautiful countryside, walking where battles may have been, men may have fought for their country and for future generations. My daughter will take pictures of birds and flowers for her scrapbook. We will scatter my mum’s ashes over this breath-taking land and talk about her love of Scotland and her wish to return to it.
Lunch will be a picnic on the banks of Loch Ness. My daughter will feed Nessie homemade shortbread because “it’s what he will like”. We will paddle in the cold water until our feet turn a tinge of blue. My daughter loves looking for shells and “treasure” and creating stories about where they’ve come from. We will spend a good few hours here, eventually saying our goodbyes to Nessie with a big hug and a wave. Leaving behind shrieks of laughter and muddy footprints.
We enjoy caving and climbing, looking at fossils and discussing the animals who could live in the caves. We may even hear the echos of Robert the Bruce realising he had to try again to succeed. Something we instill in our daughter is to not give up and to keep trying when she feels she can’t do something. Climbing means we put our trust into the rocks around us and it allows us to see the beauty of where we are from different perspectives.
Tea will be fish and chips with enough salt and vinegar to nip at the lips. A nod to my mum who loved a good fish supper, and maybe haggis, after all I can’t come to Scotland and not have it?
Visiting castles, for my daughters and I are gates to the past, they allow us to time travel and in Scotland we can see what life was like for Mary Queen of Scots or William Wallace. We can wander round for hours, making up stories and taking photos, which we will then discuss over and over to brighten up long journeys.
When the holiday comes to an end we will wild camp under the stars, huddle together for warmth, drink hot chocolate and let our daughter choose one of the many stories the stars reveal.
As a parent, one of the best things I can do is encourage my daughter to have a rich imagination. Add to this a love of history, a natural playground to play out her own adventures and create memories, and the world around her becomes so much more enriching.