I was initially apprehensive about agreeing to travel to Wemyss Bight, Eleuthera with my family and had many good reasons. First, the house we’d be staying in has no cable television or internet service. Second, there are no shopping malls, movie theatres or fast food restaurants. (Where is this? Medieval England?!).
Third, I’d be travelling with a total of 7 kids ranging in age from 3 years old to 13! The obvious question in my mind was: could these kids of the “always-connected generation” – who are constantly glued to a tablet, phone, iPod or computer, and gorge on a steady diet of television – make it for 7 days without access to any of the modern comforts?
To my surprise, and absolute pleasure, the answer was a resounding YES! Here’s a rundown of what we did to make sure they did not miss the technology and conveniences and had a great time.
Everyday our wonderful hosts, William and Monica, took us around the island to the most beautiful locations. We would pack a lunch or snacks and spend hours enjoying the absolutely amazing beaches. The children’s favorite spot was Lighthouse Beach. Even for kids who see and hear it all on TV and the internet, seeing this beach for the first time was a “wow” moment for them.
We also visited the Miller Farm where the kids picked watermelons, sugar apples, coconuts, hot peppers and limes. We did some impromptu crab catching one afternoon and the children enjoyed visiting the blue holes, where they fed the fish.
The kids didn’t have the option of running to their handheld devices to play games, but we had a variety of board and card games to choose from. This sparked so much noise and laughter that we had to tell them to quiet down at times! Unruly city-dwellers!
Everyone was assigned a job during our stay. The older kids were responsible for bathing and dressing the younger ones. The boys were responsible for throwing out the garbage. Some were responsible for serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Even the youngest was in charge of organizing the shoes at the front door. Everyone was assigned a responsibility on the vacation.
Doing Nothing At All
While many parents worry about their children becoming bored, we welcomed it. When any of the children complained of boredom, our response was “Then find something to do.” and that’s exactly what they did. Some ran in the yard, others slept, while some read books. One day, the girls decided to go exploring in the nearby bushes and discovered a flourishing mango grove!
We spent almost every night in the dark just talking about the things they like. From “Who’s the best super hero?” to “Finish the story…”. They told silly jokes and spoke fondly of their friends and family they had left at home.
It surely wasn’t kumbaya all the time. There was the occasional tattle-taling, arguments and some fighting. We looked less like the von Trapps and more like the Huxtables-meets-the-Simpsons. But the memories made are priceless and we all had such a great time that the kids want to do it again next year. The adults aren’t so sure. 🙂