Family travel writer Yashy Murphy and her husband Chris continue to maintain their pre-baby lifestyle with two kids under the age of 6. With a passion for travelling the world as well as exploring all that downtown Toronto has to offer, they focus on food, fun, and culture. On their family blog, Baby & Life, you’ll find some hilarious parenting stories along with inspiration and tips for your next family adventure. The family spent five months travelling abroad, and we at Orange Naturals were following their journey. Click here if you missed their first post on the decision to go travelling. In part two, Yashy discusses what they decided to bring with them in just two suitcases. They related their adventures in Southern Spain and about being bitten in Morocco in part three. In their fourth post, they took us deep into Morocco and the Sahara Desert. Now back home in Toronto, Yashy shares below the details of their return to Canada.
We have now been home for two months and the adventures we had during our 148-day adventure are developing into fond memories. As we settle back into our old routines in Toronto, we are trying to incorporate the many things we learned during the trip into our city lifestyle. In our last post, we shared our Spanish and Moroccan adventures with you. Over the subsequent months, we ended up in a couple surprise destinations in Croatia after 6 weeks roaming around the South of France, Germany and Amsterdam. Croatia was a spur of the moment decision and the country was a great way to end our travels before we took our flight back to Toronto from Manchester, England. Over the 148 days, we visited 7 countries and hit up 35 cities and 1 desert!
The magical trip saw us accepting generous welcomes from strangers, learning about history and teaching our kids about new cities, cultures, and languages. We feel that we saw some of the wonders of the world, including the remnants of the Berlin Wall, the canals of Amsterdam, and the vast Sahara Dessert. However, there were many times when we and the kids realized how lucky we are to live in Canada. We were excited to return home, and we returned to our own comfy beds just before Labour Day weekend, giving us three days to prepare for school.
Our 5-year- old was excited for Grade 1 and to reconnect with her friends. Our 3-year- old was entering Junior Kindergarten but we were a little worried about him. We contemplated holding him back but ultimately decided that it would be best to release the kid into the world and see what happens. After two months, he is still struggling in school but we see small signs that he is growing more comfortable with his new surroundings. We also have a lot of confidence in his teacher, who agrees that we’re doing the right thing by sending him to go to school every day, despite his occasional protests!
Our spontaneous travel days, with little to no routine, seem to be a distant memory as we have all adapted to the schedule that everyday life demands. The kids pack their school lunches the night before and head to bed by 8 p.m. (quite a change from their midnight shenanigans in Spain). They are up by 7 a.m. for the 7:30 a.m. bus pickup. Our family is well-oiled machine now.
The kids wake up and have their cereal while I prep their juice bottles and put their lunchboxes in their bags. Daily, I sneak some Orange Natural MagPop! into the 5-year- old’s juice bottle to help her with growing pains. We then nag them for 15 minutes until they visit the washroom and put on their school uniforms before we rush to the bus stop.
Chris and I had spent almost every single second of the 5 months with the kids, so that first week when we had both kids out of the house between 7:30 a.m. and 3: 30 p.m. was surreal. The stillness of the house was slightly eerie and comforting at the same time. We’ve now settled into a routine of scheduling our conference calls and working on our projects during this time. Chris even manages to sneak out for yoga or a half-marathon training run daily, and I enjoy my lunch hour with Netflix.
Once the kids get home, they’re starving, and so ND Shake for kids comes to the rescue. We spend the rest of the evening tending to their needs and their growing homework list before we tuck them in for the night.
We’ve definitely adjusted well to being back and have reconnected with friends and family. Learning to live out of two suitcases was a great skill to acquire, but coming back to all our stuff was a great feeling.
We became more cognizant of the fact that we live in excess, and so we purged yet again as we unpacked. Shocking to think that we purged half our stuff before the trip and then continued on our return. I must admit that it feels great to live in a clutter-free home. That said, the kids have birthdays this month and I already have the itch to purge more toys. It’s so easy to accumulate items, but living in a condo makes us value our space more than if we had a basement to toss our junk in.
We had quite a few questions about how we’ve adjusted to being back — hopefully, this video might answer some of the questions you might have about the journey and the return! Life after full-time travel with kids
Where to next? We don’t know quite yet, but we plan to travel often and have already visited Philadelphia! If you’re wondering, yes we would do this trip again but perhaps for 3 months next time instead of 5, and we will definitely need to save up because this trip did cost us a fair bit!