The summer that changed everything

04:22

Life seems to go through me in phases of about 8 years. I left home at 17 to go and study, and then work in France. In my eighth year in Paris I suddenly panicked on my way to work. Was this to be my life? Like the 60 something man reading his newspaper each day on the train, who only disappeared every now and then for his allowed 3 weeks annual leave - had I joined the rat race and imprisoned myself in a routine that would from now on be my life? That day, I applied for an Adventure travel job, got it within a week and a month later had asked my friends to come to my flat and help themselves to anything they wanted. I swapped the fridge for an MP3 player, packed one bag and set off on my big adventure.
Six years later, after working in an average of 7 countries a year, I started longing for something else. I'd met Neil on one of my Peruvian contracts - a Welsh tour leader who worked for the same company. We'd meet here and there all over the planet - sometimes choosing contracts in adjacent countries, hoping to hop over the border and catch up. Although that didn't work so well between Ethiopia and Eritrea... we managed to stay together for a few years.
We eventually decided on South Africa as a country we both could live in. I'd grown up there and my nationality would help us settle down. Force of habit, we roamed the country and discovered a small town in the Klein Karoo desert, about 3h out of Cape Town. A beautiful old Victorian House with white shutters had our name on it... And so we became a happy DINK couple, with a lock up and go, perfectly balanced life of roughing it on the one hand, and living in the lap of luxury by the pool in our lovely home on the other.
We had it all! Well, almost. Mathilde, our first daughter arrived a year or so later, shortly followed by her sister Apolline. Dad was still on the road, making an appearance here and there, working double shifts while Mum stayed home with the girls and started developing Mathilde & Co... Life was still fabulous, but things had changed... we'd become responsible adults with loans, and future plans, and stress!! All in all we had it easier than most but the next 5 years gave our adventurous spirit a serious beating.
And then at last, the girls,by now 3 and 5, were old enough to share my love of exploring the open roads. I took them on their first real road trip over the summer holidays. Bliss. It was perfect. And it awoke that old wanderlust in me. We'd been battling with this life style for the last few years, with Neil being away now 6 months at a time and missing his girls - me having to take on everything else here and work hard at my successful little business. There had to be more to life than this! Where was the Freedom we used to have? Surely there was a way to combine family life and escape the daily grind with it's financial constraints?
And so another 8 years has come to an end, and with it a new beginning on the cards... We have something planned but it will require some serious consideration, planning and budgeting. Our 2 gorgeous girls are obviously the first priority but we want them to grow up free, adventurous and knowing they can do anything.
I have re-launched this blog in these more positive, exciting times and would like to share with you this new adventure we are about to embark on. Will it happen? Is it even possible? Because, if we can do it with  2 small girls, then so can you.


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3 comments

  1. It feels like I am reading my life in a way. I am also experimenting the 8 years old ding-dong, time for a new adventure. good luck and keep sharing.

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    1. I think there are different types of people, those who need stability and those who seek the adrenaline of adventure. It's not always approved of especially for woman and above all mothers!! But I do believe there is a way of doing it that will only enhance the children's lives. And a happy mother has happy children!!! Go ahead amd keep traveling or having wild fun xx

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