It seems that it was only a few weeks ago that we were leaving home, and setting off on our trip. And then, when we think back to our time in Canada, it seems ages ago. Whatever, it has now been almost six months since we packed up our rucksacks and set off into the great unknown with the girls. We’ve all learnt so much in that time – for me, I’ve learnt so much about what being a 24-hour-a-day-Dad can mean, with no opportunity to escape to the office for a break! I’ve also had to learn a lot more patience than I normally display – and even that isn’t enough for some situations. I’ve also learnt how much fun it can be doing things all together – exploring, finding new places and learning new things.
The hardest part of travelling together is that there is no chance for us to have a break as we would at home. That quiet time of the day, after the children have gone to bed or to school, when it’s possible to have an adult conversation, and you can genuinely relax. As we’ve all been sleeping in the same room all the time, that hasn’t really been possible – the girls bed times are so messed up by travelling that we tend to go to bed as soon as we’ve got them asleep.
This morning then was a real treat. Gloria and Michael took the girls off to a wildlife park, while Sarah and I went for a walk to the Grand Canyon (Hey, the second Grand Canyon of the trip, but to be honest the Australian one isn’t that exciting after the US one). It was great to be able to hop around the canyon without having to worry about looking after the girls. After we’d finished our walk (including half an hour sitting on top of a rock pillar, just appreciating the view without having to watch out for somebody falling off) we went in to Halls Gaps and had a coffee and a bacon sandwich, and just sat having a conversation and reading the papers for an hour and a half! This is only our second break from the girls in six months (for the first, we went night canoeing in Queensland), and it was just great.
We’ve also been lucky enough to get lie-ins on a regular basis since Sarah’s parents have been with us. Each morning the girls have woken up at their normal, early, time and wandered through to Gloria and Michael, and have then either settled down in bed with them, or watched children’s TV. Once you have children ,lie-ins become a faded memory, and this is even more true when you’re all in the same bedroom. So we’ve had a luxury we wouldn’t even have got at home – wow!