One Family, Five Years, Countless Adventures

March 23, 2013 in Birthday Party, Inspiration, New Zealand, Oceania, Travelogue

Today is a very special day for us.

It is the anniversary of our fifth year of full time travel. Five years ago today I was not having my best parenting moment as 5 year old Ezra dumped a glassful of grape juice the length of the white carpet in the living room of our recently sold house while he nervously carpet picnicked his last breakfast at “home.” With the help of Grandma and Grandpa we pushed off in our big road beast of an RV and changed our lives forever. Things started to go wrong before we were five miles from home. We should have known then…

That seems a lifetime ago, and like just yesterday all at once. Our children have doubled in size. We’ve touched 5 of the 7 continents and had more adventures than we could ever have seen coming, for better and for worse.

Today we’re exploring the southwest coast of the North Island of New Zealand, throwing ourselves a birthday party on the far side of the world. We’ve spent this week talking over our memories and haggling with each other to get our picks on the following lists.

With five full years and 27 countries under our collective belts, we bring you our top and bottom ten lists:

Top Ten

Beach Days in Wellington, NH, Phuket, Thailand, Western Australia, Mexico, Tunisia, wherever…
Grandparents visiting in Guatemala and Tunisia
Camp Wood
Festival du Sahara at Douz, Tunisia
Music Nights in San Marcos, Guatemala… or anywhere else, really
Fishing with Uncle Josh & Gramps
Venice, Italy
Elephant Riding, Pai, Thailand
Snorkeling Tobacco Caye, Belize

Bottom Ten

England… we hate to vilify an entire country… but, it did rain the entire month we were cycling… 😉
Arriving in Italy
New Zealand Lemon Affair
The Cliffs of Insanity in Italy
Fleeing Bali
The Vienna Affair
Rain, snakes, mosquitos and wolves, oh my.
The geographical center of Mexico… it could be worse.
The ferry to Africa
NTAF… it’s a party now

Bonus Material

From Hannah:

Number one on my personal bottom ten list is living in a confined space with three younger and often smelly brothers. I also love meeting musicians and playing with them all around the world and having friends from all different ages and walks of life.

From Gabe:

Tied for number one on my personal top ten list is getting SCUBA certified in Belize and spending a month interning on Good Life Farms. I love being able to meet life long friends as we go, but sometimes it’s hard to get personal space!

From Elisha:

One of my favourite things is traveling with my friends. Our two month trip across the States with the Woods was the best. Number One on my personal bottom ten list was my infamous stream bath in Germany. I also love getting packages when we’re far from home and Skyping with my friends and family.

From Ezra:

My personal favourite moment was when we got a package from the Wood Family, in Germany, and Mrs. Wood sent me a rice krispie treat in a Cliff Bar wrapper. I hate Cliff Bars. I’m also not a big fan of howler monkeys.

From Tony:

My favourite part of lifestyle travel is moving around seeing new things, that’s also the hardest part. At opposite ends of my enjoyment spectrum on the road are supervising the boys bathroom rodeo and reading aloud.

From Jenn:

Hands down, the people we meet are the very best part, as is the pleasant surprise of finding oneself home in a place you’ve never been. Hands down the worst part is the logistics of keeping six people fed, dry, warm, and clothed with less than optimum housing arrangements. I can hand wash for six with the best of them, and crank out meals for an army on two burners and ground tarp.

And in case you’re wondering what would possess a family of six to spend five years wandering and learning together…

Here is our Why.