My ‘out of office’ is on at work. The car is packed. And our 2½-week summer holiday is officially under way.
Actually, by the time you read this, all being well we will have passed through France into Germany, en route to Interlaken in Switzerland and Lake Garda in Italy. It’s a round trip of over 2,000 miles across four countries and three languages.
Aside from Stuttgart’s car museums and the spectacular scenery of Alpine mountains and the Italian lakes, it’s an opportunity to educate the children in different cultures and cuisines and get them practising their language skills.
All three kids speak a smattering of French from previous trips to France and know that the fastest way to a local’s heart – and to free food samples in shops – is to practise speaking the lingo.
It’s something we personally place a lot of stock in. At a time when so many parts of the world seem to be intent on closing their borders and their minds to other nationalities, for me it’s more important than ever to expose them to diverse cultures. Whether it’s eating as the locals do or just recognising their favourite foods on a trattoria menu without having to automatically resort to the menu inglese, we want the holiday experience to be about more than a collection of Instagrammable selfie opportunities.
So for the next couple of weeks you’ll have to forgive me if I go quiet on the blog and social media. As much as I love writing, while we’re away I’m going to be focussing instead on living life (la vie, das Leben, la vita …)
Due birre, per favore. (“Two beers, please” – very important, that.)