What an experience so far. There have been low days that have been hard but then there have been absolute highs that are so magical. I’m not going to lie, long-term family travel is not all it’s cracked up to be.
When researching and reading travel blogs in preparation for our trip my impressions were that of fun and adventure everyday. Imagining our escape from the drudgery of suburban life and fulfilling our wanderlust by travelling the globe with our family looked so romantic, so freeing.
In reality it can be those things but it’s not a total escape from the life you once lived. Life is still life so you have family dynamics to deal with, homeschooling can be cumbersome some days especially when the kids don’t want to participate, hand washing of clothes is never-ending, dealing with unscrupulous tuk tuk drivers is draining, worrying about meeting the days budget can be stressful, constant research on the next destination a pain and don’t get me started on travel days with 4 kids in tow!
Whatever issues you had as a family or in your relationship before you left are magnified as you live out of each others pockets and talking through issues has to be done in quiet.
Although the lows are sometimes pretty low, the highs are on a different level. I hate to say it but my moods dictate how a day will turn out. I have had to learn to be more patient and cheerful as I realise that if I wake up cranky it plays out all day through each of my children and my hubby.
So far we have visited 5 countries and we have got into a groove of learning. We do schoolwork in the mornings after breakfast for a couple of hours before we go out for the day’s activities. We find that kids thrive off routine and what little we can mimic in our ever-changing environment is good for them.
Spending time together has been really special. We have watched the sunset over the mighty Mekong while riding bikes along the river path in Vientiane, we have hiked up mountains and kayaked down rivers, we have tubed through dark caves in Vang Vieng, we have visited Mangrove forests on Lembongan Island, taken a fast boat in 15 foot high swells, we have visited temples,interacted with the locals and made some life long friends.
We have done so much in our short 8 weeks on the road and the experiences have enriched our lives and our relationships together.
As I sit writing this post all I feel is grateful. Grateful that we have the chance to go on this journey together, grateful that we are all healthy, grateful for valuing experiences over material things and thus having the means to travel, grateful for life and love and family.
Long Term family travel is tough but it fills my heart with happiness when I see my kids doing things they have never done before and stretching themselves beyond what they think is possible. We enjoy learning as a family and being apart of their education is so fulfilling.
In years to come as we look back on our lives i’m sure there will be regrets but this trip, this time together as family creating memories will not be one. Our goal everyday is to become better than we were yesterday. As we try to improve each day, travelling and being together 24/7 gets easier and more pleasurable. Bring on the next 10 months! Can’t wait to see more of our amazing world with my family.