Tim Meek and wife, Kerry, have sold their house, quit their jobs and are currently travelling the country in a caravan with children Amy and Ella, making sure that every day is a big adventure. Tim talks to DAD.info about their great family challenge…
“’Adventure is out there; you’ve just got to go and find it.’ This quote has become our family motto. We came up with it after watching the popular animated film UP in which Ellie, the main character, does not fulfil her lifetime ambition due to ‘everyday life’ getting in the way.
Over the last few years we’ve been determined not to let this happen to us. The result: we strive to lead fulfilling lives, and to prioritise so that time, money, skill, equipment, effort and particularly the weather are not barriers. Why? Well, quite simply, because life is too short not to, isn’t it?
Also, as reflective parents, we want our kids to grow up with an outward looking, opportunity-grabbing, adventurous mindset. We want them to grasp and seek adventure, not run away from it. Now, the word adventure tends to conjure up images of people doing crazy, extreme things but actually adventure is what you want it to be; there are no right or wrongs. To us, an adventure just means doing something that takes us out of our comfort zones a little, or simply doing something that gives us a new experience.
In short, we just wanted to start DOING more and more.
Our first family project was aptly named ‘A Year of Family Adventures’. This involved us going out as a family most weekends throughout the year, no matter what the weather, to different places to try new things. Ultimately we were having more quality family time and filling our time with shared, rich experiences. A year of rich experiences does not have to cost a lot and most of our experiences were relatively cheap, if not free. Most importantly, we started to push our comfort zones and were enjoying the thrill of new challenges.
This naturally led into our second project: ‘One Hundred Family Adventures’ – a more extensive list of age-appropriate adventures for families to do outdoors together. We shared all of these on our family website dotrythisathome.com, in the hope that other families might have a go.
At the time of writing, we’re on our biggest family adventure yet. It involves some major life changes; we’ve sold our house, given up our jobs and taken our girls out of school, with the aim of exploring the UK for a year, living in a caravan and schooling our girls.
We’re not sure how it’s all going to pan out, but one thing is certain – we will be living our family motto, not just saying it … and together as a family we will be actively looking for adventure, and hopefully finding it.”
Meet The Meeks
On the road, living in a caravan looking for adventure, excitement and fun… sounds a little bit Scooby Doo to us…
Tim, aka Fred
Constantly on the look out for opportunities to have family fun (often in the outdoors). He believes in a simple life that is based around doing, and not having. He’s quite creative and always coming up with a cunning plan (well, he thinks it’s cunning).
Kerry, aka Daphne
Young at heart, full of vigour and energy, and as optimistic as the day is long. She sees the best in everything and everyone, and lives a positive and happy life as a result. Not so keen on heights, but keen to give most things a go – except bungee jumping. With her good looks and long hair, she is definitely the ‘Daphne’ of the gang.
Amy, aka Velma
A space-mad scientist in the making with a keen sense of right and wrong. She works hard and plays even harder, and isn’t worried about speaking her mind in an effort to put the world to rights. Amy doesn’t conform to fashion, in fact she often seems to redefine it, and she hasn’t the time for boy bands; her heroes are Professors Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking. Wearing glasses and a fan of the colour orange, she’s definitely our Velma.
Ella, aka Shaggy
A young, excitable animal lover that loves to create a bit of mischief, but not at the expense of others (she’s too kind and caring for that). A fan of any animal that’s furry and fluffy, and even most animals that aren’t (she regularly saves worms and slugs). She’s a bit of a pizza and cake face, so she’s certainly the ‘Shaggy’ of the gang. Oh, and did we mention she loves animals.
Follow The Meek’s adventures and find some inspiration for your own on their family blog, dotrythisathome.com/edventure/