Well, life happened.
Or rather I over estimated my ability to blog while traveling with three small children, and four adults. And then we got home, we moved into a new house, my son broke both his legs one after the other (that was fun.) and finally here it is, the middle of October.
SO, rewind back to the summer. It’s true what they say that travel changes you. I came back more assured in my self, more confident, caring less about what other people thought and caring more about what made me happy. Realizing that the world is both big and small: there is so much to see and it’s actually not as hard to see it as one would think.
In the small things, I got into the habit of recycling more, drinking proper English tea daily and hanging my clothes out to dry (fun fact about the UK: very few people have dryers).
It changed my husband’s and my perspective on what we wanted for our kids and what we wanted for ourselves. We realized that we don’t need a huge expensive house in order to be happy, that our priorities are more based in the opportunities that we can give our kids versus having that ‘dream home’ that all Americans seem to want. This realization was partly born out of the fact that we simply don’t have enough means to do both and also the realization that as you travel you find out that people live totally happy and fulfilled lives in smaller homes and with less stuff (another fun fact: English homes on average are much smaller and by American standards, not as modern).
For me, I also fell in love with the English countryside; the public pathways that wander all over and are free to travel on; the small stone churches; the cathedrals; the little towns; the bustling streets of London; and the sandy beaches.
We also learned some handy travel lessons: if you think you’re packing light, it’s not light enough. One week in, and we all knew that we could have paired our luggage down by at least 1/3. Also, that my first son gets carsick and pukes a lot when is. So, I learned how to handle puke while traveling. Several times. Be adaptable. If traveling with small children, adjust your expectations around them. If you’re going to rent a car for a long time, get an automatic and spare yourself the stress of using a manual.. reversed. DON’T rent a French car. (if you want to know why, ask in the comments).
But most importantly we learned that we want to keep traveling. That we want to see more of the world with our children. And that we’re willing to sacrifice where necessary in order to make that happen.