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    Real life on the road...does it exist?

    June 23, 2018

    Our blogs thus far have been a mixture of ‘this is what we did’ to more philosophical ones. We’ve decided to make a shift to more ‘philosophical’ blogs rather than a blow by blow account of what we’re up to. Our individual and BungeysonTour2018 social media accounts give a better reflection of where we are and what we are up to with pretty pictures. I try to remember to update the map on our website too! Of course, if you want to find out about what we did in a specific place or general advice please pop a message on the “contact us” page on our website www.bungeysontour2018.comand we will happily share any hints, tips, do’s and lessons learnt. 

     

    Thanks to mostly good-to-fair Wi-Fi so far and FaceTime we've stayed in touch with friends and Charlotte regularly chats to friends on messenger and Google hangouts. On a FaceTime call the other day a friend said; “we love the pictures on Instagram and Facebook but can we see and hear more of you ‘real life’ on the road.” 

     

    I thought back just 8 months ago when we were last in 'real life' as most people, we know would define it. I try to imagine ourselves getting ready for work and school, work itself, the routine of grocery shopping, house stuff, travel admin and planning (for the last year before we left), and, for me, afternoon school picks up and driving Charlotte to gymnastics and swimming lessons etc. I was surprised at how difficult it was to call up the mental image. 

     

    I am not sure Charlotte can imagine herself back in school uniform sitting at a desk in a classroom with 20 other children. As I write this she is doing her exam to complete her Junior Open Water Diver qualification. Just in case her teacher is reading this, we figured the 4 hours of theory learning about pressure and volume etc. (plus an exam) was as good as maths and science lessons, and the 6 dives she has done so far good natural sciences lessons!

     

    It got me thinking about ‘real life’ in our context.  Let’s see…firstly we are living simply and trying to be present in the moment, not spending too much time looking way ahead in our trip and trying not to control every moment of our day and every eventuality. We are also continually working on balancing this 'take it as it comes' attitude with the fact we are not 18-year-old backpackers and we are travelling with a child. These factors along with St.John's work commitments and home-schooling Charlotte, this year, mean some planning and forward thinking is required.

     

    There is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ and I exclude travel days from what I am about to describe below *. There is no set time to get up most days, though we rarely sleep beyond 7:00, sometimes we do lie in bed and just read (a lovely luxury!).  St.John and I alternate to do some exercise, at least a ½ hour run when we can. School happens where we happen to be, from a kitchen counter in a tiny studio apartment in New York to a hammock on an island in the South China Sea. Choosing what to wear, easy, look out the window is it cool or hot and choose from the small selection of items in your suitcase. Note for future long-term travellers, smell it first to make sure it's not too smelly (bonus if it's just been washed!) and you're ready to go!

     

    Some days we mission about visiting museums and seeing sights and possibly doing something experiential like zip lining and others are admin days, things like shopping to replace worn clothes (or maybe just because we are bored of the same t-shirt, in Charlotte's case because she has outgrown something) and dealing with the admin of life like laundry, travel plans for our next stop. There is also South African admin that still requires time, like banking and paying bills & our home in Cape Town. Lastly, because we cook-in as much as we can, where it is feasible to do so, we have a basics food shop down pat and see what is available to make decisions for meals. Some places have been easier and more exciting to food shop in than others, Cuba being a notable exception to being able to successfully procure decent food from a store. Sometimes eating our is a better option, as in Thailand where we are right now. The variety of good quality cheap food is amazing and we get to taste all sorts of yummy things!

     

    It sounds all rather random but I realised in packing up when we were leaving Perth, we do have routines. From what we do when we arrive in a place. If it's an Airbnb checking the cooking utensils, pots and pans so we know the limitations of what we can cook to how our suitcases are packed, and what’s in our backpack that we each carry. For those that know us, we even have a spice box we carry with us that we make sure is stocked with our choice of basic spices. Oh, and the emergency tub of 2-minute noodles in case, we have a hungry child & there is nowhere to get a snack! * 

     

    It’s the little things about how we are getting to the airport, train station or bus station if we don’t have a hire care, check-in etc. that have somehow become second nature and require little discussion now, we just get on and do it, each family member has the little routines they do and it all seems to work. 

     

    It all sounds fine and dandy reading back on what I've written about routines and our reality but there are some things that disturb routine and we avoid as much as we can in our reality… red eye flights. I think the horror of early morning wake-ups to get red-eye flights is universal for those that have had this experience. At 3:30 am on these days we try to convince ourselves that this is the occasional downside to an incredible adventure to get to somewhere equally exciting as the place we are leaving. Even with this thought to hold onto Charlotte has been known to cry quietly in the cab or shuttle bus to the airport, St.John and I, with a few more red-eye flights under the belt, are more stoic and try to make jokes and cheer Charlotte up, bribery with promises of hot chocolate at the airport sometimes works. The reality is, those early morning flights are ghastly no matter what and we try and avoid them as much as we can!

     

     

    We are about to spend the next couple of months in regions that are totally culturally different and where English is often the 2/3 maybe even 4thlanguage. I am looking forward to being a little stretched again and moving right out of my comfort zone that I've been lulled into over the last 3 months of travel. I think we are as a family equipped to deal with whatever comes our way with a laugh and a ‘how bad can it be right…” attitude or maybe even a little “same, same but different” approach. 

     

    Keep watching our Instagram or Facebook timelines both named bungeysontour2018 for updates.

     

    *there is a blog dedicated to the practicalities of travelling the way we are coming up soon!

