14th December, 2017
It has been 6 weeks since we left Australia.
We have stopped at 10 different locations. Stayed in 8 hotels, 1 Airbnb and 1 cruise boat.
We’ve caught 6 flights, 1 sleeper bus, multiple taxis, tuk-tuks and the sky train.
Visited numerous temples and pagodas. Enjoyed many pools and beaches.
Eaten loads of curries and buffet breakfasts. Walked miles and miles…and I am pleased to report – we’re all still talking to each other.
We knew this adventure would be good for us all.
Back in Australia, Andrew is away from us for about 70 hours a week. I make the (not so funny) joke that during the week – I am a single mother. I run a pretty tight ship and it has always worked for us. Back home, the kids are in bed by 7pm each night. Lights out at 7:30pm. Andrew usually walks in the door around 8pm. So, most weekdays, he is lucky if one of the kids is still awake when he gets home, or by chance, they’re already up when he leaves in the morning.
A main factor in planning this trip was that we’d be able to spend more time together.
The last 6 weeks have been so, so good.
Sometimes we’ve had our own rooms. Kids in one room with a connecting room to ours. Other times, we have all been in the same room.
At the moment we’re in Hua Hin. Staying in a hotel in a family suite. The kids have their own zone with bunks, a play station (and a pool view), so we can spread out a little.
We are together 24/7, and so far, so good.
Each time we arrive at a new place to stay and check into our room – Lily will set up her space. She sets up her beloved doll Daisy. Laying out all of Daisy’s bedding, using whatever she can find in the hotel room. Lil likes to surround herself with her creature comforts. In saying that, she doesn’t have that many, but Miss Daisy was a non-negotiable. She just HAD to come with us!!
Spencer on the other hand, is happy to roll with whatever. As long as he has a comfy bed and food, he is happy. He would wear the same shorts and t-shirt for a week if I didn’t make him change! Just goes to show, kids don’t need much at all. None of us do really.
Last week in Bangkok, I packed up a box (4kgs worth!!) of clothes and a pair of shoes and posted them back to Australia. I haven’t worn them enough, so they’ve gone back…and it feels gooooood!
As for what we’re carrying luggage wise – we each have a luggage pack as well as a carry on backpack. The kids packs are 40L. Andrew and I have 70L each. Inside the packs we have 3 different sized packing cubes. One for socks, underwear and small items. One for tops, tees and shorts and one for bigger gear – jumper, pants and dresses. Those who have been following me for a while will know how much I adore hats (always have, always will). I brought 5 with me – 1 cap and 4 hats. I ditched 2 in Vietnam as they weren’t travelling well and were a little worse for wear. I also bought a new one in Hoi An which I am getting loads of wear out of. Hat stalls are everywhere here in South east Asia!
Also, I don’t pack them in my main pack (GOSH NO!!!), they come with me as hand luggage…(precious….).
We haven’t been doing much shopping. Unless we see something we just have to have. We have been collecting a snow globe in each new country we visit. A tradition we started a few years ago. They are safely packaged and kept in my carry on luggage.
These days, we have a fairly loose routine. We rarely set the morning alarm unless we have a day trip planned, or a plane to catch. We’re usually all up and about by 8am, and each day is a slightly different version of the one before.
The kids will read and do their diary entries each morning. Some days they will have a school session for a few hours, some days we will take a long walk along the beach or down the street. We may head to a local village or grab a tuk-tuk and visit a temple. Then there are some days where we don’t do much at all, and that’s okay too.
We enjoy some down time every few days. The kids are allowed a little tech time. Minecraft-ing or they will FaceTime friends back home. I will write, or read my book. Catch up on emails and plan our next adventure. Andrew will research or edit the next Vlog for YouTube.
We are so lucky to have a wonderful school teacher friend back in Australia who offered to be the kids ‘Virtual Teacher’ for the time we are away – what a legend!!
She has loaded all modules into an online program and sets tasks for them as they require. She corrects the work they do and then sends back feedback. It’s been really great, and the kids are both really enjoying this different way of learning. (I think they secretly love having Dad here to help with Maths too!)
As a rule, we try to stick to the structured schooling sessions every other day – including weekends. A few solid hours after breakfast, and then we head out for some fun.
It is amazing what they’re both learning without realising when we’re out exploring!! We will also do a recount of a day trip, which has been great along with their daily diaries to keep them remembering the fun adventures they’ve had.
A few weeks ago, we implemented “Fri-YAY”. Every Friday the kids get to plan our day. Whether it’s swimming, shopping, going to the movies, eating burgers for lunch, getting a foot massage or roller skating…(tomorrow it’s roller skating!!)
It’s nice for them to have this to look forward to each week. They’re loving it.
Well that’s all for now.
We have had a huge school session today and now we’re off to the beach for a walk.
Andrew has been up late working on the next Cambodia Vlog which should be ready very soon. Stay tuned.
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Feature image care of Pinterest.