Growth Happens

Location: Portugal – June in Lisbon to Amarante to Celeirós do Douro

We’re doing much better now.  We’re “back on track”.  But things got tough there for a while.  You wouldn’t know it from looking at the pictures, but the month of June highlighted an important, often overlooked point: Traveling isn’t always easy.

french_friends
Our new French friends

Life continues to deliver on it’s pivotal lessons no matter what country you’re in and as we bid farewell to the sweet calm of Vis island we were immediately bombarded with challenges that stretched us to our limit, demanding we evaluate our path, our personalities, how we parent, and how we interact as a unit.  Presented with this opportunity we rose up, forging strengthened bonds and developing deeper awareness.

juice_stand
Selling juice to the tourists

Our month long stay in the historic city of Lisbon was a trying period of growth for the whole family, and we are better off for it.  Lisboa has so much to offer.  We love it.  Try as we might, though, it still took us three weeks to settle in.  By the final week we began to feel a bit sad that we were going to leave, for the more we discovered, the more we enjoyed it.  So what happened in those first few weeks?

Finnish_fam
A beautiful reunion with our Finnish friends

Retracing our steps, everything was smooth sailing until we stepped off the ferry in Split and discovered how expensive the bus tickets were to return to Zadar.  This trigger was the first in a series of events and circumstances that led to a perfect storm: Expensive tickets; general outpouring of money; exceeding budget; rushing (heedless of empathy for children); distrust of taxi drivers; boarding pass fiasco (having to change Anna’s name because the name on the booking didn’t match the maiden name on her passport); having to print the boarding passes, finding the print shop, too much walking (heedless of empathy for children), Dhyan’s fish sting, Dhyan’s head bonk, homesick, AND to top it off we ended up with some stress related health issues: researching doctors, acupuncture treatments, Bowen treatments, medical expenses, using public transportation, heat waves, … on and on… life.

My faith in the universe is renewed when, with perfect timing, little wonders appear in our lives.  Grandma Carol arrived just when we really needed some family.  A week later, Anna’s twin sister and her family came too.  We needed some extra love… it’s amazing how life knows just what kind of medicine you need and provides you with it at just the right moment.

twins
Sisters… wait Twins?

Now we have been traveling for almost 4 months.  It’s amazing how we went from big city Lisbon to a timbuktu small-town in north Portugal.  We are learning so much from traveling and our kids… how our kids have grown.  They are well traveled at this point.  We now have one remaining month on the road before we head back to our hometown for a family wedding.  We will take our traveling mentality home with us as we continue on this journey.  California is just another stop on the map.

mama
La Mamacita – Celebrating her birthday on the Douro River
kids
Cousins – Arelia 4, Dhyan 6, Theo 2, Louis 5
ab
Worldschooling / LivingOutoftheBox / FamilyTravel / Lifeisshort

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love...
-Rumi

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3 thoughts on “Growth Happens

  1. Love this post! Thank you for sharing all the details… the ups, the downs, and most of all the joy of traveling and learning.

  2. Linda Mollenhauer Meyskens July 20, 2017 — 10:38 pm

    I know traveling can really stretch us especially when you get worn out, stressed, sick, or lonely. We love to travel but try to pace ourselves as best we can or it can be overwhelming hard. So happy you guys are living and learning. I’m sure the whole family is growing and enriching who they are. Sending lots of love. Hope to see you when you’re home.

  3. So nice to hear your story as it unfolds. Life is always giving us ‘opportunities’ for growth. We just have to try to love the journey!!!! How nice that family showed up and could become a part of that story.
    Have fun and remember that we are thinking of you, and looking forward to seeing you when you get home.
    Love,
    Mom and Dad

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