Last week (July 21st to be exact) it was 6 months ago since we came back. We miss being on the road! It was nice to see family and friends again, to have a place of our own for a while, to eat some typical Dutch food, to be able to cook our own meals… Jace loves going to daycare two afternoons a week and visiting his two sets of grandparents, but to be honest we feel like we’re biding our time right now. Torn between wanting to leave, but not being able to. And we’re not sure what to do about it.
We need to come with a plan fairly soon, because simply ‘existing’ without any direction is not good enough anymore. Both of us feel like we’re biding our time and our lack of goals is driving me nuts. It’s really bad for my motivation. Our wanderlust is strong, and even more so after our long trip last year. I want to see more of the world! Just to be realistic, of course traveling with a young child isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It can be taxing too, but in a different way. Read more about what it’s really like to travel with an infant.
Our original plan won’t work right now
While traveling we came up with a beautiful plan. Mau would do his PADI IDC and become a dive instructor, while I would work as a digital nomad. We would slow travel around the world following the dive seasons, finding communities of like-minded people to stay for a while and homeschool our little one. Even more than our previous year of travel, we both feel very strongly that this is what we want to do. It combines our need to see and discover new places, with our wish to have some permanence so we can develop a routine and Jace will have friends to play with. Of course, now comes the big but…
Why we can’t (or won’t?) leave
The reason we came back early from our year of travel was my mother-in-law’s declining health (Parkinson’s). It has gotten to the point where she will go to a nursing house soon, because 24/7 care at home is not an option anymore. We’re not actively involved in her care, but Mau goes to see his parents at least once a week with Jace. It helps to lighten their mood considerably and gives some distraction from the difficult situation for a few hours. With all this going on, it simply isn’t an option anymore for us to leave long term. The question is though how long we can put our own lives on hold. Of course, the emotional strain on all of us isn’t making it any easier.
As long as our little one is happy…
You often hear parents say ‘as long as our child is happy, we are too’. And this is true to a certain point. But it goes the other way as well, happy parents, happy children. Jace is doing really well. He loves going to daycare two afternoons a week and playing with other kids. And it’s both good and fun for him to connect with his grandparents. He loves going there. My parents live a bit further away, so we go less often, but usually stay for a few days. I think our little boy is entering a new phase. He’s really discovering that he is his own person, which obviously leads to some confrontations with us now and then. Not easy, but very interesting 🙂 He was happy when we did our trip to Vienna, Prague and Berlin too though, so this would not be a reason for us to stay in Holland. I think it’s more important for him that we manage to find a new balance.
We need a new plan!
So, what to do? If long-term travel isn’t an option anymore, can we still do shorter trips? Our two-week trip to Vienna, Prague and Berlin in May was great but expensive. Too expensive to do it this way more often. So we need to come up with plans that allow a good combination of shorter-term travel, while still keeping a home base in Holland. Having something to look forward to will do wonders for my motivation, I’m sure. I’m dreading spending the winter here, because the winter blues usually hit me pretty hard. Coming back from sunny Asia to winter temperatures last January wasn’t fun, to say the least. I need sunshine! And destinations that include scuba diving would be a major plus.
More about our ideas for affordable ways for travel short term in our next post!