Time flies! Feels like yesterday when we sold all our stuff to go traveling. We’ve been to many great places and seen many amazing things. As much as we enjoyed the Western part of the US and Canada, we truly love Mexico. Baja California with it’s lonely white beaches and whale sharks right there. And those millions of butterflies in Michoacan….
One could wonder how our two young kids survived not only all that driving and traveling but also being exposed to so many new things all the time. Or even how they survived having their parents around 24×7…
And what are they actually doing all the time when we travel… ?
So here is a quick video overview of things they’ve done:
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To answer some of your questions right now (for all other questions use the comments):
How do you drive so much with two young kids?
We drove around 18.000 miles in the last 8 months, that’s roughly 29.000 km. Sounds like an awful lot of driving, right? But we only drive around 3 or 4 hours at a time. We don’t drive every day, we stay at places. When we like it there or for other reasons (more about that later).
Four hours are manageable. We try to start driving early in the day so that we have the rest of the day for running around and other stuff. Don’t get me wrong. Early in the day isn’t involving an alarm clock. With regular breakfast-and-getting-ready-speed we start driving between 9 and 10am.
Usually Mika falls asleep, little snuggle bunny. And Juni watches a movie. She’s watching Home, The good Dinosaur and Zootopia over and over and over again.
And who can blame her? Home is simply awesome and I could watch Zootopia over and over again as well.
Usually Mika wakes up right at the perfect time for lunch and when the movie is over so we do a lunch break. After that, Juni falls asleep and Mika plays or, now that he’s getting older, also asks for the iPad.
If there is no other choice, and we have to do an extra long driving day, we’re prepared with snacks (hard boiled eggs, sandwiches, pretzels, cracker, pieces of fruit). They draw pictures on paper and on themselves. They play with things, make puzzles, ask for more movies… The very last resort, when the drive clearly got too long and the mood is on it’s low point, are German children songs. Those help for another half hour.
How do the kids like the journey?
It depends. When we see buffalos, whale sharks, crabs, iguanas or lizards, or other interesting animals, life is good. When we meet cool people with cool kids, life is good. When we find a spot where we all can swim with no waves (like for example one of the many amazing cenotes), everyone is happy. If there is a lot of sand outside, like from the desert we’re camping in or the beach we’re camping at, awesome! In that case, the only thing that would make it even better would be a bucket full of water to put the sand in and build sand castles. Sand and water alone can keep them busy the whole day.
Also a playground is usually well appreciated. Unfortunately the playgrounds in Mexico aren’t the best. Alternatively they like to climb around and explore the forest.
Since Juni can still remember how it was to live in a real house she sometimes says ‘Mommy, when we’re done with traveling and we live in a house, I want…’ And you can fill in here one of the following options: a chimney, spiderwebs, 10 babies, a pool and a slide that goes right into it, my friend Helen… there are so many other options too that I can’t remember.
Since Mika was just one year old when we started, he just knows life as it is, life as a journey. He is a very open hearted, welcoming person. Greets people in 3 languages at age not-yet-2.
Mexico? Is that actually safe?
We get that question often. Yes, things have happened in Mexico and yes, there were terrible stories in newspapers etc. But please know, Mexico is pretty big. If you read about 5 horrible people doing horrible things in Mexico today, it might sound like a pretty bad day in Mexico but there are actually 122.299.995 people which you don’t know the slightest thing about.
We drove through Baja, North to South and drove through the states Nayarit, Jalisco, Michoacan, Guanajuato, Queretaro, State of Mexico, Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, Quintana Roo. We’re still alive. We didn’t meet a single mean person. Nothing bad happened. Yes, our car was stopped twice on the way to Palenque by a roadblock. That was a rope made from grass and flowers by kids that wanted to sell fried platanos.
We also passed a couple of military stops, especially on Baja, but also when crossing state boarders. The military guys always asked the same thing: Where are you coming from, where are you going to (both on that day) and are you on vacation?
We always stayed overnight at campgrounds and there are enough available throughout Mexico. For the most part we did this so that we had a place where we can open the door in the morning and let the kids out to play. That would not always be possible when boondocking. Walmart parking lots are not so great as kids play areas, right?
Yes, traveling in Mexico can be done safely.
Don’t they have to go to school?
No, they are not yet 2 and just 4.
What do your kids do all day long?
Watch the video above 😃 That and eating and sleeping.
How long are you going to travel?
We’re going all the way to South South America. How much time that will take, we don’t know. If we keep liking to travel and keep having sufficient money to do it, we’ll go all the way there.
Where do you go after the trip?
Good question. We’re still debating. US, Germany, somewhere in Europe, somewhere far away and new and exciting…? Nothing is set in stone yet but that’s ok. We’re still enjoying traveling so much.
What do you think? Would long term traveling be something for you?
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