When you know it is time to go home…

– No more space in your passport
– Your clothes fall apart despite all the repairs
– Your bank cards stop working as the magnetic strip is in pieces and even Sellotape can’t help
– Everything in your first aid kit is going out of date
– The computer’s hard disk has no space for more photos.
– Some pesky mortgage agreement says you can only rent for 2 years
– You wonder what ‘real life’ is like back at home?
– The kids can’t remember much about ‘real life’ at home
– You can’t face another restaurant meal and drool at the thought of home cooked food and roast dinners
– You can drink tap water at home, or I hope you still can?
– You don’t have to remember to carry loo roll in your pocket at home
– You wonder what it’s like not to be viewed as a two leg ATM?
– You stop bothering to learn more than a few words of a new country’s language
– Hand washing clothes has lost its practical and virtuous appeal
– You have serious suspicions that the kids are going feral
– In England I won’t be tempted to try another Ayurvedic massage on the basis it can’t be as bad as the last one
– You can go wild swimming at home without worrying about piranha, dead bodies or alligators (only the cold will kill you)
– At home wine comes in more varieties than white or red
– Much that you feel blessed that over 2 years of minimal seat belts, beer swilling Peruvian bus drivers, Sri Lankan suicide driving etc. to have only two minor accidents that your luck can’t hold forever.
– After 24/7/365 for two years with the kidz some quiet alone time is tempting
– The kids will kill you if you say ‘we are only doing one more year’
– Imagine wearing jeans and other ‘heavy’ clothes
– Mouldy blue cheese at home is a good thing
– Your son keeps getting mistaken for a girl as he is not cutting his hair until he gets home
– Imagine a country without rabies, malaria, dengue or obscure tropical diseases it takes 5 doctors to diagnose? That’s home.
– You feel you should at least give the kids an opportunity of a ‘proper’ education, even if you secretly and selfishly hope they twist your arm into a few more years on the road once they experience a classroom again
– You sit in hotel rooms, watch mindless TV and order room service rather than explore the latest city
– You look forward to having guests rather than being a guest (that’s an invitation by the way to all our travelling friends, perhaps we can live vicariously through you?)
– You want to find out if ‘travel’ has truly changed you or if you are still middle aged with creaking joints and greying hair?
– You like a challenge and doing something different…

Just 44 hours to go until we land at LHR!

One week to home

753 days into our trip.  One week to go before we land back at London Heathrow!

Can’t quite get it all clear in my head!

I lay awake on our last overnight train again reflecting on it all, was it all real?

Ending our Napo River adventure - September 2012

Ending our Napo River adventure – September 2012

How far we’ve come, the highs the lows, how it will feel after we’re home? More

Celebrating our Two Year Travel Birthday

11th July 2014. We’ve been two years on the road – 104 weeks, or 730 days – where has it gone?!!

Celebrating two years on the road this week with a 'cake' in the BArbie Cafe and a supper at Flavours restaurant, Taipei

Celebrating two years on the road with a ‘cake’ in the Barbie Cafe and a supper at Flavours restaurant, Taipei

And now we’re embarking on Year 3 …. But only for a month, then we’ll be home, which we all have mixed feelings about! Can’t wait to see all our friends and family, enjoy some home comforts and we’re pretty happy about enjoying (hopefully) a pleasant British summertime. More

We’re still alive after crossing the Pacific

Sorry we’ve been rather quiet for a few weeks and thanks for the check ups! We’re still alive, arrived safely in Sydney this week! We’ve spent 4 months crossing the Pacific. We’ve seen the tsunami warnings, dodged the earthquakes, survived the sharks and sea snakes, survived the 24 hour ferry crossings, even got by without much wi-fi(!) and now we’ve made it safely back from the summit of erupting Mt Yasur volcano. It’s been erupting almost continuously for over 800 years and we stood on its edge and watched it blow!

There she blows!

There she blows!


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Family Gap Year One – Dad’s Reflection

MMBZL written in sand above flipflops

1 year, 365 days, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes or if you are Lara a fifth of your life travelling and quite a big chunk for the rest of us. I still can’t believe we did it, made it through a whole year and are still talking to each other after being 24/7 for so long.

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A year of adventures, half way round the world!

Kia Ora! Hello, Greetings!

A year ago today we flew out of London, Heathrow on our way to Rio to begin our family gap year and round the world adventure! We’ve travelled for 365 days! We’re half way there, enjoying time in New Zealand.

Ready to fly - at Heathrow a year ago and in New Zealand today!

Ready to fly – at Heathrow a year ago and in New Zealand today!

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Nine months, nine countries – South America in photos and stats!

11th April 2013. Nine months today since our family of five touched down in Rio de Janeiro on a BA flight from Heathrow, London to begin our Family Gap Year travelling around the world.

Our journey so far…

We’ve almost done a (kind of squashed) figure of 8 around the continent, flown or boated to islands in the Pacific and Atlantic and are now in Santiago, enjoying our last days before flying to Easter Island (part of Chile) and then on to Tahiti in French Polynesia.

Nine months, Nine countries. Our Family Gap Year journey so far...

Nine months, Nine countries. Our Family Gap Year journey so far…

We’ve been to More

Galapagos Volunteering – Part Five. Accidents will happen…

Things seldom work out as planned!  Our first week of volunteering was full on as you can read in the previous volunteering blogs. I couldn’t say we knew what to expect, although we could only hope it would be the start of an amazing experience – and in many ways it was!

Our first weekend should be a real treat too! We’re excited to explore and armed with a long list of recommendations, it starts well! We spend Saturday in El Progresso in the Highlands enjoying El Ceibo Treehouse and Cafe. Martin has already told the treehouse story.  Then a glorious afternoon at La Loberia  beach, where the kids play with tiny crabs in the sand with Ben’s friend from school, we chat to a teacher from the high school, watch, listen to and dodge the many sea-lions and newborn pups, see hundreds of iguana trails in the sand.

Friends, Crabs, Sealions and Iguana trails at La Loberia

Friends, Crabs, Sea-Lions and Iguana trails at La Loberia

We try to brave swimming in the cold (yes, even on the equator!)  rocky, low tide water to look for turtles but are too wimpish and headed for an early supper! More

Zoe’s Memories – The Adventure in Cambodia and Thailand

In Zoe’s exact words (and Dad just typing).

We went on a fantastic elephant More

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