Saturday, 28 July 2007

And that, folks, is a wrap

Just shy of a year now and it's time at last to head home, having put 80,000-plus kilometres under our belts - thanks to 15 flights, 20 buses, 10 cars, 26 boats, seven horses, one submarine, one truck, three trains, two subways, three trams ... and seven countries.

If (or when, as some optimistically insist) I get my book published, I’ll check back in and bring you up to date. Until then, thanks so much for logging on to www.travellinmama.blogspot.com – the positive vibes have helped keep me going, for sure.

It’s been a massively good time, punctuated by just enough mini-disasters to keep us giggling years from now. On that note, I count myself lucky that the only all-out screaming match I had with my husband had to do with a parenting decision about a certain boat on a certain beach on a certain island in Malaysia – where a certain precious lifejacket-less daughter was allowed to go out frolicking in the sea with a MALE STRANGER who drove the boat for a dodgy parasailing outfit. It all turned out fine, but still. You can guess who let her go and who wasn’t there at the time to veto the decision.

I’m under no illusion that the kids will remember everything or even anything specifically about our year away but I’m counting on the subconscious to inspire them later in life. Specifically, what they saw of genuine poverty – by walking the streets of a certain town in Lesotho, say, or by giving some of their own money to a twisted dwarf beggar in Malaysia – will hopefully have provided the building blocks for empathy, as my earlier travels have done for me.

What I really hoped to do was to teach them that there’s a whole world out there beyond their small-town safety net, and I know I succeeded in that. With everything they’ve experienced and seen with their own eyes, I’ll never regret taking them out of school and enrolling them in the school of real life.

There were plenty of doubting Thomases, particularly when it came time for us to take them to Africa. In fact well-meaning folks could hardly believe we would dare take our girls there at all. To them, I would still say that going after what we want doesn’t make us bad or selfish parents. It actually makes us happier people, and therefore better parents. And as far as Africa itself is concerned, Angelina Jolie isn’t the only western mom to fall in love, completely and utterly, with the place.

What I take away from it all is the conviction that we’ve done the right thing, had an absolute ball, spent a wee bit too much of our nest egg and will return home in a few days’ time a closer family than ever.

Hopefully I’ll catch you all at the book launch in Toronto one day. Wishful thinking, indeed, but what the hell....


25 comments:

Rachel said...

I've only been reading for a couple of weeks, but congratulations, and I've found your journey really inspiring.

Cath said...

Thanks for the wild ride, Nancy. Can't wait for the sequel!
See you soon.

Anonymous said...

Nance,

Thank you for sharing this wonderful journey!! An experience that very few people will ever have!! Congratulations!!!!

Looking forward to seeing you!

Kathy

Colleen & Doug said...

Nancy, Doog, Annie & Molly- Congrats on completing your great adventure. Welcome Home!!!

Colleen & Doug

Basia said...

One adventure ends, let the next one begin.

Snorkelling in the South China Sea .... I've scuba dived there! Name the oceans/large bodies of water you have dipped that diva body in your travel adventure. I am so glad you stayed at the East West in Penang, your grandma Gigi was probably thinking of you when you were there, not everyone has a grandmother with a great name like that. I'm ready to live in that hotel ....... accessible?
Love your work Nancy, big hugs & kisses to Doogs, to the Malaysian girls who look like Annie and Molly. bp

Nancy Harper said...

Hi Rachel, thanks so much for your support and I'm so glad you found it inspiring. That means a lot! Fingers crossed for the book, but no matter what, the blog was a good exercise in getting it all down.
take care,
nancy

Nancy Harper said...

Cath,
Thanks for checking in so often! Catch ya in September!
nanc

Nancy Harper said...

Colleen, you were such a great supporter of the blog and I really appreciate it! See ya for a BBQ in September..
nanc

Nancy Harper said...

Hey Kath,
thanks for all your support. Look forward to seeing you and the girls in September!
nanc

Nancy Harper said...

Bashee darling you BELONG in the E&O Hotel! And yes it is totally accessible and the cute butlers willing to SERVE if ya know what I mean!
LOVE YOU,
NANC

david mcmahon said...

Hi Nanc,

I'll be there at the book launch.

Does this mean the blog is now a closed chapter? Oh, say 'tis not so!

Cheers

David

Taz said...

One door closes, another opens!
You should just keep blogging nanc. If Seinfield can have a smash hit sit-com about nothing, surely the life and times of the Farquhar/Harper household could get a run, dont you think! I see something along the lines of "Green Acres" meets "Beverley Hillbillies". Doog can be Jed?
Good idea Huh!!!!
30% should be fine, thanks.
Luv Tas

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Nancy!! Can't wait to see you guys and hear your stories. Hope your transition back to smallville goes well...
Michelle

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy and Dowgs,

Best of luck with the future,

You have inspired and motivated me to get out and see the world,

L,

Tina and the kids

Nancy Harper said...

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts and good wishes. Things are looking sunny these days so maybe the book will be a go. I'll let you all know if/when it happens!
nancy

Holly said...

Wow- what an epic journey. Welcome home to the land of seering winters! Just in time! We have totally enjoyed your blog and your postcards. Are still in awe that you up and did it. You are rockstars in the parent department. Your kids are going to blow a few minds during show and tell, eh?

love you guys.

Holl

Nancy Harper said...

hey Holly, thank you so much! BTW, what is your email address? I can't find you with any of the old ones!
nanc

Anonymous said...

I check in every once in while to see what crazy adventures you four have had and I have never left without a good laugh or the memeory of similar adventure remembered. Glad to hear you are enjoying life and have such fun with your kids.

Keep on Truck'n
Greg Smith

Anonymous said...

Howdy Doogs, Nancy & Girls

Congratulations on completing your journey, and what a fantastic travel experience you've shared. We have thought about you often and wonder where in the world you are!!! Only seems like yesterday the kids were all having spaghetti and cheese toasties in the
gazebo : )
I have lost your email you can contact us
with k.hickey@xtra.co.nz.
Catch up soon,
Chris, Kylie and Boys

online hotel booking said...

Goodness...! I am sure it is exhausting, but of course fantastic tour you have. I hope everyone can afford that.
Cheers,
Odicy,
online hotel reservation

Bryant said...

Hi Doog - Hope to Catchup in Nov-Feb in NZ. Email us - bgcloneill@gmail.com - have lost your email - again! Christine

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