On the 26th June we will be 6 months into our journey……
6 months living in a tent, 6 months being on the road, 6 months spending 24/7 together, 6 months travelling from SA to Mozambique, to Zambia, to Tanzania, to Uganda, to Kenya. 6 months of an awesomeness I don't think I could ever explain!
I am so grateful for these past months – the incredible places we have seen, the experiences that have enriched our lives, this precious time we have had with our children, the growth I have experienced as well as the growth we have seen in our kids. It is ½ a year that has changed each of us and our way of thinking and being. How little we need. How much this world has to show us. How a simple life brings such pleasure. How slowing down really opens your eyes & hearts. How generous people are. How strong our family is. How grateful I am for god’s protection on this journey – on the roads, to far out remote camps, to just feeling gods hands surrounding & holding me and my family. I feel so blessed and even honoured to be able to write this blog and share our journey with you.
I realise that so many people dream of doing what we are doing, and many people are following each step we take wishing it was you (thank you!) And also, there are some who think we are bat-sh8t crazy to be living in a tent and without home comforts or family/friends….!! (you guys allow me to feel mad when the tent leaks and the pile of hand washing grows bigger – so thank you to you too!)
We are all different, and thank goodness we are, as everyone brings something to the party. I look at our little boy Josh who turns 9 on the 24th June…….A while ago I had days of immense sadness that what we are doing was NOT good for him. He cried for months for his dogs and his friends. He yearned for school (WHAT?????), he only spoke about wanting to go home or about places back home that he would rather be. As a mum, seeing his real sadness and pain ripped me apart. Should we head home? Should we consider sending him home to my parents who would send him to school and look after him….. you have no idea of the turmoil in my mind, and also the anger. The anger that he did not appreciate this amazing “gift of a lifetime”. But also realising that this is OUR dream and not necessarily his dream…… We hung on and never gave up on him or took the "easy" route. But somehow in the last month or 2 this little boy has grown, and his gregarious spirit has shone. I cannot tell you the joy I felt yesterday when he announced to us “that actually he doesn’t want to go back to school”!!!!!!!!! This is HUGE for him, and in turn huge for us. And recently his stories and best places are of places we have been to on this trip. And he is planning a “Round-Africa” trip with his best friend Josh R. when he is finished school (our Josh likes a little luxury so he better have made millions by then!!!) He still misses his dear friends hugely. He misses the dogs, but talks about them less. But something has shifted, and I realise that this journey is moulding him in ways maybe we could not see straight away…. How awesome that a 9 year old is planning a trip around the entire African continent by car, motorboat & motorbike and even knows which countries to avoid!!! We must be doing something to shift his thinking....!
I watch my children now with both adults and other kids and I am so proud of the little humans they are. In their own unique shining way they make me so proud – they can chat to adults with ease, they can knowledgeably share details of places & animals we have seen, they can play happily with a child of any age or background, they barely moan and complain, they can go for weeks without any devices, they play the most awesome make believe games together, they look out for eachother. Their eyes are wide open! If we achieve nothing else, of these things I am proud.
I think being ½ way in and therefore ½ way to the end, our minds keep shifting to our return home in December…..“our return to the normal”….. How will we cope, will our minds and lives be so changed that we won’t be able to do normal anymore, school runs and packed lunches send cold shivers down my spine….. has our new life become our normal….will we pack smaller bags and head elsewhere…..? There are endless thoughts and questions, endless ponderations …. Who knows! But one thing we do know is that this year has taught us flexibility, resilience, faith, the strength of our team of 4, how little we need… and how much we LOVE to explore!
But we cannot let next year and “what if” shadow our next 6 months……we have a further 6 months to grab hold of all that this beautiful diverse continent has to hold, 6 months to explore and discover even more, 6 months to fly with our wings and minds open wide……
And 6 months to be grateful each day for this incredible opportunity we find ourselves in. X
Do one thing for me today…. Put your cell phones down, switch off the devices and grab your family or loved one and go outside(be it on the veranda, in the garden, to a park or on top of a mountain). Sit down and let the beauty of nature shine and restore you. Be quiet. Listen. Sit and ponder, chat or don’t chat…. And dream! Do this often, fill your soul with goodness that our world has to offer! x