Mid Life Gap Year

Life can throw you curve balls. Husband gets made redundant in Sydney and London is calling. Toms parents live in the UK and they're not getting any younger. I have always held family close to my heart and time is a valuable commodity with ageing parents. We're also lucky to have a home in London which needs some TLC plus we left behind many dear friends when we left almost 6 years ago. Time time time - like sand through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives. :) Eternally aware of life slipping through our fingers and always up for adventure, Tom and I reach the decision to head back to London. It wasn't an easy decision to make, especially seeing we left precious family and friends behind. Constantly torn between two worlds which can be bitter sweet.  We also decide to take a trip through SE Asia with our two boys - Spike and Rudy, aged 8 and 9.

5 months to travel Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. 

I sit now in a friends home in London after our travels and feel blessed for what we went through and for what I learnt about myself and my family. The boys make out their traumatised by the whole ordeal but I know in time they will come to appreciate the memories of our trip and how close it brought us together. As for Tom and I, well it wasn't easy travelling on a budget of $100 US a day but it taught me a lot about what we need rather than what we want.  We got to experience many wonderful places and met wonderful people. There were challenging and frustrating times but at the end of the day all the good and the bad came together to create an experience none of us will ever forget.

Would I choose to travel with young children again? We almost pulled out hair out in frustration several times and there were many not so pretty moments. But for every down there was always an up. Unfortunately we took screens with us. Meaning one iPad, a small laptop and 3 iPhones. Amazingly WIFI was incredible in most of the countries we visited. If I had my time again I wouldn't take any screens for the boys. On the upside it did allow Tom and I to have some down time and it came in handy for the long, hot arduous journeys on buses and trains - but the downside was that the boys preferred to be on screens rather than do almost anything else. It was always a battle. 

Massive take out from our trip for me - dare yourself to do it and you can. Feel like your marriage isn't strong enough to survive 5 months on the road? When your forced to rely on each other the way we had to, you learn to appreciate the positives and strengths of character that perhaps you'd never even noticed before. You begin to to see attributes in your partner that you might not possess yourself and this in turn leads to respect and admiration. I know that it has served my marriage far better than any therapy or date nights ever could.

More than anything we feel blessed that we had the opportunity to travel the way we did. At the end of the day the 5 months (including all flights) cost us $20,000 Australian. What was left over from Toms redundancy. We are now in London, skint for cash but happy to have a home to be able to move into and hopeful that work will come our way soon.  Life goes on with a big fat smile on our faces… (for now). :)