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Most people’s response when we say we’re travelling full-time with our kids is,
“I could never travel with my kids 24/7. I’d go insane.”
Wiser words have never been spoken. Insanity and I have become fast friends.
Now, I LOVE my kids more than anything, and I’m VERY grateful to be living this traveling life that we’ve created together, but let’s bring some clarity to the situation.
Every day is not perfect. Long-term travel has its flaws. Parenting is tough. Our kids are not perfect angels and we are so far from being perfect parents.
There’s barely a moment I don’t have a mini-me jumping on my back when I’m sitting down, covering my eyes while I’m walking with them on my shoulders, pulling down my bra to flash my “boobies,” fighting over who gets to hold my hand, interrupting any conversation I have with anyone, or crash tackling me just to make me pick them up.
It’s endless demands, sleepless nights, constant whining, constant nagging and a sometimes thankless job. Parenting can suck! You go from having this amazing freedom to a life where you’re thrown in the back seat – no make that the boot!
No I couldn’t imagine life without them, they’re the best thing that ever happened to us, we’re forever grateful to have healthy happy kids and they bring us more joy than anything, but…
I’ll be honest, being a parent is a hard adjustment.
In fact, the majority of parents I speak to feel the same way. They’re tired and frustrated and over it! Any wonder why so many don’t want to travel long-term with their kids.
I go on silent reconnaissance missions in playgrounds and supermarkets and anywhere there are families. I watch parents faces, listen to their conversations and notice how and what they say to their kids.
This is not done so I can judge, but so I can check that I’m not the only one going nuts. I get instant relief (and I must admit a chuckle) when I hear the same exasperated expressions flying out of their mouths.
I’ve come to the understanding that it does not matter where you are or what you do, parenting is tough and you’re going to lose it once in a while. Accept that shit is here to stay.
Now instead of focusing on the tough stuff, switch your focus to the good.
Because good is always present in your life too. The trick is to deal with the shit when it comes, but intend to make the good extraordinary.
When your life is full of extraordinary moments, instead of just good ones, you can easily deal with the crap.
That’s why I travel full-time with my kids.
They drive me freakin nuts. And judging by the eye rolls, I drive them nuts!
There’s probably not a day where I don’t wonder when the straightjacket will arrive. I constantly want to bury my head in the sand and escape back to the reality of traditional school for Kalyra and daycare for Savannah and let someone else share the burden.
But, then I know my extraordinary will reduce to mostly habitual good moments that are barely memorable.
Despite hating parenting for the most part, I LOVE being a mother to my two daughters.
I love nurturing them, experiencing life with them, having conversations with them, guiding them to be the best they can, helping them to discover themselves and the world, playing silly games and giggling hysterically with them. I love taking them on Mummy Daughter dates, and just watching how they experience each moment purely.
Long-term travel only helps to make these moments more enriching and it gives me more of them right now than if we were settled somewhere working jobs and going to school.
I love that I’m here for all of their special moments now. I get to delight in the cuteness of every new word Savannah speaks, and discover the way Kalyra absorbs the world and forms her opinions on it.
I get endless cuddles and giggles and our bond is deepening in a way that wouldn’t be possible in a life filled with traditional school and endless interruptions that separate us.
If you want to know the truth, I often long for time out away from the demands of parenting, but when I get that time alone, I miss my girls like crazy. Far more than I ever did when I had time away from them when we weren’t travelling.
So yes, I am insane travelling full-time with my kids. But, I’d go insane with them if I just lived a normal life, because I hate that parenting side of things. The only difference would be that I wouldn’t have as much to remember their growing years with.
In a way being full-time with them on the road is more intense and challenging than if we did have a normal life as you’d at least get a break from each other!
And I guess that’s the thing with us. If we were just travelling around Australia and not homeschooling and running a business at the same time, it would be far less stressful.
But I know this nomadic journey together is not going to last forever. We don’t intend to travel full-time and we go through stages when we want structure, when we want stability, and we certainly don’t intend to homeschool forever either. We need separation and think it’s important that our kids learn to take instructions from other adults and aren’t always the centre of attention.
I also know that in 5 years time as friends become more important to them, I’ll become the invisible person who’s just there to ship them around and give them what they need.
So I’m going to make the most of these next few years.
I’m going to build a strong family foundation, so no matter what, we always have these memories from the journey we’re taking together. The benefits of our current travels with our kids far outweighs the challenges.
All we have to do is find ways to manage the family travel challenges (future post coming up) and then put all our love and focus into creating extraordinary moments together.
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Would you go insane travelling full-time with your kids? Could you cope with it just to have the extraordinary memories?