Tomorrow is our last day of travelling.
This brings mixed feelings: part of me could carry on this lifestyle forever; part of me pines for home comforts. The grass, as they say, is always greener.
No more packing up our troubles in the old kit bag; no more roaming the hot, dusty streets in search of a big family room for a small family budget; no more wild animal adventures; no more 17 hour bus journeys; no more removing fear inducing insects from the bathroom; no more sleeping on top of each other.
No more seeing my girls every single minute of every single hour of every single day. It is a very, very sad thought.
As for the children, they are incredibly enthusiastic about returning home. They can’t wait to taste fresh, creamy milk again, and to see all their ‘dodo bears’ (soft toys). We’ve allowed them to input into our first UK supermarket shopping list, which is going to be delivered to our home just hours after we arrive (what luxury!) so it now contains all the ingredients to make trifle, a number of crisp based snacks and most of the dairy aisle. It also has our favorite Malbec wine, real ale, chedder cheese…all the things we’ve missed eating and drinking. After managing not to gain weight after a year of eating out, we are in danger of ballooning in our first week back!
But ask them if they’ve enjoyed it? “SO much!” is the reply I got last night. I wonder if they can really remember what our old routine was like, or appreciate how much freedom they’ve had this year.
For now though, we are all very excited about going home. For the first few days our house will seem like a mansion, the cold weather will seem refreshing, English food will seem delicious, and it will be amazing to see our friends and family again. We even have a new family member, a baby girl cousin to our girls. I am so excited about meeting her! The challenge is to carry on appreciating these things in the weeks and months to come.
Here’s a quick list (shouted out by all of us, in no particular order) of all the things we are looking forward to:-
Uncle Kieran & Auntie Yeni
Our new family member, Wren
Mac & Daisy (Auntie Kate’s dogs)
Our big house
Our own TV
Our own kitchen
A bed each
Bouncing on the trampoline
Sofas (although we don’t currently own one)
Space, more space and more space
Our own car
All the days out e.g. Cannon Hall Farm, Golden Acre Park & Hall Park
Going to a shop that has things I might want to buy in it
Being cosy under a duvet
Oven cooked stew
Cooking our own food
My bike (all of us)!
My ukulele & music
Water from the taps
Buying a recorder
Mince pies [Ferg]
Roleplaying games [Ferg]
Decent red wine [the kids – only kidding! This was me.]
It’s a pretty comprehensive list… I wonder how much we will really remember to appreciate once we are actually there?
For now, we’ll try to concentrate on enjoying our last 24 hours of hot sandy beaches, warm sea, a swimming pool, a resident monitor lizard in the canal outside, friendly locals, eating unidentified food, and enjoying being together as a family.