Not stroller-confined – hiking in Transylvania

P1090840Unless you have been reading willtravelwithkids since its inception over three years ago, you probably missed the post about confining kids to strollers on outings.  This week I’m in Transylvania, interspersing language school with adventurous outings in the area around Sibiu.  This afternoon, during a secluded hike meandering with the children along a groomed path through the forest, just below the clouds, I longed for my baby carrier – the kind with a frame, meant for serious hiking with a toddler.  I parked the stroller at the entrance to the path, without a worry someone would snag it while we were away.  Little Man scurried along the path and we enjoyed a peaceful hour with gloriously fresh, cool air; drinks from a stream pouring forth from a rock; making chicken scratch on the path with sticks; and anticipating the view around each bend and curve.  But Little Man (almost 2-years-old) tires long before the rest of us.  We could have enjoyed a longer hike (and a better workout) if I had my framed-backpack.  I need to get on that, lest we miss out on some other local adventure because I am not properly equipped.


Piazza del Campo, Siena, Italy – moderately stroller-friendly.

I’m guessing about 99.872% of the earth’s land mass is not stroller-friendly. That means if you limit your outings to where only your stroller dare roll, you’re going to see only .128% of creation.  Or, perhaps you were more astute with your stroller purchase and bought the off-road jogger type stroller.  So add another .003% to the earth’s land mass that is now accessible to you and your children.  Nevertheless, if you limit yourself to stroller-friendly environments, your kid is only going to the same places and will only see the same things every other stroller-confined kid sees.  Some of those stroller-accessible places are fantastic.  The San Diego Zoo, for instance.  Or Siena, Italy, if your stroller can handle cobblestones.
     We would have missed the cherry blossoms in Japan if we rolled only where strollers dare roll.  On the island of Okinawa, the last cherry blossoms of the season were blooming inside the ruins of Nakijin Castle.  They weren’t to be missed, so up went the baby into the carrier, through the ancient archways and across glossy stone steps.
In Ethiopia, Malawi and Mozambique the baby carrier was perfect.  In Africa, “stroller-friendly” is a joke.  I know there are some locales where stroller tires won’t get stuck in tree roots growing through the sidewalk (where there are sidewalks), but we did not visit those places.  Our adventure took us over sand, crumbled concrete sidewalks and areas where the only walking route was a thin line weaving through the tall grass.  My daughter experienced it all from her daddy’s back.  Now, I am a realist and understand there is often sweat and toil involved when hauling a kid in a carrier.  Bottom-line – wear sweat-wicking gear, get out and go!  I do not regret experiencing the view from the top of Nakijin Castle or showing my daughter hippo footprints by Lake Malawi.  We will continue to go where no stroller has gone before – and no stroller will likely go anytime soon.

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