As we arrived home after so many months of wandering, my blogging friend, Sunee from Sunee Sees the World, nominated me to participate in the 7 Links Game started by Tripbase, where bloggers make a list of 7 past posts, which might be favorites, or most commented, or most helpful. The timing seems fitting for me to put together a little retrospective on our wandering now that we have stopped moving. It was a little tough to pick out my favorites, I tried to find a handful of posts that gave a cross section of our experience taking our kids, dropping out of everyday life, and making a sort of mid-life gap-year (and a half) trip around the world.
Although the blog started during our planning and panic stages before we left home, I ended up cutting those posts from the list. Also missing are most of Asia, as we were there more recently and those posts are easier to find. Here is my retrospective list:
We spent a couple of months in Croatia early in our trip. While much of our time was spent in one place, we wandered through the Southern Dalmatian Coast: “We sought wine yesterday, and our day was charmed. The wine industry in Croatia is flourishing. Here on the Pelješac Peninsula there are vines everywhere, with workers tending them. Ancient and twisted vines…”
Travel together as a family changed each of us and how we relate as a family, this is one of several posts that had more to do with us and our state of mind than the place we were staying. “Sometimes it feels like living under a microscope, being in such close proximity to the family at all times. There is no independent life, when we explore it is together, everyone wants to go along to the grocery store, taking the car alone means someone else is left behind…”
One of my favorite things we’ve done: learning about falconry and working directly with the birds: “Their eyes have a brow bone that protects it over the top, turning down toward their beaks in a concentrated scowl. They are visual by nature, watching for prey with an intensity that makes them seem even more formidable. And yet, they sit quietly, regal, talons resting easy on our leather gloves…”
We were quite taken with Cape Town, South Africa. “Cape Town has filled our senses. The colors, sights, and sounds are all larger than life; but also emotional senses, like hope and kindness and joy.”
We saw how tourism provides an opportunity for tribes to make income by sharing a bit of their culture and history, and I loved the juxtaposition of experiences with the tall, bold Zulu and the shy, petite San. “As we’ve wandered through southern Africa the past few months, the magic of travel has given us some interesting juxtaposed experiences: Cattle and crop farmers and wildlife conservation. Citrus farms and a reserve set aside to save elephants who love oranges. The tribes of the Zulu and the San…”
This is the story about a group of workers who helped us when our Land Rover broke down while we were camping by ourselves in the middle of the Okavongo Delta, and the camp host who pulled rank. “As we were packing up camp in Xakanaxa, making ourselves ready for the drive to our next planned stop at the Kwaii River Community Conservancy, a large truckload of workers poured into camp armed with shovels. Their task of the day was to dig a large hole…”
Arriving in Asia, our first stop was Bangkok, where we found ourselves in the biggest party of the year. Or, at least the biggest water-fight. “We saw it in the in-flight magazine first. We were landing in Bangkok during the biggest party of the year and had no idea. It offset the knowledge that we were also landing during the hottest time of the year, when the terms used in the same magazine to describe the heat were “crushing” and “intense.”
So, as part of this, I need to also nominate other bloggers to participate in the game:
Lisa at The World is Calling. A traveling family from Colorado with teen and tween kids.
Melissa of Break out of Bushwick . She is a single mom in the planning stages of a trip around the world with her tween daughter. Her plans are to head out in Summer of 2012.
Amy of Journey for 4. This family set off on their trip around the world on the same week we arrived home. We chatted quite a bit before they left, it’s been exciting for us to watch their progress.