Parenting the wild #7
It's Interview #7 with Sush (@wildberriesandfables)! You'll be thrilled to know that we're currently making an e-book, inspired by these interviews. Collecting some of the content of the interviews with stunning pictures of the wild and musings about wild parenting. Subscribe to the email list (below) so we can send it to you when it's finished. Anyway, let's get on with the interview!
1) What's your most treasured childhood memory of growing up in nature?
I grew up in the busy and very crowded city of Mumbai. There wasn't much nature surrounding us, but big concrete towers and factories where I lived. My nature and respite were the street dogs and their pups. My treasured childhood memories include sneaking out of the back of the building to cuddle the pups and spend some time with them. I think that is where my love for animals and nature began.
My husband! He grew up in a small cottage surrounded by big fields and woodland down the road. He is the one who brought the jungle girl out of me. Now he works in a busy city 5 to 6 days a week, and I take the kids out and about. Infact, my entire homeschooling ethos is based around learning outdoors. We are outdoors in all weather.
3) Where is your favourite place to take your little wild ones?
We live by the beach. So that is our go-to place. Having said that going to the woods my husband practically grew up in is a treat for all of us. We have our secret hideouts over there that not many walkers would know about.
4) What is your dream adventure if money wasn't a barrier?
Oh my goodness! We would love to travel around the world. Who wouldn't?! But if money was not an object, I would love to live slightly off-grid, keep lots of animals, grow our own, be self-sufficient and be surrounded by like-minded people where we raise our children as a community.
5) What's your top tip for taking kids into the wild?
Proper gear! There is nothing worse than not being able to enjoy the wild because of lack of proper clothing. Kids love to get muddy, wet and dirty! Waterproofs and change of clothes is a must. Enough water and lots of snacks. Baby carrier for little legs or strong daddy shoulders will do too. Most of all teach children not only love and enjoy the wild but to respect it too. Reverence towards the wild is a must. We do this by, for instance, always thanking mother nature as we walk out of the woods.
6) What's your next planned mini adventure with your kids?
We are not very good planners but we go camping every year. That is something we look forward to. Where and when is always a last minute thing with us.
7) What's the most useful item you take on an adventure?
My backpack! It holds everything from snacks, water, first aid kit, dog treats, a pen knife, a lighter, a torch and my camera.
8) Any book recommendations for inspiration?
Last Child In the Woods by Richard Louv (buy here)
9) Finally, Forest or Beach?
Can it be both?! We have lived by the seaside for the past 10 years. Our children, dogs, mattresses, floors are practically almost always covered in sand. But then again we do like to get away and ground ourselves into the forest where we can see beautiful seasonal changes. The grass is greener on the other side. I do wish to buy a house near the forest someday. Looks like I am favouring woods more!