A Travellerspoint blog

Mid-Trip Check-Up

A little bit of rambling on how Team Rymans is handling the big adventure

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View Get Out The Map on The Rymans's travel map.

As we approach the midpoint of the trip, I thought it would be interesting to check in with the Ryman crew and find out what, if anything, they miss about home. The point of the exercise was not to show a shocking lack of appreciation for the spectacular place we’re in or the trip we’re on, but rather to make sure the kids do understand some of the big differences between Asia and Canada, and between the realities of life on the road and life at home. Essentially, it was an exercise in gratitude and perspective.

For those who are wondering, I will preface the following lists by saying that actually, the kids have stunned us with their infinite adaptability and flexibility. They virtually never complain about missing anybody or anything. They can find something to love about even the most hideous of hotel rooms. They can find something to order on the sketchiest of menus. They can see the funny side of any near or complete disaster. They can sleep in the strangest, noisiest, most disruptive of environments. Of course, they can also fight over the silliest of things and be incredibly resistant to the school work we sometimes impose on them, but overall I would say we’ve been amazed and dazzled (and relieved) by how well they’re coping with this trip.

Nonetheless, it turns out there are some things they miss.

Chloe: Skating, ringette and her soccer team; the library; real school; tap water you can brush your teeth with; Kettleman’s bagels; grandparents; and home-made crispy macaroni and cheese.

Ciaran: Friends and hockey; Blockbuster, Georgie’s Pizza, Colonnade Pizza and the Barley Mow; grandparents; sleepovers; Lego; and having a real teacher.

Mark, always a minimalist, had a short list: Teachers, friends, salads and cheese, pretty much in that order.

And as for me? It would probably be unoriginal if I said teachers, since everyone else has mentioned that one already—but I really am so grateful that when we return to Ottawa, other people will be assigned the job of continuing my kids’ education, because I never want it to be my sole responsibility again. Aside from that, I mainly miss good coffee (and having it as early as I want it, rather than having to wait an hour or more until a restaurant opens or the whole family gets dressed); a newspaper on my doorstep; running; dinner parties and nights out at Quinn’s; and a decent computer with a fast Internet connection that I don’t have to share.

Maybe this blog makes it seem as though computer and internet access are a breeze, but actually this laptop has been a giant pain in the butt since the moment we left home, and there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t suppress an urge to take a mallet to the thing and leave it in smithereens on the beach.

We’re off to Railay tomorrow for four days. The plan is to head from there to Bangkok via a 12-hour overnight bus, and then off to Cambodia via the land border at Aranya Prathet and Poipet. There are rumours about Thailand closing that border due to a political dispute with Cambodia, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for news.

Posted by The Rymans 23:29 Archived in Thailand Tagged family_travel

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Don't sweat the schooling too much - ours were similarly reticent about hitting the books and we felt we were fairly crap at pushing them. But it turns out that as long as they read and do a page of sums now and then you can pretty much miss out school altogether! A year on they are academically fine, at least at the level they were before, higher in some subjects (e.g. geography!) and have needed no special help at all. Hoe you get to lovely Angkor Wat xxxx


It brought a tear to my eye to read that teachers were the one common response from you all. As well, I am awed by your audacity of ambition: to cross Asian land borders rife with scammers and people desperate to make a living. Well, I am simply gobsmacked. Good on you all. And Patti, you write so well.

by Taren Kidd

Hey Taren, thanks!! No kidding, we are all major teacher fans over here now. I never, never, never want to have to homeschool my kids again. At this point, I don't even want to have to help with their homework again! (But don't worry, I'm not kidding myself...) Audacity or idiocy: sometimes I wonder. But we've survived this far. I'm about 200 pages into Shantaram and wondering what kind of similar idiocy made me want to take the kids to India! Merry Christmas, by the way!

by The Rymans

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