Today is our 100th day of our trip around the world. (!!!!!!!)
I still can't believe we're on this journey. I can't believe all that's left to do and see and feel. Yet, it often feels like a completely natural thing for us to be doing.
Europe is almost over for us. It was a great place to get used to traveling and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone by staying off the tourist path in Ireland, Germany, and Spain. Renting homes and apartments and boats through Airbnb really helped with moving us out of tourist mode and allowing the real-life feelings surface. Driving through Europe - 15 countries total - gave us a different picture of each place, too. Road trips were a part of our family travel culture before this year, and I am so glad we have European road trip experiences, too.
I'm nervous again. I'm nervous and anxious about the travel plans that are not yet finalized, and when I think about how much more of the world is left on our itinerary, I feel a little overwhelmed. It will all be okay, though.
We’ve had some really good luck. When I planned our European lodging, I mostly looked for places that would let us balance being touristy with experience more typical life. I also planned the dates for each accommodation around the time it would take to drive from place to place and the general pace of how we wanted to travel. I knew we would be in Edinburgh for the start of the Fringe Festival, but I did not know that Konstanz hosted its own Oktoberfest just blocks from our apartment, and I had no idea at all that Valencina de la Concepcion’s special festival coincided with our stay. It was such a gift to be able to walk out our door and experience the celebrations of the people who live in these towns. (The gaps in my pre-travel research bit us one time in Ireland, when I picked a day to visit Kells not knowing it was a bank holiday. Oops. At least we had a good walk and a decent meal.)
I like how we’re doing homeschool. It’s eclectic, and it works for us. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing it “right” but that’s only when the formal school frame of reference blocks my vision. We read, we write, we draw. We calculate and figure. We listen and talk. We see and we do. It’s all good.
We miss our friends and family at home. We love hearing from them and reaching out to them. WiFi and cell coverage issues can get in the way, not to mention time zone differences, but email and texts and social media posts are keeping us connected. I love all of the support and connection we get from the States.
The next 100 days will take us from Spain to France to Belgium. We’ll move on to Africa (Morocco and South Africa), then India, southeast Asia, and New Zealand. We’ll be less independent (using tour operators in many places). We’ll be in hotels a lot more, and we’ll be driving a lot less. Once we leave Europe, we’ll all be seeing these countries for the first time. (Theo has been to much of Europe already.) It seems like an entirely new adventure awaits.