We’re doing extremely well! The kids are doing great with changes, we’re adapting every single day. In every way possible. From shopping (you know all about that) and cooking (two burners, no oven, 2 pots and one tiny fry pan) to catching the bus and tram. You know about the language issue and food issues. But what about us?
We have to constantly adapt with each other and it’s not easy. I’ve read about digital nomad couples who have to learn to work together, how in their ‘normal’ lives they probably saw each other a couple of hours a day and their conversations are around, shower schedules, what to eat for dinner and where they are going on their next holiday. I haven’t seen much on how to deal with being nomad, being married working on the same business AND dealing with kids and schooling. It changes everything quite dramatically.
Are we fighting all the time? Do we want to scream at each other? Do I want to pack the kids up and send them home? Are the kids constantly fighting, since they have NO space from each other (they’re even sharing a bed.) Do we want to call it quits and come home? What has been the most frustrating? Who’s doing what when it comes to chores etc? Have we found our groove? What happens when you move countries? I’ll get to that (next time).
I have to constantly remind myself that we have been at this thing for 24 days now, so everything won’t be ironed out yet. We decided that our ‘start date’ for this travel adventure was June 1st. Up until that point there were ‘knowns’, from June 1st it all became unknown. That means we’ve only really been doing the nomad thing 24 days now, so no, everything isn’t smooth sailing, but we’re getting there.
By far the hardest thing to deal with for me is the language thing. Not being able to get what you want easily is very humbling. I highly recommend putting yourself in a situation where you can’t communicate easily. I appreciate the difficulties so much more now, and understand why you practically pounce on people when they speak the same language as you. Working with refugees, immigrants, the deaf, or travellers in general will never be the same for me, in the best possible way. On the other hand, it’s amazing how a smile, and pointing will get you what you want. I will admit I lean on Nat when it comes to language, as he loves it. I do find it immensely satisfying to say something in another language and for the other person to understand. But if I’m honest, I think about all the languages we’re going to come across and my brain is filled with so many details with regards to day-to-day living and future travel plans, that I think ‘screw it, it’s probably better to focus on that when we’re in a place for longer.’ Cop out most likely.
I’ve noticed that Lennox has Nat’s natural ear for language (and music for the matter). Lennox, once he gets over the initial shyness, will bust out his Latvian. His favourite sentence is “May I please have…”. I’m more at Alpha’s level, we do “hello, please, thank you” with lots of pointing.
Couple of wins
But a BIG high five to Alpha last night. We were at the Ligo festival, with thousands of other people and she really wanted a Sprite. I said, “I’ll give you the money, but you have to go and buy it.” So she did. She stood in line with Lennox and came back with two Sprites and change. I’ve been telling her for a while now, if she wants to buy something then she needs to do it herself. Up until now I’ve been standing close by. She chose a pretty intense situation to do it on her own. This time she had to navigate crowds, drunk people, language and foreign currency. This is what I was hoping for on our travels. Confidence building, and dealing with overwhelming situations!
Lennox had a big win yesterday too. We were at the playground with a bunch of other kids, Lennox really wanted to play with some boys and the boys wanted to play with him. They managed to approach each other and Lennox was shy and kept saying “Say What!” over and over whenever the boys spoke to him (he came across as being a bit ‘special needs). One of the Latvian kids could speak ‘angliski’, but Lennox still wouldn’t speak to him. After some worm finding, and Alpha helping a little, he ended up fishing with a couple of the boys and busting out his Latvian. Turns out the boys he was with only spoke Russian, but they could understand Latvian. Again, this is what I was hoping for! (FYI worm finding is international.)
The other big thing for me, is that the whole world feels full of possibilities now. I knew it always did, but I FEEL it now. I was reading about a naked polar plunge thing in Nelson the other day and I thought ‘Actually yeah I can see why you’d do that, maybe I’ll do that one day.’ If I read about that a year ago, I’d think “why?!” I can’t tell you why it seems different now, it just does. I’m learning quickly that the world is different but also very much the same. I knew that, but I truly understand it. Very hard to explain, and I’ll sound like an idiot if I tried to explain it any more than that.
What I’ve realised is that I don’t have many photos from those wins. I know they’re happening and yet I forget to take photos at those moments. So you’ll have to make do with the dunny from the “Say What?” playground.
24 days in and big wins. Next time I’ll talk about the frustrations…