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It Feels Normal…But, It Isn’t

Catching Fish

A month ago we were lazing on rocks at the base of a waterfall surrounded by a lush tropical green jungle.  The boys were trying to catch fish with plastic bags while Bryan and I sat contentedly in the shade.  I commented how “This just feels normal… but it isn’t.”  He nodded and said he was feeling the same.

We have been traveling for six months.  If it feels normal, then it is because we have figured out how to create a new sense of normal in this unusual way of life.  Instead of football on Thanksgiving, we were watching Rhinos.  Instead of a picnic at Concert in the Park with friends, we had dinner on the beach with a lovely French couple and their twin 10 year old boys we had just met the day before.  Instead of shuttling between after-school activities, we walk down to the Waterhole and sit silently to observe the wildlife.

Viewing Animals at the Waterhole

Our roles at home have translated to similar roles on the road.  Bryan manages the finances and tracks the budget, I organize the day’s activities and plan our meals.  The kids still do school work and pester each other.  After so many months on the road, what once seemed unusual has now become routine.  We are used to sleeping in a new bed every few nights, using bottled water to brush our teeth and throwing toilet paper in the garbage can instead of down the bowl.

Lazy Day in Our Jammies

We are used to the journey being a normal part of the adventure. We arrived at our Guest House at 2:00 a.m. after a five-hour bus ride became an almost eight-hour hour journey.  I was exhausted. Bryan was exhausted. The boys were exhausted. Today, the boys have spent the entire day lying in bed in their jammies watching Nickelodeon. Bryan and I relaxed on the bed reading our Kindles. It was just what we needed. It all seems so normal.

Here are the ABCD Top 6 memories for our first 6 months on the road. If you ask us tomorrow, we  may have different answers because there have been so many wonderful experiences.

Audrey

  1. Hospitality and warmth of new friends in Colombia and Argentina
  2. Abundance and close proximity of animals in Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
  3. First sighting of  Elephant, Lion and Giraffe in the wild, Namibia (Africa)
  4. Hiking 15,000 pass with the boys and camping in Lares Valley on the way to Machu Picchu (Peru)
  5. 4 x 4 adventure across salt flats  and high desert – especially bike riding across the salt flats, Uyuni (Bolivia)
  6. Spending time with our parents when they visit us on our adventure (Ecuador, Patagonia, Namibia)

Bryan

Coincidentally, Bryan had the same highlights as Audrey.

Colin

  1. Eating, playing with other kids and swimming close to the animals on the Santa Cruz II cruise ship in the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) (See video)
  2. Paragliding in Lima (Peru) (See video)
  3. Hiking in Patagonia (Chile and Argentina)
  4. Seeing each animal for the first time in Namibia (Africa)
  5. Petting a Cheetah in Namibia (Africa)
  6. Eating Freddo Ice Cream, Buenos Aires  (Argentina)

Decker

  1. Eating, playing with other kids and swimming close to the animals on the Santa Cruz II cruise ship in the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) (See video)
  2. Canoeing through the Amazon at Sasha Lodge (Ecuador)
  3. Paragliding in Lima (Peru) (See video)
  4. Hiking up to Machu Picchu and then seeing the ruins (Peru)
  5. Professional futbol match in Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  6. Lion and Elephant spotting in Namibia (Africa)

In a few days we leave for a six-day safari through the Okavango Delta and Kalahari Desert in Botswana.

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Audrey Gillette

Audrey is a stay-at-home mom and perpetual volunteer at their children’s school. In order to prepare her to manage two boy’s schedule’s and active lifestyle, she was a Corporate Meetings & Event Planner. Managing a 2,000-person event for a demanding clients now seems easy compared to raising two growing boys. She has traveled extensively to over 50 countries and lived in Germany for a year. Audrey is an avid swimmer, runner, and cyclist and Ironman Canada finisher.

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. I can’t wait to hear about your Okavanga Delta experiences. It’s truly a fascinating place, which we visited a few years ago. Local friends were in Namibia in the fall, and loved it. It’ll be interesting to hear about the similarities and differences between the two incredible locations.

    1. Loved the Delta, moreso than the Kalahari. The Lion experience happened int he Okavango and we got close to other animals. Africa is great so far, especially since i wasnt eaten by our lion.

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