The perks of travelling with the parentals

That title had you saying “WHATTTT EMMA HAVE YOU GONE MAD?!!”, didn’t it. Oh, I can see your puzzled expressions already. But, yes, there are actually many perks to travelling with the ol’ folks.

I’ve been fortunate enough over the years to travel with school mates, with strangers (who soon became close friends) and alone, but many of my travelling experiences growing up came in the form of family holidays – mostly involving camping, road trips, a couple airplanes, our regular visits to Plettenberg Bay and, as a general rule, all things outdoorsy. While the thought of all that time forced together (especially in a confined space like a car. For 10 hours. Along Namibia’s notorious un-roads) might sound like hell, my best memories are from these adventures. I mean, there’s nothing like a life-threatening kayak excursion or a breakfast picnic with some lions for company or a treacherous mountain pass to make you appreciate the good things in life, right?

And, even though I’m doing the whole “strong, independent woman” thang (jokes, I do not know how to adult) and my brother doesn’t come with as often due to work (he’s an actual adult), I still love the occasional family getaway. Here’s why:

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1. Mom and Dad’s cooking (and general food-providing abilities)

Whenever I’m away from home (or when the parents bugger off and leave me to my own devices #CrucialError), this is the thing I miss most. But, when we’re away altogether being cute, my dad makes me oats for breakfast or does dinner on the braai (typical South Africans), and mom loves making me coffee in the morning and bringing me a rusk (she does, promise), and she makes the best salads/healthy treats/date balls and is always up for a late night chocolate run. Both of them are also low-key foodies. It’s such fun trying new spots with them since we normally end up ordering a bit of everything and sharing. Also, more food on the table makes for meatier (ha) flat lay photos.

2. Not having to annihilate my own bank account

On a similar note, when I’m with the folks it’s “their treat” (obvs) i.e. I can eat my body weight in food (because let’s just be honest here that’s where I spend all my moolah) without having to worry too much about my own budget.

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3. They’re good at playing “human subject matter” in my photos

“Amanda!! Go stand there by the ocean and walk about in the sand, act natural you know, okay now move to the left…a little to the right…ACT NATURAL!!”  That’s just me, being an art director, politely asking my mom to be a silhouette in a sunset beach shot. Because my parents can’t just tell me to BUGGER OFF when I’m harassing them with my cameras (well, they can. But still), I’m never short of subject matter to feature as the “human element” in the frame. Need a hand model for that insta-worthy foodie flat lay? Sorted. Need a figure in the foreground of a vast landscape for perspective? Noooo problem.

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4. My personal photographers

On the flipside, my parents function as my photographers for the odd portrait shot. And by “my parents” I mean my dad because my mom literally cannot take a photo without obscuring the lens with her fingers (jokes, love you Mom).

5. The banter

In case this wasn’t obvious by now – I genuinely enjoy spending time with them. They’re both such a laugh and the relaxed-ish environment of a family holiday is perfect for a proper catch up. They, like me, are also always up for an adventure (whether it’s a hectic hike, a breakfast braai in the middle of the Kruger National Park, a bicycle ride, a 4×4 excursion, a hot chocolate date or a simple stroll on the beach) so I’m never bored.

So travelling with the fam isn’t all that bad, huh? Sure, they get on my nerves and I can get on theirs and there will always be arguments and sulks (mostly on my behalf) when you spend that much time together. But, I’m grateful for the bond I have with my family and all our adventures together and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Until next time. xx

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