On family connections and Tham Phra Nang beach
Funny how things turn out for us when we travel. Last year, after having left my parent’s backyard with our RV and just two-weeks into our travels, our transmission blew up as we were entering California. We were stranded on the side of the highway for I can’t remember how many hours waiting for a CAA,or rather AAA, towing to bring our beloved home to the nearest garage which was more than half an hour drive away.
We were right on the border of Mexico, in between two towns with nothing close by. I had to pack all four kids in the back of a taxi, and pray to God our taxi driver, who barely spoke any english, would bring us to the hotel Jeremie had just booked for us on his cellphone. He would stay behind and impatiently wait for the towing driver to come and then meet us back at the hotel!
I can honestly say that this was probably the most stressful event of all of our travels last winter... but, I’m a firm believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason. As we had to stay in different hotels over the course of the next week, and as our hopes of hitting the road kept being pushed a few days and then a few more away, we also grew closer as a family and exchanged all expectations we had for the appreciation of the moment!
We were truly grateful when, a little over a week later, we could finally re-embark on our journey of travelling and exploring but we also felt a whole lot closer as a family! Living in a hotel room with two double beds, a toilet, a shower and a mini fridge for over a week tends to either build stronger bonds or make you want to kill each other. Thankfully for us it was the former!
Here we are now, three weeks in this Thailand adventure and the kids all caught some kind of virus... we thought Norah had drank some bad water while we were playing in our backyard. She loves to play in the water and took advantage of a mere two minutes of inattention on my part to open the outdoor tap and obviously drink as much water as she could before she got caught( cause that’s what you do when your parents keep telling you not to drink water that does not come from a bottle while you are travelling...) We spent the night sleeping on the floor near our bathroom door with a baby that would’t stop throwing up but by the next morning she was much better!
We had missed the breakfast time slot at our hotel terrace and needed some groceries anyways so decided to head out to the nearest mall and have breakfast there and then do a little shopping. We also wanted to leave the remnants of the night behind us, the dirty sheets and dirty towels, so the cleaning crew could make our living space liveable again.
We had Americanos, again, and the kids had some kind of brioche bread with whipped cream, bananas and ice cream... then, we did the groceries... and then, just as we were getting ready to leave, Keilan started making funny noises with his throat, and the inevitable happened. He started throwing up in the middle of an already smelly food court... I was alone with him and Norah as Jeremie was getting a few things we had forgotten from our list with the older two... I made a dash for the nearest bathroom and started cleaning up the mess... Jeremie finally found us... we called a cab, hoping that nothing else would come out of little bodies before we could make it back home. I had a few plastic bags at the ready just in case... we made it back home without any further inconvenience... but are now staying put until everyone feels 100%!
As much as we love going out and exploring beautiful landscapes and trying new food and experiences. We also know that the connection we make with our kiddos(and that is the main reason why we travel) often times come during these unplanned moments of stillness at “home”. So even though it is now Finn’s turn being sick, and we will probably all have our turn at feeling queasy... we are also appreciating this downtime as a family to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company!
Here’s an excerpt of the book I am currently reading(At home in the world by Tsh Oxenreider):
“Parenting is hard because of diapers and time-outs, the slog of sounding out vowels and the drama of mailboxes missing party invitations. But it is hardest because it is a mirror. It is life staring me down. It is the echoes of my inner childish voice reverberating from my children’s; it is the denial of my going first. It is my flesh and blood unleashed, encased around another personality, another will. It is the continual death of my basal impulses for the exchange of extraordinary. It is perpetual togetherness while circumnavigating the globe.”
Parenting is hard, spending 24 hours a day with the same people 7 days a week is hard, but slowing down to appreciate each other’s company is what keeps us sane and what builds the connection we are so striving for! It is when we let go of the preconceived ideas of what we should be doing and what we should be seeing that we actually can see each other for who we truly are and fall in love with our family once again!
But to spare you pictures of all of us, in our living room, binge watching Netflix and drinking pedyalyte, here are a few shots from our trip to Tham Phra Nang beach from earlier this week!
Norah practicing her snorkeling skills with a straw from our coconut and banana smoothie!
Ordering food for our lunch from these boats...
This was our favourite beach so far! The caves made for shade whenever we felt like we needed a breather from the heat... we spent the whole day there and hope to be able to go once more before we leave!
Proof of a day well spent, a sleeping baby!!!!