Back in May we packed up our home life in Perth, Australia and hit the road. It’s now November and we are celebrating not only 6 months of exploration and discovery but 200 days into our nomadic journey. I can tell you that in the last 200 days I have learnt copious amounts. And not only about my surroundings, but about myself.
So where have we been for the last 200 days?
1 month in Ubud
1 month in Jimbaran
And today on our 200th day we head back to Thailand to discover the beautiful Chiang Mai with new friends made on the road & witness the astonishingly picturesque lantern festival.
As you can imagine with so many new cultures and different places we have been learning a lot, even my children have gained a wealth of knowledge.
What are some of the life lessons my children have learnt so far?
- Both kids have learnt to count to ten in 2 other languages – Spanish and Indonesian. And are currently learning Mandarin.
- Together my 2 & 3 year old have learnt to swim, since spending most of the hot Asian days in swimming pools.
- Mia has spent ample time learning to write her letters and draw her numbers. She can now write her name. Also because of the strict teaching in Malaysia she has learnt to draw very well & colour in the lines.
- Caius has learnt every shape, every colour, even how to spell. My two year old is so smart and I think the time we can put into him now is paying off.
- They’ve learnt how to fly frequently (even if they have yet to master sitting still or quietly).
- They have learnt a global language. That they can play with kids who don’t speak the same as them, but still share moments and life.
- My kids experience two full time parents.
- They will try new foods and be grateful for the times they get their hands on a pizza.
- They have learnt to cherish their loved ones. To communicate on Skype to family, to miss friends, to reminisce on good times. And in line with that they have learnt the quality bonding time that comes with visitors from home.
How can I even stop with everything they have learned? We could be here all day. But I feel some of these are the most improvements I have seen and the details I have noticed.
What about my life lessons? Well 6 months on the road may not be much to some people, but to me it has been one of the heaviest learning curves of my life. And while my list is triple what my children have learnt I am going to just give you my top 5 for now.
Top 5 lessons I have learnt
- That home is where I am.
I had a house, a car, and a job. Now I still have all those things even if some of them don’t belong to me. While I rent a house in different countries around the world, each one of them has still been my home. My home is no longer defined by an address or ownership. 4 walls and a roof no longer confine it. My home is where I rest my head with my family. My home is where my suitcase lives and my children sleep. It still is 4 walls and a roof (well except that one time in Bali), generally it usually has an address, but a home has become more then that. I use to sleep very badly on the beginning of holidays getting used to a new bed and foreign sheets. Now I can hit the sack and quite swiftly pass into unconscious slumber. When did it happen? Somewhere along the road.
- Discovery of my children & husband.
My husband had a job that he devoted himself to 8am – 8pm and sometimes more. Granted it was in our home, but sometimes that was worse as he could easily roll out of bed and then at the end of the day roll right back in. On our journey I have spent so much more time with him and discovered things about him I never knew.
My children have also become a grand discovery to me. We use to always be so busy that family time was holiday time. Now we spend at least 4 days a week doing quality family things. It’s a treasure being with them on their discovery of this new world and it’s with an absolute grateful heart that I watch them grow with mum and dad at their fingertips.
- The more I see the more I want to see.
I was afraid after my round the world trip in 2007 where I saw all my bucket list items that I would never be in awe again. That I had seen all there was to see. I thought this trip would be over and done by October and now I find I have planned all of next year and then some. The more you see, the more you realize there is to see. This not only lifts my spirits and gives me dreams, but creates in me wonder and amazement, which is one of the most child-inspired feelings that I love to capture and hold. I am eternally grateful to be able to watch the wide-eyed wonder my kids experience each new place and to share that with them.
- You don’t have to be rich to live well.
I know you expect this to be deep and philosophical about how riches are seeing a smiling Thai person or feeding a monk, but let’s skip that bit since that you already know. I mean you really don’t have to be rich to live better. In South East Asia we barely cook, we never clean or do our laundry, we always have a pool, a gym, a playground and generally the most amazing views you’ll ever set your eyes on. With all of this we have also cut our budget by a third. Yes we live better and we spend only a third of what we use to. What a life lesson!
