We are splitting up

Mo and I have split up. After 6 months of travel where we have lived in each others pockets, usually shared a room and been 24/7/180 it has come time to go our separate ways.

We drew straws, or something like that, and I ended up with Ben and Zoe. Whether I got the short one, or two, remains to be seen but I am determined to make the most of it.

So what does this mean?

  • BZ will only be subjected to one parenting style, mine! I hope my cackle doesn’t sound like Dr Evil?
  • We had to cut shared items in two, believe me a half piece of toilet paper is still useful
  • Mummy ‘Five Bags’ can’t carry their rucksacks 🙂
  • Ordering in restaurants happens before closing or the kids are curled up on the floor asleep
  • The darlings don’t have another parent to ask who might say Yes instead of No
  • I’ll probably have to share a bed with two wriggling monkeys that don’t like being covered in sheets, cold sleep deprivation anyone?

We said our goodbyes on Cococabana high street which doubles as the local bus station. Mo had bought tickets through an agent for Vicuña (the company with the nicest looking buses) but true to form this is overbooked and the agent increases their margin by at least a dollar of the $5 fare by substituting another bus which looks a fair bit cheaper. Every cloud has a silver lining and I now know to buy tickets direct at the Vicuña office.

Ben and Zoe waving goodbye in Cocacabana

Ben and Zoe waving goodbye in Cocacabana

Mo’s parting comment is to keep her darlings safe, I’m actually hoping they will look after me!


I have no idea why we didn’t do this earlier. My primary objective for our family gap year was to spend more time with Ben, Zoe and Lara while they are still too young to find their parents embarrassing. NOTE – Mo and I hopefully have a good few more years together complaining about peas rolling off our forks and policeman looking like they should be at school so being realistic it is not about our quality time together (unless we leave Ben baby sitting while we go for tapas but that discussion is best left for another post?).

What we have realised is that 1+3, 2+3 or 0+3 does not often equal real quality time although we have certainly had some, it’s more like crowd control of Duracell bunnies! 1+1 is actually the most magic and although threesomes and moresomes can be good they don’t always work out as well as you imagined or hoped.

The occasional day or hours spent alone with Ben, Zoe or Lara have undoubtedly been the best of the trip but this has happened rarely. Why is a question worth exploring and on reflection there is pressure to ‘do things as a family/together’ and ‘it is not fair on the others’ etc. It has taken a while for us to realise this and we are looking forward to having more special times apart as well as together.

When Lara heard she was going with Mum and Oma without Ben and Zoe she brightly said that there wouldn’t be any fighting, hilarious as she is often the instigator!

The other benefit is that you can be more adventurous with Ben and Zoe as they are older and can walk further, scramble higher and show interest in more than where the next icecream will come from.

We had been talking about splitting up for a while but the main driver was Oma who has been suffering from altitude sickness and needed to go to a lower altitude ASAP to see if this helped (there is always the possibility of a bug as well). With Ben and Zoe being budding mountaineers and the prospect of exploring the Isla de Sol at 4000m the plan came together.

We shall be reunited in a few days in case anyone got the wrong idea from the title. Will our trial separation be a success? Tune in next week to find out…


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sficht
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 07:34:53

    Oh My God!!! Never do that again!! My heart almost stopped beating when I checked my mails this morning…! Anyway…. have fun and enjoy your split trips. Lokking forward for new pics, Sandra


  2. christophlaipie
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 08:51:54

    I knew it! Too much time together is a bad thing sometimes. Absents makes the heart grow fonder… Or as the punch line to one of my old fathers jokes, abscess makes your fart go ‘Honda!’ Lol!
    Keep up all the jolly good work old bean;-)


    • Martin Clark
      Jan 22, 2013 @ 10:04:45

      For the crime of being a hamster on the suburban wheel of life I hereby sentence you to a year of 24/7 contact with your family, dodgy sanitation and intermittent internet. You may only take one bag, take him down…

      Keep the jokes coming!


  3. Michael
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 09:39:35

    The Clark headlines can be worrying at times! Go for Independence – it’s not for long. Michael


  4. Joan Ruffels
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 13:24:28

    Ha! We suffer from too much togetherness as well! Last year, I would never have thought that possible. Though my girls are much older than yours, it makes us all happier when we have had time apart.

    Katherine is living and interning with a guayusa tea project, by herself, this week, while Hannah and I went to a yoga ashram in a nearby town. We got together on Sunday and I think Katherine talked to me for like 5 hours straight about her experiences. Hannah talked to me more deeply than she has the entire trip during our time together at the ashram.

    So, I support your splitting up! May you have deep connection and much fun in your separate travels!

    Take care, Joan

    ~~ When you travel, you experience, in a very practical way, the act of rebirth…Since all things are new, you see only the beauty in them, and you feel happy to be alive. ~~ P. Coelho


    • Martin Clark
      Jan 22, 2013 @ 13:30:05

      Thanks Joan

      No one tells you these things you have to learn by experience. Like being a toddler and falling over while learning to walk, or me soon with a Zimmer frame, in fact if you never fall over you aren’t trying hard enough 🙂

      The projects sound great!


  5. Mo
    Jan 22, 2013 @ 20:10:59

    The downside of course is that I’m not around to moderate or add necessary punctuation to your blog, but a small price to pay I suppose for the peace and tranquility of a few days away in sub-tropical cloud forest paradise! x


  6. Martin Clark
    Jan 23, 2013 @ 01:54:17

    When the cat’s away the mice will play! How are the sub-tropical cloud forest midges? Didn’t you know excessive punctuation wears out the keyboard?!?!!!


  7. Trackback: From Cusco to Lake Titicaca and Bolivia | The Clark Family's Amazing Adventures

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