Best things about travelling the world for a year
My first list ever, but sometimes a summary shows you in a glance how much you have to be grateful for.
Favourites of this amazing year with my men:
* Seeing our boys walking around in just their underwear 90% of the time - it's hard for me to describe how much I enjoy looking at these thriving, strong vessels of my children's spirits.
* Living an active and healthy lifestyle, effortlessly - playing football on the beach, hiking through the jungle, and the pretty spots at waterfalls are always high, high up. And you simply can not find something to eat that isn't fresh, unsprayed, wholesome food.
* Spending an insane amount of time waking up, snoozing, slumbering, dozing, cuddling some more - except for traveldays, there was never any hurry. Come morning, my bed was always a big pile of bodies. So one more hug (times four) and then sloooooowly get up.
* Spending so much time in nature - seas, rocks, mountains, lakes, jungles, lagoons, national parks, waterfalls, ricepaddies, volcanos, rivers, bushes, bays, rural areas, beaches, forests, oceans, hills, backwaters, caves... You get the picture. This is where you want to be and it's very healthy to spend the majority of your time in it. It provides so much space, inside and out, so things can come to you and land in you.
* Being brave together, encouraging each other, empowering one another - trying new streetfood, climbing through the jungle where there may or may not be a tiger/panther/agressive orang utan around the corner, getting in that cable-car, breathing through a snorkel for the very first time, sturdily walking on when the tuktuk driver wouldn't budge to a normal price, driving way too steep a mountain with a motorbike, being patient when you find out you've been pointed to a train that now drives into the opposite direction, baring with each other when you have to wait for looooong on a station, or when there's no bus going in that direction at all, or when it takes the van ten hours instead of six, supporting another when sick, dealing with the sensory overload, generally just helping each other fight their own dragons.
* Seeing the boys soak everything up like sponges - languages, foods, the subtle differences between each Asian country we entered and then the transition to Europe. New senses of what's average for the people who live here, what habits you'd like to take home with you, and which ones you're happy to leave here.
* Getting enough space to breathe and cleanse your soul - the journey inwards covers just as many kilometers as the journey across the lands. The pull of society ceases, so you can paint yourself on a blank canvas. Nothing has been filled in already, no lines are fixed yet, so after your withdrawal symptons have finally subsided you can take up the brush and stroke the lines with a clear view, arrange the colours from an unclouded perspective.
The obvious thing this journey has brought us, is spending so much time together. I am so aware of the uniqueness of this. Normally you all lead your own lives, certainly when your child turns four years old: you work, they go to school. Now we got all this extra time together, sharing overwhelming experiences, but also lots of downtime, when you're all just messing around, in close proximity of each other. Of course, this sometimes was a challenge too, when there wasn't enough space for too long a time, because children and adults tend to unwind in very different fashions. But mostly, this feeling of solidarity and togetherness will be nestled in my heart forever, no one can ever take that away from me. This is my tribe, yo!