Bad internet, rainy weather and permanently active children: family holidays on a farm offer advantages not only for the kids but also for parents.
A couple of weeks ago, for the first time in my life, I did the whole family-thing of having a holiday on a farm: Three families, each with children, on a farm, in Austria. Many animals, old building, self-catering. And I learned that not only the children themselves benefit from this form of family holiday – but also the parents.
Why children love holidays on a farm…
The advantage for the offspring should be obvious, nevertheless it shall be mentioned here: From a child’s point of view a holiday on a farm is a pure adventure. They are in a new environment, usually sleeping with mum and dad in the same room, friendly families with their children offer 24-hour play companions and the farm per se offers a lot of entertainment – from the farm’s own horses, pigs, goats and cows to some puddles where you can get dirty (because what happens on the farm stays on the farm… unless it ends up here).
…and why it is so valuable for parents
Okay, but what’s in it for me as a dad? Admittedly, I was a little sceptical at the beginning, because I assumed that I would get bored after a short time – a remote farm in Styria simply cannot be compared with, for example, the old town of Jerusalem.
But I was wrong. It was great.
On my arrival I noticed that there was no cell phone reception at all inside the farm and only limited reception outside the building – which in turn led to me being completely offline for three days. No Twitter, no Facebook, no reachability – Digital Detox, as you only know it in the Thai jungle.
But that is not enough. Because under normal circumstances we would still force ourselves to do something exciting. We would study hiking maps and annoy our hosts until they tell us the best places to go. Then we would strap on our rucksack, pack the child and do our best to explore all the hiking routes, sacred buildings, caves and museums in the area.
However, most of the time the children’s joy of playing tied us to the farm, and a good part of the time the weather was bad (hence the corresponding picture to this text, see above). So we decided to stay on the farm most of the time. Without internet.
Time for me, my friends, my hobbies
The result was that the weekend offered me exactly what one should have in every free minute, but due to various distractions never takes up enough of it: Time for myself, my friends and my hobbies.
I had a lot of good conversations during those days, where we talked about many things that keep us busy – and when we weren’t discussing, I trained my cooking skills (my new hobby, due to the Corona lockdown) or we played some board games until late at night. I also had a good part of my IT-equipment with me, so I was able to occupy myself with my offline-but-digital hobbies – from photography and image editing to developing my own computer game (more will not be revealed publicly yet. But feel free to write me if you want to register for a beta test).
All in all, a vacation on a farm is one thing for me: deceleration, mainly caused by Digital Detox due to the bad internet connection in the countryside. And of course the realization that bad weather does not always have to be a reason for bad mood on vacation.