April 4th 2017
Last Thursday, at 5.15 in the morning, my alarm clock chirped. I got up, I showered and I got dressed. I added the last essentials to our luggage. I woke Lou, dressed her too and we took off. We walked to the bus stop, guided by the stars and a sparse amount of streetlights. I had a small backpack on my back, a hand luggage suitcase in one hand and Lou’s tiny hand in the other. We hopped on the bus, transferred to a train and arrived at Schiphol airport around 7AM.
My husband was waiting for us there, a cup of coffee -for me- in hand. We were all over the moon. Yoshi had been away all week, embarking on a work trip to Seoul Korea and writing and producing K-POP songs for the East-Asian music market. His plane had landed at 5AM and his next would leave at 9AM. Because of his slightly insane work-travel schedule (two weeks in Los Angeles, two weeks home, one week in Seoul, then straight on to Berlin for four days) we had decided to join him on his trip to the latter, which enabled us to spend as much time together as possible.
This is one of the ways our family of three maintains a centered, stabile and slow life, even when -from time to time- it gets utterly crazy. Us being together is our anchor and we continue a rhythm of familiarity and regularity wherever we are. We get up at a certain time, we eat fruit and drink water or tea, we shower, we have breakfast, we work or play, we have lunch at a certain time, we nap, we work or play, we dine at a certain time, we wind down, we bring Lou to bed at a certain time, we have time alone and/or as husband and wife. This rhythm provides security and peace. And within this framework there’s plenty of time to discover, adventure, diverge and be surprised by the unfamiliar. There’s that balance. Explore, root, rest. Explore, root, rest. Explore, root, rest. A balance that works wonders for kids and helps Lou to thrive. She’s one of the loveliest people to be and travel with. This trip was no exception.
Below I’ll share a few tips how to keep things simple and fun when embarking on urban trips with kids. I share what a day city-tripping looked like for us and, of course, our favourite plantbased foods and places.
Wishing you joyful explorations and sturdy roots,
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TIPS, city trip with kids:
-Travel ultra light. You need your hands to hold your kid.
-Rent a bike with a child seat and helmet. Best and easiest way to discover a city.
-If your child is still learning to walk, bring a baby carrier or wrap.
-Carry healthy, ready to eat, snacks. Because you never know when your kid gets hungry.
-Stay in a kid friendly neighbourhood with lots of parks and playgrounds.
-Not everything has to be a ‘kid activity’. Do stuff for YOU too. To children the world is their playground. They will be fine wherever you are.
-Take your time to do things. Plan little and casually. Too much info, hurry and haste will make kids fussy, whiny and stressed.
-Have a solid moment of quiet during the day. For the same reasons mentioned above.
Our day, city-tripping
Yoshi started work at 10 AM, so Lou and I had time to explore Berlin as a duo after our shared family breakfast. We rented a bike with child seat and helmet and crossed around town. We went to the most beautiful playgrounds, we went for lunch and snacks, we watched a man at Mauerpark blow giant bubbles, we met up with new friends, we had coffee, we biked around parks and magnificent lanes, we took leisurely strolls and noticed all of the details, we did a tiny bit of shopping. Midday naptime was resting time at our temporary home, our (airbnb) apartment. And after we’d rested we’d continue our explorations until dinner. Dinner was reserved for family. We would either eat together, as a family of three. Or we would share dinner together with the families of the people Yoshi was working with. After dinner Yoshi would continue work until midnight and I would return ‘home’ with Lou for sleep. Those restful sleepy times are a plain necessity, to get to process all the new impression received whilst being ‘on the road’.
Favourite (plantbased food) places
-The avo brot, feathered wall, people and vibe at Daluma.
-The bowls at The Bowl.
-Flatwhites at Bonanza Coffee Heroes.
–Voo Store and Companion.
-The straws, filtered water, no-waste packaging and smoothies at CANTEEN.
-The location of Coffee profilers at Karl Marx.
-A tajine dinner for 10, enjoyed sitting around a large table, at our friends apartment.
-The Wasserspielplatz Kollwitzstrasse is the prettiest.
Long time favourites
–Michelberger Hotel & Café.
-All of the Street Art in Kreuzberg and other areas.
Berlin, see you soon
-I’ll be buying this guide and will explore the city even further, when we return in a few months time.
Photos and text (c) (copyright) kyra. at kyra’s kitchen.