We’re still alive!
6 months into our round the World adventure and everyone is all accounted for and still in good spirits! By now I would have expected the boys to have had several meltdowns, but they haven’t!! A few strops, but no major tantrums..
So what’s the secret to happy family travel?
Amazon Fires… bet you didn’t expect that answer!!!
But in all honesty having tablets is like having our own babysitter giving us, and the boys, some quiet time. It’s not how we planned it but we came to realise that this was a good reward for all their efforts.
The other secret is not to plan too far ahead. We have not yet been brave enough to arrive at a destination without accommodation booked, but we are building up to it!
Therefore, we always make sure to pinpoint positions on our offline map (OsmAnd). Without WiFi we can sometimes find ourselves completely lost (as we did in China a couple of times!) When this happens we usually have to resort to a taxi which, while on a budget, is our last resort!
I also get asked a lot whether we are still enjoying travelling… And the answer is ‘most definitely yes!’
It’s been truly amazing and the boys are at such a good age, where every new experience is absorbed. It actually feels very normal to be moving around and living from a bag!
We’ve come to accept that there is no television, showers can be buckets of water (which is actually the boys favourite thing!) and food is what it is – don’t eat it and you’ll go hungry!
Don’t get me wrong, there’s days when I could quite happily put a duvet over my head… but with kids – that isn’t going to happen!
So for sanity we take time out, it’s usually only an hour or so, but Keith has his photography and will usually take sunset or sunrise walks and every now and again, I go for a walk to clear my head or Skype home to my family and friends for a rant.
So in short the answer to happiness is technology – haha!
As part of our world adventure we are required to home school (or world school) the boys. No two days are the same.
We are continuing to follow the IXL curriculum activities for English & Maths. They tend to do this on days when we don’t have lots of activities planned, so staying in Sikles village in Nepal has been a good chance to catch up.
In addition to this, they read everyday using their kindles & the ‘Libby’ app. They have spellings and also times tables to practice most days.
However, much of their learning is coming from the world around them. They are good to ask questions and we try to explain what they are seeing and how it works. Keith is particularly good at challenging them.
When looking up at the stars in Namibia, they asked – What is a shooting star? How can we see so many stars here? Why did a snake just fall from the sky?? (OK, the last one was a bit freaky, it was only small and it was dropped by a bird flying over head).
But what we enjoy is that their learning is spontaneous and not just from reading a book. They ask the questions because they want to know. So far, it’s going well – but the real test will be when we return back to school… no pressure!!
As we’ve reached our 6 month milestone we’ve had a look at some of our stats stats.
- We have travelled to 17 countries
- Taken 10 flights
- 12 trains
- Countless bus journeys
- We have lost or broken 3 pairs of sunglasses
- Cracked 3 screens
- Filtered over 500 litres of tap water (that’s a lot of plastic bottles we have not used!)
- And had no real illness.
Not bad going!!
Our favourite destinations, so far, have been…
A completely different experience to other African countries we have visited. It’s the 2nd least populated country in the world and you can feel it. However, the people we meet were so warm and friendly – a really great family friendly destination. We loved the compactness of Etosha national park and all the amazing animals.
The self drive trip gave us the flexibility we enjoy and the rooftop camping was just fabulous! But most of all we loved looking up at the stars & milky-way. You’d be amazed at just how many you can see when there’s no light pollution and a clear sky!
Still a firm favourite with the boys, mainly for the crystal clear waters surrounding the coastline. I struggled to get them out of the water! But when we weren’t swimming we were exploring the history of Croatia and its many walled cities. Another highlight was the national parks of Plitvice and Krka, where the boys swam in the waterfalls.
There’s nothing more breathtaking than being in the mountains! We stayed in local tea-houses and home stays and experienced real Nepalese village life. The people are happy, they are kind and warm-hearted. We felt humbled by their generosity.
The world could learn a lot from these people. Most of their tools are ones you only find in museums at home. We also learnt a lot about our resilience, especially the boys and the 5 days we spent trekking! Just an amazing experience.
Life on the road and living in 3m x 3m confined spaces hasn’t been as difficult as we first envisaged. We’re looking forward to the next part of our world adventure! Join us by following www.worldadventurewithfamily.com