Let’s face it, parenting is hard! It is the best job in the world but, in my humble opinion, it is also the most challenging. I think everyone deserves some time away to recharge, re-evaluate and re-enthuse. That is why I have written this blog about taking a journey that you might not have thought of; a journey that could be just what you need – a volunteering trip to Kenya.
1. It will give you a real break away from the mundanities of everyday life. True, you could go for an afternoon tea, have a night out, or go on a mini break, but would you really get away? I doubt it very much because the kids will still be there in the morning, when you’ve had one too many and haven’t really recharged, and your phone will still be by your side throughout, not allowing you to switch off. A week away will allow you the time to do what you need, be it relax, have some time being ‘you’ or even just have a (hot) cup of tea in peace!
2. It is likely to be a life-changing experience. Having read point one, you might be thinking ‘fair enough…but why Kenya?’ My question to you is why not? I know it’s perhaps not the first destination that comes to everyone’s mind when considering a break away, but maybe that is exactly the reason that you should choose it. It is a place of abundant beauty, it will challenge you and your perceptions in a way that lying on a beach for a week will not, and it will be packed with adventure, achievements and emotions.
3. You can make a difference to other people’s lives, giving you that feel-good factor and a real lift when you possibly need it the most – win-win! Responsible volunteering allows you to play a small part in a bigger movement to increase access to opportunity in education, and really impact the lives of people who do not have access to the things that we take for granted every day. You could play your part in creating change; something to be proud of.
4. You can explore what you have to offer beyond being a parent (a role which is an honour, may I add, but there is no shame in wanting more). Some people comment that when they have children, they almost forget who they are at times, as they are consumed with being ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’ (I know I have felt this way at times). Through volunteering in Kenya, by teaching or doing building work, and maybe stepping outside your comfort zone, you can learn about the great things you are capable of, and what special gifts you can give others.
5. It is likely to change the way that you approach life. Global awareness only really comes when you are submersed in a different culture and way of life. You might be forced to re-evaluate some misconceptions, returning home with a broader understanding of challenges for developing countries. What’s more, it may cause a mind-shift regarding your life. When I travelled, I came back with a renewed appreciation of what I had, and the recognition of first-world problems. It may just make you hug your little monkeys a little tighter!
Visit https://www.african-adventures.co.uk/friends-and-family/ to start your adventure.