In Nigeria, primary and secondary schools start summer vacation (what is also known as 3rd term holiday) in the second half of the year, July to early September. It’s the longest break in a school calendar for about two months; it’s a period for the children to relax and enjoy.
Memories of the things I did as a child during the long break still come back to me. Many, I wish I did better and many, I wish I can still do now as an adult. Unfortunately I can’t afford the luxury of such a long break anymore.
I remember a story in my N.O.E.C English Comprehension textbook in primary school; there was this popular travel story of MR BAKO, who travelled round Nigeria in his car with his family during the children’s long 3rd term vacation. I remember as a child hearing about places like the Onitsha market, River Niger, River Benue and many places for the first time in that story; it is my favorite old time travel story and I can’t help wishing I could be part of something like that then and even now as an adult.
Many like me may not have fond childhood memories or travel stories of summer family holiday abroad to Disney world or the likes, but our travel memories come from our yearly 3rd term or summer holiday visits to relatives in other cities, local tourist sites, visits to grandparents in their country homes in the village; trips to the stream, farm and the local markets. The traditional tales by the moonlight (folk tales), tying rapper round waist and dancing with my age mates as a girl, tree climbing for the boys, and much mischievous adventure with cousins. I won’t forget the first time I walked on a pedestrian bridge in Lagos. We often came back writing long stories of how we spent our last holiday in our essay compositions, the term after.
They are memories that bring smile to our faces. No doubt, we returned with brighter complexition and mood with physical boost after each holiday. The holidays of some people’s childhood are amongst the most beautiful memories of their lives.
An ideal summer holiday for children may not be travelling to exotic places abroad or indulging in adventurous sports. The best vacation is to anywhere the heart is happy and the mind is at peace. You can create one within your means; it can be created spending quality time together as a family. These memories last life time and the core values from the travel are taken into adulthood; it sometimes creates a lifelong affair with travel. When kids experience something new it usually sticks to their minds.
Either we have positive travel memories or not, we can create one for our children and enjoy it with them. With so much work, we need the time to reconnect with our families. While going about this, don’t compel or drag them into a form of holiday they don’t want. Discuss what they want and suggest something close if you can’t afford it, after all it’s always memory making for all. Be a travel inspired mum and dad. Diary of places when older is an educational experience for children. Children who have a couple of happy holidays might return to school as more contented and committed students.
It’s not too late to start planning how the third term holiday will be for your children; I am an advocate of family travel and it excites me planning summer vacation with families, I call it “summer like Christmas”. Please give your children the gift and memory of a good family travel while they are still around you. Start planning where and how their 3rd term holiday will be spent. If you are yet to make your summer travel plans, please call me.
Family that travels together sticks together.