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Keen traveller Wendy Knee introduces her grandchildren to the wonders of the world

PUBLISHED: 15:38 07 May 2014

Wendy with her eldest grandson Callum in Uganda where they worked as volunteers

Wendy with her eldest grandson Callum in Uganda where they worked as volunteers

Archant

Wendy Knee wanted to introduce her grandchildren to the wonders of the world as well as creating some last memories for them

Wendy with her five grandchildrenWendy with her five grandchildren

I have five grandchildren and as they approached the age of eleven I took each of them away on holiday, on their own. This was to be their treat, they could decide where they wanted to go and we would do it together - granny and grandchild.

We organised our own flights and accommodation, this was not to be a ‘package tour’ holiday. There is something rather special about travel and exploring the unknown, and I believe it is this element of risk that helps to cement relationships. Of course, I wondered what it would be like to spend a week alone in a foreign country with a young child. How would we spend the evenings and the long days? How would they cope being away from mum, dad, brothers and sisters? It was going to be a completely different experience for me as well.

As the eldest Callum was first to choose, and in May 2007 we boarded a flight to Rome for our first big adventure. As we queued at the airport, my young grandson by my side tingling with excitment, I had the feeling that something special was going to happen. And we did indeed have a wonderful time together.

The other grandchildren soon started to think about where they would like to go when their turn came around. The following year I took my granddaughter Connie, who loves horses, to Slovenia where she rode Icelandic ponies and got to ride a Lipasana. Then I went to Istanbul with my grandson Tom. This was an exciting place where east meets west. Tom was fascinated by the story of the Topkapi diamond. My other grandson Toby loves Greek history, so he chose Crete where we visited the ruins of Knossos.

Last November I was going to do some voluntary work in a village school in Africa and Callum asked if he could come with me. So for his eighteenth birthday present I took him to Uganda. It was an amazing experience and we had a great time together, working in the school, going on safari with the other volunteers, and exploring this lesser known part of Africa. I was delighted to have a second chance to spend time with him before he branches out into adulthood. I shall now do something similar for each of the other grandchildren as they approach eighteen.

Other grandparents I have met say they would be nervous about taking a youngster abroad on their own. Whilst the youngsters say: “I wish I had a granny like you!”

My advice is to grab this opportunity to spend one to one time with your grandchild; it is very special for them to have you all to themselves and you will share something that goes deeper than a holiday together.

You don’t have to go abroad to spend time with your grandchildren. You just need to do something special, one to one, with each of them. And I can highly recommend it.

Travels With Granny by Wendy Knee is available from Amazon. To find out more visit Wendy’s website wendyknee.com

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