One month travel summary
After one month of travelling as a family of four, I have come to appreciate a few things that I’ll share here. These are in no particular order.
- Life is wonderful for us. We are extraordinarily blessed to have the health, finances, support and courage to embark on such an unusual experience.
- This adventure was Barry’s brainchild, and he has done an amazing job preparing for this trip. Everything, so far, has gone so smoothly and it is mostly due to careful planning rather than good luck. As Barry has left for Canada and the the kids and I have gone to Nice, we’ll miss his attention to detail and careful navigation through the days. I have been quite lazy with planning and navigating, so now I’ll have to start paying attention to the signs.
- Our kids are wonderful travel companions. They have been brave, strong, patient, adventurous, curious, willing, frugal and full of interesting observations and different perspectives.
- I still like my husband. We married 22 years ago and the day after our wedding we set out on our first European trip together. All these years later, he’s still my best friend and favourite travel companion. I was a little concerned that so much time together might present some unique challenges, but I was wrong. 25 days without him will be long.
- People in this world are generally good. With all the negative news we hear so much of each day, it’s sometimes hard to recognize the simple truth that most people are kind and have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else. Though we have lived a fairly anonymous existence in the places we’ve visited, we have been met with either civil neutrality (people are busy with their own lives) or pleasant interest to what we are doing. Plus, old friends are so easy to reconnect with. Visiting people from our pasts has been wonderful part of our journey. They have certainly enriched our experience in Europe.
- This world is not perfect. We, as a modern civilization, waste an enormous amount. Most of us have so much more than we need, and we are often frivolous with what we have. The waste that we create is unreal - I don’t know how this is sustainable. There are just so many of us using so much. I personally need to do better.
- Homeschooling requires a lot of discipline. Never once in a month have I heard, “Mom, can we do our English lesson now?” or “Dad, how about an hour with our math books.” There is no daily structure to rely on, such as a regular school day, or even a regular home life, rather each day we need to make it a priority over exploring something new, which is challenging given what’s outside the door is so intriguing. Despite the lack of book studying, they are learning an enormous amount, here’s a few examples:
b. History - in Europe we’ve see how kingdoms rise and fall, how people, as a group and individuals hold an enormous amount of power, if they choose to use it. We’ll be visiting Christopher Columbus’ home town in a few days, so we’ll learn about exploration in Genoa
c. Geography - we’re learning how rivers flow, mountains rise, oceans shift, how to read a map, and how small countries in Europe are compared to Canada.
d. Science- we’ve studied how the Netherlands has managed water and land issues with a variety of different techniques, we’ve learned about combustion, steam engines, and this week we’ll learn about moon cycles and gravitational pull
e. Phys Ed.- Endurance - by carrying heavy backpacks for hours: Speed - running to catch trains about to depart: Agility - while running to catch trains, dodging people, pets and suitcases: Balance - holding oneself steady on a train when it’s packed and you can’t reach a bar to hold on to
8. I miss my community. This includes family, friends, neighbours, the regular faces at the grocery store, the chaos of university classes and the myriad of kids always in and out of our homes. We see so few children on this trip as they all must be in school. I suspect the kids feel this loss quite a bit. Hopefully, we’ll find a good community of people once we settle in Seoul.
There’s always more to say, but this sort of covers where my head is at after one month on the road.