Do you like to ski?
Stella and I certainly do. We found an awesome place to ski in the Hautes-Alpes. For five fantastic days we spent our time skiing in Arvieux and it was awesome!
The weather was amazing and the trails were well maintained. Plus, the price was totally affordable and we had the option to pay a bit extra and ski at another three nearby locations. Collectively known as "La Queyras" the combined option to visit other slopes using shuttle buses is an outstanding offer.
However, we stayed true to Arvieux and spent our days getting to know the terrain here. We'll definitely plan a return and also visit Ceillac, Abriès and Molines-Saint-Véran when we do.
If you want a more leisurely look and fully functional links then check out the Stella Goes Skiing slideshow instead.
Have you ever tried to surf before?
I have, and it's not gone very well. However, one of our goals this year was to learn to surf.
And guess what?
We finally did!
This is a compilation of what it was like for Stella and I to learn how to surf. We had an excellent instructor and that made all the difference.
Surfing is a humbling sport.
You don't need much equipment, but you do need lots of perseverance and patience. In my opinion, you also need a mentor or guide if you want to cement the proper technique and actually get up on your board consistently.
Here's a glimpse into our experiences learning to surf with Salem at Onaka. Definitely check them out if you are in Hendaye and wanting to learn how to surf. As always, try to support local.
I'm now much better at packing. That's come with lots of travel, experience, making mistakes and learning from others.
Knowing what to pack isn't aways easy.
For such a long trip, our packing decisions were mostly influenced by:
1. Airline allowances on all flights
2. Extra baggage costs
3. How much we could realistically carry
4. The need to include books and equipment for homeschooling and learning other languages; as well as sports
5. The weather
6. What we could easily (and for not too much money) buy once we arrived
7. Size & weight. The smaller and lighter the item, the higher its priority
Here's a glimpse into what was in our bags.
Our initial plan was to just travel with carry-on. For ten (10) months away, that became unrealistic for us. We ended up with one checked suitcase, one inflatable paddle board for Stella, two backpacks and two two carry-on bags.
We've not had to buy much and there's still some stuff hat hasn't even been worn or used yet. We'd definitely pack even lighter next time around!
I'm all about three things: lists, goals, and tracking our progress.
Our time away is tied to some pretty specific goals:
1. To improve our ability to speak other languages
2. To get outdoors more often
3. To live a simple lifestyle
4. To reduce what we buy, use, throw away and our overall environmental impact. This includes our carbon footprint.
No doubt, we'll mess up along the way. However, if we aren't tracking what we are doing it's tough to make any necessary adjustments.
Here's some insight into how we are measuring up thus far, where we've hit our targets, and where we need to improve.
We'll keep working on getting closer to our targets. For now, we are loving our time in Hendaye and the opportunity to devote more time to what's important to us. A huge part of that is definitely being outside, being more active, and living a super simple lifestyle.
My goal is to give young travellers and their families a glimpse into our adventures. This will include ideas and insights that are infused with lots of learning. Think of the site as:
education + animated adventures + travel insights
The site is designed with young travellers and families in mind. This 1st post is all about our why, our itinerary and our goals. I am really striving for a simplified life. I'll be homeschooling Stella this year, so our adventures need to focus around academics and developing life skills. A big part of this includes navigation (getting around), planning, research, creativity, physical fitness and being outdoors.
Wanting some Stella's7Stories swag? Click here!
Here's to another awesome adventure!
Stella & I like to travel. Are you ready to join us? We'll explore new places and foods and improve our French, Japanese and Spanish. We're excited to share what we learn and help to make young travellers even more trip savvy. Are you ready for an adventure?