Travelling, working and schooling the kids is hard work. But most people think we are on a pleasure cruise.
Where are we now?
We’re here in Santa Barbara now and it’s really cushy! My mom is a fantastic host and she and my step father love their space so they rent a house for us in the neighborhood near them where we can make a mess and make our usual din without disturbing them. The weather is coming into summer again, so this year will be our longest summer ever.
So what’s hard about any of this, you ask?
While we are seeing the world we are:
- Doing taxes in two countries
- Teaching the kids via Te Kura correspondence school and filing weekly progress reports
- Working as Dirt and Rust and have the enviable problem of having too much work on
- Activities with family we have been staying with
- Blogging here!
- Travel by plane, train or taxi, to our next destination; with our puky Alpha this is sometimes hard (she readily admits she doesn’t fly well)
- Clean the house, shop for food, clean the house again
Then we get to see the sights, be tourists, kick our feet up and relax for ten minutes; then do it all again the next day.
What’s the hardest part of all this?
I think the hardest part so far for us has been making time for everything while staying with family. How do you tell your loved ones, hey, I’d love to go goof off and it’s a beautiful day, but I need to sit here and try to sneak my files of my crap mac and install them on my new macbook?! Nerd.
There’s been many little moments along the way and we’ve barely begun this adventure. While in Auckland the day of our departure we toodled around in our much too nice rental SUV from the Manukau Library and back to the Airport area and had lunch in this cool little reserve with an Art Walk. It was a good book end to our time in Auckland and New Zealand for the next wee while. The art is very #8 wire inspired, something I’ve grown to love about NZ.
We had a toast to all our homies in New Zealand.
Alice and I shared a drink in the airport (we never usually do this, dehydration makes flying a real challenge) and it was a fitting tribute: Simple but meaningful. No ticker tape parade but a quiet, temporary, goodbye to NZ.
I love making do with what I have, and I think that comes with having the desire for luxury beaten out of me; no, gently coaxed out by baches and the winding roads of the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Leaving a couple of days ago I finally felt like I was 1. Kiwi 2. I will miss my NZ life! Anyone who knows my entire story in NZ knows things got off to a rocky start.
This all means what we are going through now getting ready to head to Europe is par for the course, and simply part of our life rather than a new and mysterious adventure. Watching my grand mother in law in her last days and talking to my own parents about getting older, all I’m reminded of is to DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.
Teaching the kids
Teaching the kids is bloody hard! I have even more respect for teachers now. The thing that seems most difficult is that they don’t respect us the way they respect their real teachers and they are still getting used to the idea of listening to us in a new way. When they make a mistake they feel we are scolding them. How to you explain that away? It’s hard.
The fun thing about teaching them is we learn things too! We talked about the Discovery of Zero yesterday, some fun, Friday light learning (ha ha ha!) that quickly degenerated because it’s just too esoteric a concept for them to grasp at this moment. What ticked my liberal arts funny bones is the philosophical greeks complained, “how can zero still be zero after you’ve quantified it; and what is nothing really?!”. So funny. Okay maybe it’s just me.
My advice to you is to gird your loins and bring all the patience you have and then some to get through the tantrums so your kids can learn. And be prepared – once the kids know you aren’t their minds wander and you’ve lost them.
Shopping for stuff for Europe
I have done some shopping to get ready for this trip, something I don’t often do because I’m so frugal and simply don’t have time for it most days. But it’s fun! Buying a new computer comes just in time, my computer took a massive dump a week ago and I spent an entire day getting it up and running again, losing months, maybe years, of music in the process. I call it an “enforced cleansing” to make myself feel better about it.
Now that my belongings are down to one suitcase/bag and one backpack, life is pretty simple: One thing in means one thing goes out. I bought some classy shoes in case we end up somewhere running shoes are frowned upon, and I was reunited with the backpack and headphones I ordered 1 month ago; I’m really a fan of racing stripes, that’s a theme lately. One concern I have is getting pick pocketed, but I’ve always been a bit paranoid about this and can smell baddies a mile away, the hard part will be being cautious and open at the same time.
Or I’ll just tie everything to myself with locks and chains. Ha, come on, I’m going to be fine.
My step sister Dana and her daughter Gia are going to see us this morning and my twin brother Simeon and his wife Allison will be here this afternoon. Jacob, my younger brother, will be here tomorrow. I’m so excited! I’ll have to get up early and stay up late to get everything done, but the journey has well and truly begun.
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