RTW with kids and demons - they will fuck you up regularly as usual. The demons, that is.
I will not lie to you. Travelling for one year is hard. Kids or no kids. Your demons will not stay at home. They love to travel, too. But most of all – they love you.
All is set. You have packed the house, sorted out your old memories in drawers and cupboards, sold all you can, corners are spotless, bags packed (I will go through that bit later) and you are exhausted. The neighbours have to drag you away from the duster to make sure you catch your plane to the World and the adventure of your life.
“Just you wait, woman” , whispers the demon.
You make it to the airport and the plane takes you all to the Indian Ocean and a tropical island to relax for five weeks before you set off for real. All is well. Palm trees and beaches. Octopus for dinner and papaya for breakfast. Bikini and Dr. Martens. Life is sweet. Kids are happy.
A dolphin looked me straight in the eye
Zanzibar is a dream. Back then Nungwi Village was small and welcoming. We rented motorcycles and criss crossed the island, met a masai warrior from the mainland and a woman swiped her courtyard carrying her baby on the back while the sun set. Dolphins were plentiful. The stories and the beauty. Pods of batfish, campfire on the beach, nights in treehuts, fish market opens at six. No demons. Yet.
Demon 1 pops up and she wants a HAMBURGER!
Week number three and Demon 1 appears: PMS. The PreMenstrualSyndrom sticks. Tropical island or not. Demon 1 pops up and she wants a HAMBURGER! Fast and alone. Just me and her. She does not like fish and fruit and only meat can satisfy her. So we go for a burger. I yell a little at the waiter (Demon 1 does the yelling – I am always sweet and mellow) and the next day I bug a fish. Demon 1 is now happy and retracts after an insult or two. She reappears 11 more times while travelling and we (her and I) have to deal with the situation without any distractions such as work or friends to cool things down.
Demon 2 arrived more often than at home in Norway, where he only visits me once a year. I had forgotten all about him when booking the journey and had to deal with him at least four times in a year: the Grass Allergy Demon. Mid winter in Norway means mid summer on New Zealand. My bad. Please, do your homework if you have allergies.
I also brought the bored demon, the quarreling demon and the controlling demon. And all the kids brought their demons. We all had to deal with them and we had nowhere to hide. I guess balance in all is what we had to work on. Be aware after two to three months. When the holiday mood is starting to wear off and everyday life comes back. Because it does.
Deal with or befriend your demons
This was a digression, but a relevant one. Prepare for this to happen. Befriend your demons. Invite them for a cup of tea and have a chat with them. Acknowledge that the PMS Demon is there, and perhaps deal with her before you leave. The control demon will sometimes slow things down. Maybe not so bad? A good thing is that travelling gives you plenty of time to deal with the whole bunch. Try to maybe fall in love with your demons. That might bring some good, too.
Being bored can make you very creative
After four months and on a beautiful beach I started collecting pebbles. Lovely white pebbles. I sorted them out on the floor size wise. When my little one started playing with them - I yelled at him. Heck - that made us both feel bad. I apologized and started sowing. I bought a needle and thread and started to compose and make small embroideries. Care for your creativity. I was at times so bored I invented a whole brand of clothing. Being bored can make you very creative! Just remember:
The love of power is the demon of mankind.
- Friedrich Nietzsche