We were not the only family to choose The Galapagos Islands as the final destination of a world trip. During our year, we met only one other family traveling the world (in Thailand). In Puerto Ayoro, the main town on the Galapagos, we met two more, both in their last week(s). The Mitchell family hailed from Southern California (originally from Scotland) and had quit one job (and kept on another part-time) to make the trip. The Tans were teachers from Canada. At their school you can opt to work four years for 75% of your salary, and then take a year of absence fully paid in year five. I wish there more enlightened employers like that.
Puerto Ayoro is an active town. We saw people bike, skateboard, volleyball and play soccer everywhere, all the time. The two Tan boys, two Mitchell lads, and our three kids soon initiated a soccer game too. The first day, they played amongst themselves on the beach. When we ran into the Mitchells again the next day, the kids joined locals for a pickup soccer game in Francisco park near the pier, as they did again the day after at the soccer complex mid-town. It gave the WorldTripMoms time to compare notes on the lessons learned from a year of travel.
I learned that I probably should have used more audio books and perhaps involved the kids in budgeting. But what stood out most was Laura’s question, “How do you spend your time? [when back home]” We all were enjoying the large amount of unstructured (family) time that extended travel offers and were wondering aloud if perhaps some of this can be created at home as well? Laura initiated conversations with her children about after school activities. WorldTripGirl, who has ears as big as saucers, overheard our conversation and chimed in, “Yes, I want to do less,” but then admitted she doesn’t know which of her hobbies to give up.
So how will we spend our time? We start with an empty calendar, so we will have an unique opportunity ask this question before adding any activity. We have already made one such decision: we just committed to a new au-pair (a big brother for the boys this time) from Germany (by way of the Ukraine). We want to show him our beautiful home country, so we will continue to travel, weekends and breaks, but closer to home. I hope to continue my writing project with WorldTripGirl, and to continue some of the (do-it-yourself) running, cross-fit and yoga that I have enjoyed on the road. And in case I can’t get the balance right in any given year, we now know how to alternate years of hard work with a year to stockpile mountains of family memories. Maybe there will be Levin Sabbatical 2022 after all.
You can read the other family blogs here:
Tan Edventure – http://tanedventure.com/
Mitchells’ Big Adventure – http://2015mba.tumblr.com/