My five year old first family gap year!

[Lara was four and a half when we started travelling – she’s spent a year on the road. When we get back to the UK next summer, she’ll be six and a half and will have been travelling for almost a third of her life. Will she remember home? How will she adjust back to a settled life? She’s an adaptable and resilient young lady who takes pretty much everything in her stride with the exception of trying too many new foods without a lot of bribery and corruption!

Lara's travels

Lara’s travels

We decided it was high time for an interview with Lara so we could see what she thinks and share her views on our family gap year(s) ………]


My Chocolatey 5th Birthday in South America!

An interview with Lara….. Lara’s birthday is on 21st December – we started celebrating her birthday a couple of weeks early as having a party was an all important part of her travel plans for our family gap year so we decided to hold it in San Cristobal in the Galápagos where she’d made friends. When packing, the only significant thing on her list was party bags. Here’s how she recalls it when I attempt an interview for her birthday blog…..

At our hostel the Amaru ll on Lara's birthday

At our hostel the Amaru ll on Lara’s birthday

Mum:  Lara, when was your birthday?

Lara:  No idea!        Mum:  Really?            Lara :   Mum, don’t write that!! More

Me Gusto Mucho Papas Fritas! (or ‘Chippies vs Chillies’)

Being four and three quarters and the one child in the family who inherited her Mum’s fussy streak instead of her Dad’s more adventurous, gluttonous one, it was interesting to get her thinking about her favourite foods in our first three months and four countries in South America!

Mo’s cousin Val is a head teacher and the children at her school have been hearing about our adventures in their assemblies. They sent us some questions and Lara’s was about her favourite foods, so we decided to do a Lara interview to try to answer this one!

Mum : So Lara, what’s been your favourite food on our journey so far?

Lara : Fizzy Orange! You can’t get fizzy drinks in England can you?

Mum : of course you can but we don’t have them very often and you’ve had a lot more whilst we’ve been travelling !!

Lara : Yep – I’ve had coke and fizzy orange (that’s my favourite) and Inca Cola in Peru which was bright yellow and Guarana in Brazil.

And I learned how to ask for a straw in Portuguese  – it’s a ‘Canudo’ – and now I have to ask for it in Spanish and its a ‘Popote’

Happiness is drinking through a canudo!


Ready for School!

My friends are going to start at school in Reception class this week and I’m starting world school! I wish I could see them!

We looked at my books the other day and got things ready. My friend emailed and told me she is getting new school shoes. I’m having flip flops and my new dress that I got in Morro do Sao Paulo.

I have been practicing my numbers all the summer, writing them in the sand and on the and practicing them when we play cards and now I’m doing letters.

Look what I did on the iPhone with Zoe
I did all the things on my own to put in the boxes. Can I show you now?

(Zoe : it was words that end in ‘at’ and ‘en’ – and she had to match up the picture with the word. She did them nearly all on her own)

Zoe finds the ‘word family’ app on Mum’s iPhone again and they snuggle with Dad on the top bunk in our cabin so Lara can show him what she can do…

Here’s what I had to do and every time I complete one I get a dinosaur!! See? I’m starting to do phonics with mummy like at school too and I know that ‘a’ is for ant crawling up your arm! We have seen plenty of ants – they’re very big in Brazil and they can bite.

I really like living in Brazil but I’m starting to worry about forgetting about England!!

Lara loves Boipeba

It’s 8.30am. We’re in Boipeba. Mum and Dad are upstairs and there are no children in their bed because there’s a little spiral staircase leading from the kid’s bedroom up to theirs which could be quite dangerous in the dark so it’s out of bounds. All being tucked in under our mossie nets helps! Zoe wakes first and is allowed to come up for a cuddle, then Lara…..

Windy stairs to Mum & Dad’s room!

It’s like we’re snuggled in a big bed in a lovely wooden tree house in the jungle.


Lara does Ilha Grande

Dad, Ben and Zoe have just left for an ambitious 2.5 hour hike across the island. It’s a chance for Mum and Lara to do a blog and have some quality time! We begin with a small bribe!

Mum : Lara come and do an interview with me and then we’ll have some chocolate!!

Lara and Abraao bay view

Just chilling!

Lara : Ok Mum, come on sit down! Are we going to have MY chocolate?

Mum : Yes, after we’re done! Do you know where Ben and Zoe have gone with Dad?

Lara : they’ve gone! ….. More

Lara Interviews…

Mum did an interview with me just before we left England and then again this morning about our first days in Rio.

Lara in taxi to Heathrow

En route to Heathrow

Here they are:

Tuesday 9th July 8pm

Mum : Do you know what’s happening tomorrow?

Lara : don’t know!

Mum : what do you think is happening?

Lara : going in a taxi ……. to the airport then we’re going on an aeroplane to Spain!

Mum and Zoe burst out laughing More

Lara is packed already!!

Lara carrying her rucksack

Look at me mummy!

Lara and Mummy’s bedtime chat tonight ……

Mummy: You were busy this afternoon…?

Lara: Yes, I started to pack for our trip so I didn’t have to do so much when we go on holiday and travel round the world. I got my rucksack out and


An interview with Lara

It was tricky to interview Lara for a blog post! Perhaps Mum needs to refine her interview technique but anyway, this was our first effort!!

Lara, what do you think about our plans to travel the world?


What are you looking forward to most?


Well, we won’t be going to Brighton when we go traveling because we’ll be going further away!

Oh!! Well then, you choose for me Mummy!

You see, Brighton is near where we live now but when we go on our travels we’ll go to other countries

But mummy – this is England!

Ok, what do you think you might miss?

My toys and lots of my teddies and my friends….

Mummy!! We need to take some party bags on holiday … we have to!   Because it’s gonna be my birthday!

Do you think you’ll want to come home again after our trip?


What do you think about Mummy and Daddy being your teachers? Its called ‘home school’ – or maybe ‘road school’?


Actually, no!  I don’t want to go on holiday, just stay at my school!

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