3 and 4 months in….

We had a couple of travel days, and I was able to sit and think about where we are at (mentally, physically, etc), and how we’re feeling after almost 4 months of travel.  (Sorry if any of this is repeated from before; I’m too tired to go back through what I’ve already written in previous posts).  In terms of travel, September was good… I think mentally we were still doing good as well, although it did take some time to remember my parents weren’t with us anymore.  (We would wake up in the morning, and start to say “let’s go check in with Grandma and Papa about plans for today,” and then remember they were on their way home 😉 )  We put some serious kilometres on our rental cars as we drove up and around and back down the UK (which we fell in LOVE with), and then over in France, Holland, and Germany.  We also hung out with some pretty sweet people….I really can’t tell you how nice it is to see a familiar face in unfamiliar territory.  We really do have the bestest friends in the world, and never imagined we would meet up with so many peeps from home and have so much fun with new friends over here as well.  It all just adds to the experience.  As I mentioned previously, we met up with our good buddies Josh and Kash for the month of October.  Soooooo nice to have a WHOLE month with these guys, and to explore new places and make some more memories around the world.  Mid-October I was starting to feel the homesickness a little; nothing crazy, but I think it may be because hockey is starting (recreational for the boys), and fall is one of our favourite months with hiking, fairs, Hallowe’en (HUGE in our neighbourhood), and Thanksgiving.  Anyways, not crazy homesickness, but definitely missing the things going on at home.  Having our BFFs along has definitely helped 😉  And all the notes/email/texts/ phone calls, from all you wonderful peeps at home.  It’s been a good month so far.  The boys are still doing good: We are still having lots of dialogue with them, and they are both doing well, and happy to keep trekking….a little tired of seeing tourist sights, so we are trying to find the balance between too much, and too little.  Down days, and parks are still a big deal for them, so we are doing our best to do a little of both.

Anyways, to sum up travel so far, it feels like a dichotomy of sorts.  It’s not “this is better than this;” It’s seeing how “this is different than this.”  We are really making an effort not to be the judgemental type, and recognize that we are the foreigners here; one of the main reasons for doing this year off was to help the boys see how there are SO many other ways of living and doing things…..it’s seeing how different cultures do things, and that our way of doing something is not the only way.  It’s learning new ways to live, but it’s also sometimes missing how you do it at home.  It’s not saying “I do it this way,” it’s asking “how do you do this?”  It’s being overwhelmed by grocery stores you aren’t used to, but then having your kid pull your hand and lead you down an aisle to show you some cool food he found, and finding some of your own new favourite foods along the way.  It’s being tired of packing up and moving all the time, but then getting on that bus/ferry/train and relaxing and smiling as you take in some of the most fantastic scenery you have only seen in pictures or on TV before this trip, and dream about the next place you are heading to.  It’s being so tired of planning and figuring out the next bus/hotel/airbnb, but also being so excited to plan where you are going next, and reading about all the things to experience there (seriously, it’s a love/hate relationship with the planning…lol.  I LOVE researching, but there are days I just wish we could show up and have it all planned out for us 😉  )  It’s having an idea about a place you are going, but then getting there and finding it’s completely different than what you were expecting (as I told Kasia, just don’t have any expectations…) haha.  We are enjoying it.  And we are learning so much about this big old world.

I hope this all makes sense…. We are loving this trip, and know we are so lucky to be on it.  Seriously.  We are almost a third of the way through, which in itself is crazy to me.   So on that note, Happy Hallowe’en everyone.  Hope you are enjoying the fall, wherever in the world you happen to be 🙂

 

Poland and Prague

Sorry it’s been awhile again.  We’ve been in and out of places with medium to not so good internet, so I find myself behind in the blogging yet again 😉  We started off the month meeting up with some of our best friends…Josh and Kash…in Gdansk, Poland.  We dropped one car off in France, then rented a van from Germany, drove to Poland, and had the van for the week in Polski and Prague before dropping it off back in Munich.  It was awesome to be “reunited” with Josh and Kash.  They are like famjam, and we were stoked to meet up with them.  Kash is from Poland, so she took the tour leader position for this leg of the trip.  We trekked around the Gdansk area, hung out with her cousin, and enjoyed some delicious, cheap food.  Sooooo good.  And so awesome having our own translator in a country that we don’t speak the language.  From Gdansk we headed down to Krakow, which has a gorgeous city square.  Enjoyed wandering around, soaking up the atmosphere, watching the buskers and musicians around the town, and hanging out with J & K.  From Krakow we drove over to Prague with a quick stop to visit Kash’s grandparents (made me a little homesick for our grandparents, especially when they sent us off with homemade muffins and chocolate) and basically did the same thing in Prague that we did in Krakow….just wandered, saw some sights and enjoyed being in old gorgeous towns with good friends.  The bummer part (literally) is that Nate, Kash and I came down with some sort of flu bug while we were in Prague.  The bathroom got quite the workout between the three of us.  Luckily, Josh was still healthy and able to pick up the slack while we were down and out.  Anyways, I am writing this while Kasia is singing in my ear, Josh is humming in the background, and Isaac is asking for the computer while Jo is running around in the background.  So I will close off with final thoughts on Poland and Prague…..gorgeous area of the world.  It was awesome driving around in the fall with the leaves changing.  Had a few rainy days, but that only made it feel like legit fall.  Can’t even believe we are with good friends in another part of the world.  Makes it that much better.  On that note, I must say goodbye before the neighbours come and tell us all to tone it down 🙂

 

Paris, Round 2

So we discovered that we enjoy Paris in the fall much better than Paris in the summer 🙂  It felt completely different than when we were there in August.  No crowds, no crazy lineups.  It felt more like the Paris we were expecting the first time.  We came back for a week again, but this time we were over on the east side.  We found a bakery that we got fresh baguettes and the BEST chocolate croissants from every day.  We walked around some parks, and enjoyed the fall colours just starting to pop out.  We had some school days, where we just stayed in the apartment and did school work and played in the yard.  We are huge Disney fans, and since we were so close, we also decided to cash in some reward points, and head over to Disney for a couple days.  We had a lot of fun in both parks, and were able to go on all the rides we had hoped to, since it was off season there as well.  It was a little bit like home, but still had that “je ne sais quoi” to it.  So all that to say, we are very glad we went back, and got to enjoy Paris in the fall.

The other highlight of our week was meeting up with some good friends from home.  Our friends the Gerrards were in London for vacay, and flew over to Paris for a couple days, so we met up with them for a GREAT day of exploring downtown Paris.  We walked, ate, laughed, played, and just enjoyed hanging out with Aaron, Shay, Jaxton,  Ryah, and Brit.  The boys (and Nate and I) were over the moon to see them, and had a countdown going for the last couple weeks.  (I think I mentioned Isaac and Jo were disappointed back in August when they realized they still had to wait another month to see these guys).  Anyways, I really can’t say how good it was to see this family and spend the day with friends from home.  They even brought notes from friends at home, which were a lot of fun to read once we got back to the apartment.  We were all a little sad to say goodbye to them at the metro.  Thank you guys SO MUCH for meeting us and taking the time to spend some of your vacation with us.  It really means a lot, and we had a blast!  (But seriously, where do we go after hanging out in Paris?  hahah).