    Our blogs thus far have been a mixture of ‘this is what we did’ to more philosophical ones. We’ve decided to make a shift to more ‘philosophical’ blogs rather than a blow by blow account of what we’re up to. Our individual and BungeysonTour2018 social media accounts give a better reflection of where we are and what we are up to with pretty pictures. I try to remember to update the map on our website too! Of course, if you want to find out about what we did in a specific place or general advice please pop a message on the “contact us” page on our website www.bungeysontour2018.comand we will happily share any hints, tips, do’s and lessons learnt. 

     

    Thanks to mostly good-to-fair Wi-Fi so far and FaceTime we've stayed in touch with friends and Charlotte regularly chats to friends on messenger and Google hangouts. On a FaceTime call the other day a friend said; “we love the pictures on Instagram and Facebook but can we see and hear more of you ‘real life’ on the road.” 

     

    I thought back just 8 months ago when we were last in 'real life' as most people, we know would define it. I try to imagine ourselves getting ready for work and school, work itself, the routine of grocery shopping, house stuff, travel admin and planning (for the last year before we left), and, for me, afternoon school picks up and driving Charlotte to gymnastics and swimming lessons etc. I was surprised at how difficult it was to call up the mental image. 

     

    I am not sure Charlotte can imagine herself back in school uniform sitting at a desk in a classroom with 20 other children. As I write this she is doing her exam to complete her Junior Open Water Diver qualification. Just in case her teacher is reading this, we figured the 4 hours of theory learning about pressure and volume etc. (plus an exam) was as good as maths and science lessons, and the 6 dives she has done so far good natural sciences lessons!

     

    It got me thinking about ‘real life’ in our context.  Let’s see…firstly we are living simply and trying to be present in the moment, not spending too much time looking way ahead in our trip and trying not to control every moment of our day and every eventuality. We are also continually working on balancing this 'take it as it comes' attitude with the fact we are not 18-year-old backpackers and we are travelling with a child. These factors along with St.John's work commitments and home-schooling Charlotte, this year, mean some planning and forward thinking is required.

     

    There is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ and I exclude travel days from what I am about to describe below *. There is no set time to get up most days, though we rarely sleep beyond 7:00, sometimes we do lie in bed and just read (a lovely luxury!).  St.John and I alternate to do some exercise, at least a ½ hour run when we can. School happens where we happen to be, from a kitchen counter in a tiny studio apartment in New York to a hammock on an island in the South China Sea. Choosing what to wear, easy, look out the window is it cool or hot and choose from the small selection of items in your suitcase. Note for future long-term travellers, smell it first to make sure it's not too smelly (bonus if it's just been washed!) and you're ready to go!

     

    Some days we mission about visiting museums and seeing sights and possibly doing something experiential like zip lining and others are admin days, things like shopping to replace worn clothes (or maybe just because we are bored of the same t-shirt, in Charlotte's case because she has outgrown something) and dealing with the admin of life like laundry, travel plans for our next stop. There is also South African admin that still requires time, like banking and paying bills & our home in Cape Town. Lastly, because we cook-in as much as we can, where it is feasible to do so, we have a basics food shop down pat and see what is available to make decisions for meals. Some places have been easier and more exciting to food shop in than others, Cuba being a notable exception to being able to successfully procure decent food from a store. Sometimes eating our is a better option, as in Thailand where we are right now. The variety of good quality cheap food is amazing and we get to taste all sorts of yummy things!

     

    It sounds all rather random but I realised in packing up when we were leaving Perth, we do have routines. From what we do when we arrive in a place. If it's an Airbnb checking the cooking utensils, pots and pans so we know the limitations of what we can cook to how our suitcases are packed, and what’s in our backpack that we each carry. For those that know us, we even have a spice box we carry with us that we make sure is stocked with our choice of basic spices. Oh, and the emergency tub of 2-minute noodles in case, we have a hungry child & there is nowhere to get a snack! * 

     

    It’s the little things about how we are getting to the airport, train station or bus station if we don’t have a hire care, check-in etc. that have somehow become second nature and require little discussion now, we just get on and do it, each family member has the little routines they do and it all seems to work. 

     

    It all sounds fine and dandy reading back on what I've written about routines and our reality but there are some things that disturb routine and we avoid as much as we can in our reality… red eye flights. I think the horror of early morning wake-ups to get red-eye flights is universal for those that have had this experience. At 3:30 am on these days we try to convince ourselves that this is the occasional downside to an incredible adventure to get to somewhere equally exciting as the place we are leaving. Even with this thought to hold onto Charlotte has been known to cry quietly in the cab or shuttle bus to the airport, St.John and I, with a few more red-eye flights under the belt, are more stoic and try to make jokes and cheer Charlotte up, bribery with promises of hot chocolate at the airport sometimes works. The reality is, those early morning flights are ghastly no matter what and we try and avoid them as much as we can!

     

    We are about to spend the next couple of months in regions that are totally culturally different and where English is often the 2/3 maybe even 4thlanguage. I am looking forward to being a little stretched again and moving right out of my comfort zone that I've been lulled into over the last 3 months of travel. I think we are as a family equipped to deal with whatever comes our way with a laugh and a ‘how bad can it be right…” attitude or maybe even a little “same, same but different” approach. 

     

    Keep watching our Instagram or Facebook timelines both named bungeysontour2018 for updates.

     

    *there is a blog dedicated to the practicalities of travelling the way we are coming up soon!

     

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