- Life was not made to be busy.
There are moments when one sits and stares, catches themself & gets up to go do the laundry or brush their teeth or tidy the mess. But while you may think we have been super busy on our nomadic voyage it is quite the opposite. We have spent more time being okay with not being busy. With doing a puzzle with the children for the 10th time in one day, with reading a book by the pool for hours on end, with losing oneself in writing about the places we have been and the things we have seen. Whatever we now find ourselves wasting time on, it’s ok. The moments are no longer slipping us by. “What are our lives except a vapour that appears for a little while and vanishes and passes away?” Stop. Enjoy. Treasure.
And there you have it. I could write so much more, but honestly there is another way to discover our life lessons… Read all our blogs. :)
When I think about all I have learned I feel immense gratitude. In a few days we will be celebrating our very first thanksgiving with a whole bunch of our new American friends… in Thailand! Living a Christian lifestyle I am often convinced of our blessings and thankful for my life, but this year it will be with renewed purpose.
My top 5 blessings are so easy; you’ll wonder why I had to write them for you.
- God – I am thankful for the faith I have been brought up in that my parents cultivated so well. When I travel nature is my number one starry-eyed moment. Seeing God’s creation in all its glory – a flowing waterfall, a mammoth cave, animals big and small. When I see creation, I know there is a creator. I am grateful to have a belief that inspires me to be passionate, compassionate & to love/live life to the full.
- My husband – for the hard work he does to keep our family and our business working. For loving me unconditionally despite my outbursts, fears and failures. For spending 15 years of his life with me this year – 10 of those married! For imparting his good looks into my children and his height. For being multi-talented and always learning. I’ll stop now before you puke.
- My children – who so readily accept another new bed and another new house. My beautiful little girl who at times is so independent, but still craves the certainty of love. For my son who is defiant, but dependent on cuddles and attention. They made me a mother and while they challenge me everyday it makes me into a new and better person.
- My family & friends – who gave us the encouragement and wings to fly. Who I miss immeasurably, but who understand the need to pioneer. They have visited with us even within these 6 months, because time apart from them is hard. We skpe, we write, we facebook and how thankful am I for technology. Without such products I may not have taken the journey.
- Travel opportunity – I am so grateful that this year has been a journey across nations. To witness culture, to eat food, to make friends and observe religion. I believe my life has purpose and I’m living part of my destiny, how could I not be grateful. And with this opportunity is the chance to write about it. I am thankful to be writing. It has been my dream since I was a wee kid and again I feel as if it's part of my purpose. Find your passion, find your purpose.
6 months, 200 days, 4800 hours, 11 destinations, 11 flights (today we will be adding another 2 flights & 1 new destination), 2 adults and 2 kids. We’ve come along way in a short time, but we have a lot longer to go and a lot more lessons to learn I am sure.
There are other people who have learned lessons on the road. People who have been travelling far longer than us. Below you can read their life lessons from the road.
|Bohemian Travelers||Can You Embrace the Unknown|
|Nomadic Family||I Know Nothing (and 99 Other Things The Road Has Taught Me)|
|A King's Life||Two things I know for sure|
|Flashpacker Family||Lessons from the road of life|
|Our Travel Lifestyle||Travel: Teaching us about ourselves|
|Life Changing Year||Life Lessons From The Road - A Little Bit Of Planning Goes A Looooong Way!|
|Family Travel Bucketlist||3 Things We've Learned While Living Outside of the USA|
|Living Outside the Box||6 Life Lessons From the Road (why 6? I have no idea!)|
|PearceonEarth||5 Life Lessons Learned from Traveling|
|Family on Bikes||Complaining won't change a gosh-darn thing|
|RambleCrunch||15 lessons I've learned traveling the world|
|Grow in Grace Life||By Any Road..Lessons from the Journey|
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