In case anyone was wondering, “what is it really like”, for a full-time travelling family? I am here to tell you that much of our life is exactly as it would be back home in Canada, right down to the groceries we buy. Just because we are in a far off place in Europe, enjoying a completely different culture, does not mean the taste buds of our members have done a 180. No, they are still the same. I don’t think a lifetime of travel would change that characteristic in some people.
Which is a good thing. Being away from home for a full year and immersing yourself in new ideas, culture, food, surroundings and experiences is a little tiring. Luckily we have many touchstones which we cling to, at times. These are the comforts we carry along with us, almost like a child’s favourite toy or blanket. Without these things, I don’t know how we all would make it through the whole trip, in one piece.
To start with, we each got to choose what went into our 23 kilogram check-in bag. Some of what we started with, did not survive until now. These things were sent home or got left behind. Some things have worn out or been ruined in laundry accident in Kuala Lumpur. (Fisher still puts the offending pants in the laundry and I have to double-check each load to be sure we don’t have another mishap). What is for sure, we each have developed a deep sense of attachment to our things in our one big bag. Or have we?
Everything we send off at the airport check in point is done so with a little bit of uncertainty. You never know, for sure. It is rare for an airline to lose a bag completely these days, but the delay could be extensive, which I have experienced in my past life. In fact, that mishap occurred in Spain, but the flight connections were very complicated and I have learned from that. The only upside to a delay in our checked bags would be the money we would get to go shopping! Has not happened yet, fingers crossed, it won’t.
What we all hold very dear, is our carry-on bag. The backpacks that are sitting at our sides at all times. These contain our precious electronics, and all the cords, cables and batteries to keep them going. As well, our passports and our wallets, which are the only real essentials when it comes right down to it.
All that is stuff. What we really value above all is each other. OK, maybe the kids would not say that. But, being able to travel the world together has been priceless. To have all these experiences together, with the people we love the most, it is rather surreal. Who gets to do this kind of thing? We do! That’s who! I would have never imagined it could be so wonderful.
Now, not every moment of everyday feels so amazing. We often have these low ebb, kind of home sick periods. Luckily we don’t all have them at once. But those times do not feel so good. That is when I question my sanity and worry I have ruined the life of my children. I wonder if I will truly be able to turn my ideas into a business one day. One that pays money. Luckily, we are getting better at moving past melancholy rather quickly. It does no good. Getting outside for a walk, looking around at our wonderful life, that picks up our spirits like nothing else can.
It might seem surprising to hear that travel can be, dare I say stressful? Not everything about travel is easy and fun. In fact, lack of routine is quite disturbing to people. By paying attention to what we can control, we do better as a travelling family.
- Exercise is key, we know this. Both for mental outlook and obviously for physical body health.
- Being in good relationships, which we are so lucky to have here and back home. We all try our best to stay in touch with phone calls, emails, texts and in the case of the kids, the all mighty snapchat.
- Getting enough sleep. If a habit is tricky to manage at home, travel is the same. Teens seem to prefer being awake in the dark of the evening and sleeping in during the morning. We have tested this and it works on all time zones! So, we have to enforce a wake time and a bed time.
- Food. Nourishment. Controlling the hangry ones. Keeping the peace. Steady blood sugar. All of it, critical. Some of us like to think we could go with the flow and our moods never waver. It is not true, each of us has our own version of a melt down which is made worse by being hungry.
Which brings me to the task at hand, planning meals. Yes, we must do that just the same as back home. And it can be even more challenging when we don’t understand that grocery stores are not open everyday of the week, like back home. On certain holidays, not even restaurants will be open, we have learned that the hard way. By planning, we are able to get what we want and look forward to the next meal, instead of dreading it. I don’t like making food which no one likes to eat. Surprising?
I also don’t like buying a whole bunch of food items to leave behind after a week. Since we are driving for a total of 8 weeks, we are able to buy condiments again. Things which really add to our meals. I am making vinaigrettes for our salads, so much better than bottled dressings. But, even so, I have become a huge fan of 5 ingredient recipes. What a great idea. I used to be down on that when we lived back home, but not anymore. If the fruits and vegetables are fresh, this can be the best way to eat.
Life has an ebb and flow, here on the road, just like at home. We are living within a budget, we are not on holidays. When I see the people on sunny terraces enjoying sangria at 2pm in the afternoon, a part of me wants to stop and do that too! Some days I partake, but most days I don’t. I’ve got responsibilities to my family and to the business I am working to build. But, most importantly I want to do that stuff. When my kids love a meal I made, it is a good moment. When I have the time to work on all the projects which are important to me, also very good moments. As I go through a day, collecting these memories, I end up with a good life.
#creaspatreat – Join me in this creative journey. I am on a mission to start a global movement, focusing on the importance of creativity in our daily lives. Together, let us see where we can take this. I look forward to hearing from you! Please share your thoughts. Feel free to send an email to: Christine@dailycreatives.com
Would you like a free download of….
: : My tried and true packing list, developed from long-term, around the world travel and….
: : The first chapter from Fruitless at 40?
: : Join us!
: : “Fruitless at 40: Rediscovering My Creative Power”
Daily Creatives Resources:
: : My heroine’s journey, a road less travelled
: : Crea.spa.treat. what do you think it means?
: : It took me a year to find freedom, a love story
: : Living in stress, moving to relaxation, looking for ikigai
Our travel year:
: : Have you ever heard of a digital nomad family? A Dad working in Europe and Asia, Teens doing distance education for grades 11 and 9, and Mom keeping it all together, writing, taking photos and making videos.
: : Check out all the adventure, captured in weekly videos on a youtube channel called creative wandering. #dailycreatives