It has now been 6 months since we left Quebec to achieve one of our dreams, take our young family on a year-round trip around the world.
It is quite something when I look back on the past months and think of all the way we have come by, in every sense of the expression.
To realize and to recall all the new landscapes, experiences, feelings and this new comprehension of our planet, of all its cultures, it’s most rewarding.
I would be lying to you, though, if I told you that everything was sunshine and rainbows.
And to travel with your loved one isn’t all relaxing, nonetheless with young children.
It’s not always easy to be together 24/7, often in a 12m2 space, eating and sleeping OK while managing through hiccups the planning of every day and every week, while missing your family and friends.
Well, after a little more than 6 months of fulltime family time, I can finally slowly begin to answer the question: What it’s like to take a trip on the long term with your loved one and your young kids.
WONDERFULLY OVERCOMING… EVERYTHING
First, to take it to the next level and to leave for a whole year around the world is a pretty big push of oneself. To plan the whole thing, to leave everything we know, our daily life, our friends/family, and to live it while pushing our mental, physical and spiritual limits to the highest, as I said, it’s overcoming pretty much everything.
But to embark on such a trip and to travel the world for a year with your young family also means to explore the most beautiful and the ugliest depths of your relationship.
It also means to take your family in far far away lands, to sleep everywhere, and nowhere, to endure 16, 24 and even 36-hour journeys without a good night of sleep.
To take an around the world trip with your family isn’t always a piece of cake – still, I can’t say real life is either!
OUR MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS
One of the things I love the most about this whole thing, one I still cannot believe, is the chance I have to spend all this precious quality time with my children and my loved one.
To be lucky enough to see my kids’ eyes glow as they stare at the wonders of the world (the pyramids, a monkey, a beautiful beach) as much as when they encounter simple things (a flower, a freshly pressed juice, a handful of rocks) and to actually be there. It’s something that matters a lot to me, so much I am tearing up writing this and realizing again how lucky I am.
This year around the globe also gave us the possibility to go to the bottom of our family bond and to really get to understand parenting. We have had time to make mistakes, but we also had all the time we needed to fix them.
I also truly love this twilight zone a trip as big as this one kind of forces us in. The everyday life’s whirlpool isn’t as much a concern as it was (vaccines, the doctor, Saturday cleaning, the dentist, his/her birthday on this/that weekend we absolutely have to celebrate). A very much appreciated pause from daily life, a sweet escape I will surely miss a ton.
There also are those moments cuddling on the plane, in the car, in our dwelling, on the boat, on the beach, just doing nothing, together with the whole family and just chilling because nothing awaits us. It also gives us opens up possibilities, to do what we want here and now – it really is magical.
I believe it’s beautiful to witness oneself, your loved one and your children grow as a person throughout this thrilling (but still intense) adventure as the months go by, moments after the other.
OUR MOST CHALLENGING TIMES
Let’s not all forget that there also are some negative points. OOoohh yes, there are.
To only live (sometimes survive haha) off basic convenience fees is harder than you think. To spend weeks in a single room packed up against each other, having only undrinkable water, no comfy beds (or just not enough beds for everyone). #CheapDwellingHereICome Having to handwash your clothes, to find that eating/cooking food is now complicated, as is travelling since you have everybody to take into consideration and other things that make life a little harsher than usual. While on a one year around the world trip (and when the budget isn’t as large as you wish it were, you know, haha).
I never thought I would have been bothered by this cohabitation since I am a people person, and since I come from a large family but to live 24/7 with the same people, to rarely have some alone time or intimacy when most needed can really get hard sometimes.
On days where we can’t adapt the schedule to our kids’ needs getting along also becomes a significant challenge. When they won’t sit still but have 12 hours of travelling to do or when they just don’t feel like a long-awaited dromedary ride through the desert (booked 3 weeks in advance) when it’s happening right now, well it can get rough.
There are also the long demanding days of travelling for my sweetie and the kids – but, you know, you can’t go too far on an around the world trip if you won’t travel. Haha!
So even if we try again and again to find solutions, to turn every stone, well if there still is a 3 hours plane ride and an 8 hours bus ride, then we are going to arrive at destination tired and tiring – and with my patience running low. Well, another rock n’ roll day. ?
Finally, to count only on ourselves for a whole year to manage our children is also pretty hard. Having Grandma or a friend to take care of the kids for a few hours, just enough time to plan a little date with your loved one is always welcomed, you know. But when travelling around the world, there is no such dream.
To take on a trip around the globe with your young family for a year, we “foresaw” it, it was going to be a challenging ride. Now we are living it – and we know it. Haha! ?
But to grow this much as a person as we do now, we didn’t see that coming. It’s hard to explain. But since some of our experiences are very intense (in positive and negative ways) our limits and the comprehension of our values, our family life, our relationship as parents and individuals, and our vision of the world accelerate our growth.
With those 6 months of travelling in our pockets, this is how I would answer the question: What is it like to take a trip around the globe with your family and your young kids?
It would be my pleasure to answer your questions if you have any!
This post was translated from French to English by:
My name is Sophie, a passionate language learner, and a full-time dog mom. Long walks, soothing cups of tea, Japanese learning and the search for beauty are my everyday life. Slowly but surely is how I do things, contemplating the peaceful ways of time and the enchanting notion of living the moment.