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Earth Day 2020: Celebrating Mother Earth

Some of my favourite places to enjoy the great outdoors

Every year on 22 April, Earth Day is celebrated around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection. 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day held in 1970. With the majority of the world in some sort of lockdown, the movement seems more relevant today than ever before.

Earth Day 2020 will primarily be celebrated online this year with numerous events in over 193 countries around the world highlighting the plight of the environment. This year there is a sense that the whole world has been forced to stop, slowdown and perhaps even allowed many people to reflect on how our lives and progress affects the world we live in.

As a parent, I try to instil in my own family the benefits of looking after the environment and doing our bit to promote a healthier future for all. Not least because I love to travel and explore the world with them in all its natural splendour.

As a small Earth Day celebration of my own, I wanted to share some of my favourite places to enjoy the great outdoors with your family.

Whistler

 

As an all year-round outdoor destination, Whistler tops my list of favourite places to visit with family. In winter, you can ski, snowboard, snowmobile, snowshoe and much more. The skies are often clear and the snow powdery soft. Families of all ages can ski together or in groups, with or without lessons. And there is SO much mountain terrain to cover, you can return season after season for more.

Summer is just as magical. Mountain biking and hiking are just two of the many activities you can enjoy as a family. The mountain lakes are both serene and exciting depending on how you decide to spend your day. Canoe, read, play and eat… it’s all part of a day by the water near Whistler.

 

Colorado

Wide open spaces and 300 sunny days a year, Colorado is the ideal family holiday in the great outdoors. Whether you are an avid skier or just love to be outside regardless of the weather, Colorado has numerous family holiday options to choose from.

Skiing families can enjoy the white slopes of 26 ski resorts. From the world-famous resorts of Aspen, Vail and Breckenridge to smaller, local mountains, you are bound to find the resort that suit your family and skiing level perfectly.

Summer bring the chance to explore the state on horseback, bike or on foot. You can spend lazy days at the water’s edge, BBQing or fishing. For the more adventurous, you can get your adrenalin pumping on a white-water rafting trip or head underground for a spot of caving.

 

Australia

If your family are sun seekers and love nothing more than to stretch out on sandy beaches and frolic in the waves, Australia is a real treat. The stats are large and varied, and so are their beaches. From cosmopolitan beaches such as world renown Bondi Beach to Marley Beach in the upper Royal National Park, on the outskirts of southern Sydney, you can go from bustling and exciting to relaxed and natural in no time at all. And that’s just around Sydney!

You can find beautiful beaches across Australia. Queensland is home to the great Barrier Reef and some of the most spectacular islands you could imagine. Perth is primed for beaches on the coast and island escape on Kangaroo Island can be nothing short of luxurious.

Australia’s natural beauty is not limited to the ocean. There are wide open dessert, picturesque mountains and stunning valleys to explore.

With almost too many great open spaces, Australia is a must-do for any travelling family.

 

Southern African Bush

One of my favourite places to be is the Southern African bush. This is not restricted to a particular area. It is more a sense of being out with nature in its rawest possible form. Little beats waking up early to hop onto an open-top safari vehicle with blankets snuggled up to find wild animals, large and small, as they start their day. The sights I have seen are incredible, for some even life changing.

I was privileged to have grown up in South Africa with game parks within relatively easy reach. We spent many holidays exploring the bush by car, safari vehicle, on foot and even on horseback. Our morning started before dawn, our days were long and lazy and the evenings were spent recapping the day’s activities and enjoying dinners cooked outdoors. It’s these memories that I cherish and love to share with my own family.

One of the most spectacular ways to embrace the African wilderness is from the water. Not next to it, but on it. Lake Kariba plays host to house boats of all shapes and sizes. Families and friends gather for a week or so at a time and cruise between islands enjoying the African sun and the wildlife all around. Another delight is the Zambezi River. It too has house boats afloat, although they are smaller and cruise the river. The Ichobezi, for example, has cabins with huge windows looking out to the river banks so you can soak up the views from bed if you choose. I prefer the deck with the tiny splash pool….

These only touch on a tiny fraction of the beautiful wide-open spaces the world has to offer. To truly appreciate them, you have to visit in person.

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