The other day Dev and I both remarked on the fact that our neighbours in the campsite seemed to chill/relax/ do nothing a HUGE amount more than us. They actually lay in the hammock for HOURS. We very rarely just sit back and read or nap or do nothing. (As much as our photos look like we do!!!)
We pondered this and wondered why we ALWAYS seemed to be doing something when at a campsite. Ok for a starter I am not one to just sit and do nothing. I have tried hard to be but can’t. I can however get lost in my book for hours ….. but time, which we envisaged to be in excess, actually isn’t …….
Why is this?
Maybe it is because we are travelling with kids and the other chillaxing people are couples or single adults.
But in camp Fogg There always seems to be stuff to do.
From my side it is ensuring and having to remind the kids daily of their daily chores (wash dishes/ sweep out tent and car)… and not to mention the everyday stuff which my 9&10 year old seem incapable of remembering…. Brush your teeth every morning and every night and brush your hair. I have given up on clean faces and feet. There are only so many fights you can have.
The constant reminding is exhausting!!!
Then there is the laundry which is washed by hand and takes an age. The pile is always huge even though my kids have to wear the same outfit for a minimum of 2 days - sorry clean freaks out there (I used to be like you), but if you had to hand wash daily you would come to the same conclusion as me!!…. And don’t get me started on hand washing blankets. How much foamy slimy soap can a blanket hold I ask???? A LOT!
Then there is the thought processing of meals- both the shopping when in any form of a town/ village, to ensuring meat is taken out of the freezer early and always a little pre- planning done. Plus making up meals with our limited food selections. Even more prep and planning is required if you are going for an evening game drive and will only be back to camp late with starving kids. Often, I am cooking dinner in the afternoon straight after lunch….
Then throw in some homeschooling. Oh boy finding the energy and positivity to encourage both Dev and I and them to sit down and focus is hard work. And always we are in these amazing places with either the beach or someplace amazing beckoning you. It is hard for everyone. Near Impossible when in game reserves as the hours sitting in camp in the middle of the day are even less.
Being a mum, the emotional well-being of each of the family members plays a huge role in your day. No matter where you are. Taking your kids away from family and friends breaks their little hearts. And in turn it breaks your heart. I am constantly watching them and praying for their strength and ok’ness.
Sometimes ensuring everyone is ok and coping is too much. Sometimes reminding kids not to lose sight of how incredible a place is as there have been so so many amazing places. (This is a real “problem”). Sometimes encouraging one to look at the present (and not past or future) is exhausting. Sometimes being strong and giving support is beyond your daily strength quota. Sometimes I wonder about the emotional downfall and “boredom of the monotony” of our return home. These emotions and thoughts don’t go away when you are in paradise.
Dev is always having to fix something either with the car, trailer, batteries or the running of our fridge and freezer. Using these items daily takes it toll and there is a never-ending list of things to be fixed or replaced. Not to mention Dev is also trying to run his business back home plus find the time to teach Afrikaans to the kids and put together the amazing videos of our trip which he does. Dev is also always checking the routes we will take to ensure roads exist and fuel will get us from one place to the next.
Even though our days are rushing past and chores still are part of our day, we are so blessed that they are filled with adventure and beautiful places and sights. They don’t have the stress and panic or “rush” of our days when back “home”. We don’t miss the rush in the morning. I don’t miss the wasting of hours between different kids pick-ups and sports activities. I do not miss the unnecessary homework and associated stress. Or packed lunches.
I love watching my children be children.
I love seeing their minds grasp new facts.
I love seeing them playing together. And even though they have their sibling moments the love and comfort they derive from each other is incredible to see.
I love that every afternoon/evening I can sit with my husband in some gorgeous place and have a drink with him and catch our breath and ponder life and realise how absolutely blessed we are to be living out our dream. We might not be at the stage yet of lying all day in a hammock, as we are still surrounded by the chaos and noise and constant interruptions of children and the daily grind of camping and all it entails. But how awesome our life is right now. How blessed we are to spend every hour of the day together. How blessed we are to slowly sip our tea in the morning and quietly and gently start our day whilst watching the sun rise over the sea or bush. And how glad we are that we took the plunge and did this adventure of our dreams.