Hard to believe that just over 2yrs ago, we were at the beginning of our year-long backpacking trip with our kids. In some ways, it seems that it was a lifetime ago. And now, it’s been over a year since we’ve been back to ‘normal life’. While the past 13 months have been a bit of a blur, full of highs and lows, here's an update of where we're at:
But don’t’ get me wrong—we don’t sit around all day everyday talking about our trip. Far from it. Real life is much too demanding to allow that. However in the most unexpected moments, one of the kids will randomly bring up a memory that they have and ask us to expand on it. ‘What was the name of that place where we went on that boat trip?’ or ‘Remember that waitress named Atune from Koh Phangan?’ The kids’ memories work in wonderous and unexpected ways!
And we still have random discussions on theology which began during our travels. Recent events in our lives have also no doubt served to keep that line of enquiry alive. Not sure what to think though when our 5yr old says things like ‘I know that dying is part of the circle of life’.
Definitely without a doubt, the kids have grown and matured a lot since we first left on our trip. Then I was worried about our eldest child’s social skills and her lack of confidence. Since coming home and starting school, she’s ‘blossomed’. She’s quietly confident and self-assured, although still a bit on the shy side. But the friendships she’s since made or renewed, since returning home have all added to her sense of self. That’s the down side of traveling—kids don’t get enough opportunities to make friendships with kids their own age.
Looking ahead, it looks to be a busy year. Our youngest started kindergarten/prep two weeks ago and loves being a school-girl at last. Already we have a nightly double dose of readers to go through as well as writing journals. Both girls also have a small assortment of extra-curricular activities that we’re trying to balance. There’s also a 3-week trip to Thailand planned for mid-year. Despite our current hot Australian summer that sees us at the beach on average once a week, already I am longing for the carefree lifestyle that we had during our time on Koh Phangan last year. While I do remind myself how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place with a nice lifestyle, near daily massages for $6USD, eating delicious freshly prepared Thai cooking and being together as a family without distractions of work, school, friends and activities are things that I can’t help but dream of at the moment.
Until then, I must remind myself to be grateful and thankful for what I have each and everyday. And hopefully I will feel like writing/updating more too.