Travelling with kids – IRL

0F6FE85E 902C 4E50 AD6D 7FB0EFEDA0EA 1210x423 - Travelling with kids - IRL

Orgiva – Portimao. 6 hours. Knowing that 6 hours is too long of a drive for one day for us we decided to split it in two days. 4 hours to the coastal town of Huelva the first day and then only 2 hours the next day. We found a great deal on a golf resort, luxury that we are not used to, and we were all set.

The day before departure, it rained all day. Not the best conditions for packing up and half clean the house with 4 kids not being able to go outside and play. But it went surprisingly good given the circumstances. Well it didn’t exactly help that when they did get out they decided to take a swim in the waterpuddle/mudpuddle drenching all their clothes…but they had fun and that is what life is about, right?! When the kids had fallen asleep we finished the last of the packing and cleaned up the kitchen but decided to load the last things into the van in the morning as it was dark and raining heavily.

Came the morning and it was still raining, and even more so than the day before.

The van was now parked in a pond of water. After getting dressed and brushing our teeth I took the kids with me to the van so that Morten could finish up and load the last of our things in the van (which, as always, turned out to be lot more than we thought including trash and little things he found here and there). We ate some fruits and sang songs while waiting for him.

Finally we were on our way! With the rain coming down so hard we had to drop the plan of stopping at the eco tienda to stash up on food for the trip and the first days in Portugal. Instead we stopped at the side of the road, dumped our trash, and had a second real breakfast right there in the car. So far so good.

For the record, we don’t own any tablets so when traveling, our kids have an old school discman each that they use to listen to audiobooks and music. They also have coloring books and other creative little things, and we play games and talk about whatever comes up as we drive through new places and countries.

Because of the weather we had to drive slower than usual, and we couldn’t  really stop and let the kids get out of the car and play as we usually do when we drive for a longer period of time. And because of that the kids got restless and bored pretty quickly. And because we hadn’t stopped for food we didn’t have a lot to munch on either, which usually helps to kill some time. And because of that we got a bit cranky. And because of the rain that at one point streamed over the highway like a flood, we had to drive really slow. And because of that we ran into the Friday afternoon traffic jam when we got to Sevilla, and it took forever to get through it. And because we were standing still so long the two kids who really needed a nap couldn’t fall asleep and the mood in car was getting more and more frustrated.

Then, finally we were driving again! Fifteen minutes before we got to our hotel the boys fell asleep, better late than ever.

The drive had then taken 6 hours instead of 4.

For the last 2 hours we reminded the kids that when we got to the hotel they would get to swim in the indoor pool. Guess what? We got there 4.30 pm. The pool was only open for children until 3 pm. Imagine the dissappointment. But after everyone got a bath in the tub/shower we got a relaxed and good evening, the kids were pretty impressed by the resort and we were all happy to be out of the car knowing that we only had 2 hours to go the day after.

After a really good nights sleep everyone woke up in a great mood.

That is the thing with travelling. Every hard day brings you closer together and more united as a family.

The evening before I was ready to go home, doubting everything we had done so far and why we had left Sweden in the first place. Then when the morning came, I felt stronger than ever and forever thankful for my beautiful family and for my husband and the future we are trying to build with and for our kids.

The last two hours went like a breeze and before long we were in Portimao, Portugal, feeling on top of the world again. The house was really nice and the kids were in the huge indoor pool within an hour with me, while Morten went to the local organic café/shop to buy us some vegan lunch and groceries. Life was all good again.

So this is what traveling can look like, and does look like. Good days, bad days. Just as in everyday life. It just tends to get more extreme when you are on the road, the gloriousness and the roughness. So far though, we have had much more of the good and less of the inevitably less good. But both are just as important to bring balance to life.

 

Love and joy from Portugal,

Sandra

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