We used to take our holidays in France, as half of the Belgian population, so to speak. Nothing wrong with that. Au contraire. We rented a nice house in the Provence, and enjoyed the wine and the landscape, the barbecue nights with friends, the sound of the crickets at night. We went to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and then to Spain and Portugal, driving 6000 km with a six month old Ella. We had Joy, we had Fun. We had seasons in the Sun.
But memories of past travels came back.
I (Sebastiaan) travelled and worked in Nepal, in total for over a year, I visited Ladakh, saw the bodies burning in Benares. I sipped tea on the biggest square in the world and loved Isfahan. I was surprised by the Armenian hospitality, and how much they can drink. With my friend Wouter, I got kicked out of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, when it wasn’t a real country yet. I saw Angkor Wat, travelled from Beijing to Hong Kong, and was mesmerised by the salt planes of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. With Sari, I got cheated in Morocco, saw Jama El Fna and the Kasbah where Gladiator was filmed. We travelled Indonesia when Sari’s brother got married in Jakarta and shook the hands of some 400 Chinese wedding guests. We snorkelled in Malaysia.
We had to get on the road again. Kids or no kids.
So we went to Thailand for 6 weeks when Ella was four and Marie-Lou 2. And we kept going.
Then Airbnb came into existence, and that was a blessing. Travelling with three kids is not cheap, and renting out our house when we are gone, provides us with extra income. It is a great way to see the world. In 2014, we headed to Asia for six months and ‘did’ Indonesia (Java- Bali- Lombok- the Gillis), Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar an Vietnam.
We are not ‘hardcore’ travellers anymore. We travel with trolleys, take A/C buses and love our swimming pool and our pizza. When the kids get older, I am sure we can do some more of the beaten path stuff, if that will still exist. Let’s hope so.
Travelling with kids? The hardest part is the kids. The monsters op rice. It is fun, of course it is. But it can be quite demanding. No explanation needed, I guess. 🙂
Op is Dutch for on. Monsters op rice = Monsters travelling and also Monsters on rice. There is a pun. Rijst (pronounced rice) means rice. Reis (pronounced rice) means travel. (I hope this makes sense for non-dutch Speakers.)