We’re off on safari! I am not sure what kind of internet connection we will have, so I have set up a few posts to go live while we are away. These posts answer questions that friends and readers have asked about our journey. We’ll have updates from Namibia soon.
We’re often asked if we get tired of traveling. Isn’t it exhausting to manage two little kids? Aren’t we tired of living out of our bags?
Traveling with young children forces us to be slow. We are under no delusions that we are going to see every sight, climb every mountain and enjoy every meal. What’s great about traveling with the kids is that, by traveling slow, we really absorb what we are doing. We don’t travel as tourists, we travel as tempats – temporary expats. It works out well for the entire family. Sandeep and I aren’t the sightseeing type of tourists. We’d much rather spend the days getting lost in the backgrounds of a city than in it’s famous museums. Our preference, combined with the luxury of time, makes it easier to settle in to local neighborhoods and take life slowly.
What do we do to live tempat lives? We find local coffee shops that provide us with a sense of community. Our favorite thus far has been Mavra in Istanbul. We live and shop where the locals do. We rent apartments wherever we go and frequent grocery stores and markets. This helps us understand local food sourcing, preparation and consumption. I was not shy in Thailand to grill vendors about their strange wares at Thanin market. I have yet to poison the family with my cooking.
We take public transportation wherever available. It’s slower than a taxi, but it forces us to ride along with locals and possibly make friends along the way. The 101 in Penang was our lifeline around the island. The one place where we took taxis over public transportation was Athens, as we were warned about crime on the Metro.
We make friends at playgrounds. Sandeep and I are more than happy to exploit the kids in order to make local friends. Playgrounds, such as this on in the shadows of the twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, are a great place to meet other parents also hungry for adult conversation.
We walk around a lot. Rather than rushing to places, we walk (sometimes stumble, crawl, trot, hop, skip, shuffle) around as much as possible. Ava and Kayan literally stop to smell all the flowers but, after some frustration at our glacial pace, Sandeep and I realize that is part of the journey.
Some days we do nothing. We eat in, the kids paint and we surf the net. If we were going on short vacation with the kids, we would likely ramp up our travel pace. The benefit of being on extended travel means that it feels natural to take life slowly and on occasion do nothing.