Rewards for hanging in there
Hauling our bikes, loaded with kids and gear, over mountain ranges or through drenching rain, while keeping the kids happy, probably sounds a far cry from a relaxing holiday.
It turns out however, that our physical exercise, the unfiltered exposure to the elements and the human encounters are unique experiences that create lasting happiness.
Being in nature for so much of the time has amazing effects on Amaya and Tayanika. Excitement with wild animals and being mesmerised by a landscape or sunset is now as common for the two as finding toys and games anywhere; flowers, stones, sticks, seed pods, sea shells etc. Role play or impersonating animals has replaced talk of princesses or wishes for specific stuff.
It is also amazing to see with which speed and ease the two now make friends with kids or adults of any age anywhere. We have also been lucky to meet so many kind and inspiring people.
Many of whom have allowed us to get a glimpse into their lives and their unique and fascinating choices of how and where to live.
Many of these encounters came about either because of the kids or us travelling by bicycle, or more likely even because of a combination of both.
It seems all that pedalling, sweating, freezing, camping and parenting actually made us happier.
So at the next gruelling ascent, or Amaya asking me for more stories, while my brain is empty, I try to remind myself: “Hang in there it’s worth the effort” …but sometimes, just sometimes, it won’t work and I wish I had opted for a more comfy holiday. One where I can just sink into a nice pool, sip a coconut or get a foot massage, while the kids are in Kindergarten or at school.