Back to the Basics

When my husband and I were deciding where we should go for our family vacation, we had several ideas:  A warm country, like Spain, where we could get our vitamin D fix, or trip to the States or Southern Norway to visit family and friends.  However, when we assessed what our family really needed we chose a simpler trip.

We decided to rent a rustic cabin for two weeks – no electricity, no internet, no running water.  We decided to go back to the basics.

cabin by the sea, norway
quiet by the sea, norway vacation

We stayed in that little white house, which was built after World War II.  We had a tiny kitchen, a small living room/bedroom with bunk beds, and an outhouse.  The other buildings and cabins in the vicinity were vacant, so we had this lovely spot all to ourselves.

What would you do on a vacation without internet, video games, cell phones and television for two weeks?  Here’s some of what we did.

Explored the coast, looking for treasures:

norway vacations

autumn skies, finnmark, norwayCast rocks and sticks in the stream and skipped stones in the fjord.

bridge, casting rocks in the stream, norway

Climbed trees:

climbing trees, norway

Crawled in caves and tunnels in the hillside and made shadow drawings on the rocks:

shadow on rocks

Found ancient Sami writings (over 6,000 years old)

ancient sami writings, norway

Made play cabins from scrap wood (with signs that said “No Adults Allowed!”:

kid's play cabin, norway

Ate some of our meals outside:

campfire cooking norwayIncluding fish that that the kids caught – 9 trout in all!

child fishing, norwayWe enjoyed the tranquility:

tranquility, birch tree reflectionsand autumn skies:

Autumn skies, norway

autumn skies, norway

But most importantly, we enjoyed time together.  Instead of watching television, we read chapter books by the light of oil lamps.  We told stories, we talked, we laughed, we sang songs.  As adults we forgot the “to-do” lists, we sunk our shoulders and went to bed early.  Of course the kids still had their sibling rival battles – that’s included in any of our travel packages.  But at the end of our vacation we were rested, we were happy, were were together.

And guess what, there was not even one single complaint about going to the bathroom in the outhouse!

outdoor toilet, norway

26 thoughts on “Back to the Basics

  1. What a fabulous vacation! It is so important to get back to the “basics” every so often. You guys are such cool parents!!

  2. Oh this is really wonderful. To go back to the basics is a nice idea. And you found such a nice location to enjoy ourselves. Really great and thank you for sharing your experiences!
    Lovely weekend to you!

  3. Loved every minute of your break!!! When the children (all adults now) were young we used to spend a lot of time camping/hosteling in all sorts of interesting places, exploring, wandering, getting away from routine, living simply. Happy to report that in all of them I can see ways they learned from those experiences; betting it will be the same with yours…

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Kevin. Glad to hear that your children learned from those experiences and took those lessons with them in life. I’m hoping the same for our children. It was definitely our best family vacation so far. Just thinking about it warms my heart.

    1. Definitely a lot of memories – hopefully for the kids as well. The entire area made me want to be a kid again. Especially the caves and tunnels hidden in the hillsides, covered with birch leave roofs. Wish my battery hadn’t died to early 🙂 It was so much fun!

  4. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures! Yes, it’s quiete an experience to spend time together without everything we’re used to live with, like television, internet etc. But I can understand you ejoyed it very much. During our camping vacations we never take a television with us and we do’nt miss it for a moment. We just enjoy nature, read a lot of books and talk with eachother about everything. Real qualitytime!

  5. Without electricity and all the devices we use that require it, I’m sure the silence was thunderous! I love that sound. And then when you get back to civilization, it’s amazing just how agitating the ambiance is for a few days or whatever. At least for me it is.

    1. I agree Jim. When we came back I felt like it was walking into a wall of stress. The minute I walked back into the house I could feel the press of all the things that needed to be done, as well as call of the computer, tv, etc.

  6. BTTB is a wonderful idea. it’s kind of an ideal for me, I’m not a fan of these stressful times nowadays. I’m glad I left the big city of berlin after 10 long years. how big is Honningsvåg btw. ?

    yours
    apu

    1. We will definitely do it again. It truly was the best family vacation we’ve had. There are around 2,500 that live in Honningsvåg and another 1,000 that live on the island. We really love it here.

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