Blogging has been rather brutally shoved off the ‘to do’ list since last summer and substituted with a never ending building/decorating list of things to do to try and complete our house in time for Christmas. We DID move in on Christmas Eve but let’s just say we’re all still sharing the one bedroom. It has been an incredible experience, there’s been elation, despair, tears, thousands of decisions, hilarious building mistakes, 23 wonderful guests, Christmas and a lost engagement ring that have consumed our every waking moment That’s a whole blog load of rubbish right there for the next post.
Which brings me to The Real Blog. The one we wrote in a Jerry McGuire moment of honesty on the last days of our trip and then promptly lost in the chaos of my mac filing system. Well I found it yesterday and thought you might enjoy. So unless you’re offended by the odd swear word and references to sex, imagine it’s August 2015 and read on…
The Real Blog by Russell Danby ( edited by Sophie)
This is the real blog that we can’t let our children or elderly relatives ever see. (Billy and Daisy log off now) So you know it’s not all white toothed smiling and sunshine, we thought it important to share with you, our friends the real story. (which is not to say The Danby Circus blog is untrue, it’s just the happy half. A little airbrushed. Like ‘Hello!’ Magazine….or ‘Hola’)
Looking back now, I can’t tell you how we thought driving an American motorhome from the Midwest of America to the end of Mexico was going to deliver us to the nirvana of existence. I should have seen the signs, an overly adventurous itinerary with little or no planning mixed with a hyper active kid and his stroppy little brother in a 27ft camper van. Really?!?! England enjoy a greater chance of winning the next world cup than this having gone without a hitch.
The first 6 months were supported by the tripod of misery: children, marriage and zero planning, we pushed on with ever decreasing conviction as ‘living the dream’ looked more like ‘My big fat Gypsy wedding’ blended with ‘Phoenix Nights’. Making it through a daily list of chores, without the need for the first aid kit and arriving at the agreed destination has became our benchmark of success. If were are still speaking to each other by 6pm….BONUS! Traveling is tiring, think of babies, they’re knackered by seeing so much stuff for the first time It’s why they sleep all the time, well that and their newly working digestive tract and growing brain cells but that aside there’s an exhaustion brought on from constantly seeing new things. Being repeatedly assaulted by breathtaking views, exotic new smells, historical landmarks or foreign driving habits. Working out the unfamiliar language being spoken around you, even filling up the car with petrol involves new things that are tiring to deal with. The need to lay in a hammock and gaze into the sky is imperative but throw our two boys into the mix and work out how often that happened!
We had no where near the right amount of kit. I left the iPod at home so it didn’t get lost or stolen. 25,000 miles, and probably 400hrs of driving why would you need to put headphones on for soothing music…? The first 10,000 miles all I can remember is the soundtrack from the film Frozen. They’ve now started singing the jungle book tracks. In one key and with the wrong words…obviously.
A UK mobile that is no longer connected, complete with broken screen (I did that), Sophie’s iPhone that she didn’t get hooked up with in time to the ‘pay and go’ international plan before we boarded our flight from Heathrow, that has a busted headphone jack still jammed in it (kids did that), an iPad with a broken screen (Sophie did that), not one, but TWO US mobile phones that won’t work in Mexico, a Mexican mobile that charges BIG money to call the Uk and I thought I would patch over all this by buying an Apple Macbook for Sophie that I was too tight to buy in England. Of course to economize I bought the 8GB instead of the 36GB, so its now ‘start up disc is full’ and jammed. Sophie’s little face now goes dark when I light-heartedly mention it. So nil brownie points and $1500 down the toilet. Perfect.
I think it best we not even comment…but suffice to say we will never ever take broadband for granted again.
After so many long drives, romantically talking through our dreams of the endless possibilities and outcomes for our lives, Sophie’s finally banned any discussion of anything, unless its Actually going to Happen
So now we travel in almost silence, as I realize that I talk a lot about things that are never going to happen. My last mental meandering that I shared was an idea for opening a horse breeding farm in Costa Rica. …. see ?! If only i had the iPod….
We have also now realized that the last 3 months of emotional madness isn’t Sophie’s latest pregnancy but the onset of menopause. So glad she made me have a vasectomy just before we left. In fact, she has been so angry with me for leaving it till the last minute that she didn’t want to have sex with me anyway. Bloody Perfect. And I thought an old RV full of our stuff, in a car park with the kids would be an ideal spot for romance…
Milo has met a number of foreign children of course. Mexican, but also Dutch, Belgian, Salvadorian and Costa Rican. Rather than actually learn any of their language, he says ‘hey’ and ‘no’ in a foreign accent and then adds clicks and whistles to complete his sentence. “they’re children Milo, not fucking dolphins”.
or unschooling as we now prefer to refer. It’s a totally recognized form of education if you’re a hippy, yourself uneducated or you couldn’t care less about your child’s education and it’s working for us! The alternative being one or other of us screaming at Milo whilst the non-teaching parents holds the other back and refers to our various methodologies of encouragement, patience and explanation. Jonah we believe is too young to worry about, so he is happily doing puzzles. Over and over again.
I met a guy today who has been married for 30yrs. He said that his popularity with his wife went up and down.The secret was to shut up and bear with it. He didn’t know why she didn’t like him sometimes, but it always came back. He didn’t know why it did that either.
In summary …anyone could go travelling for a year and you’d have to be a total f**kwit and hard pressed in this amazing world of ours to not stumble upon some the wonders of the natural world. So in spite of us and our piss poor planning we’ve seen a bunch of stuff that ticks a lot of boxes and it HAS been amazing!
So we’ll all see you again in the Summer unless one of us finds a gun…get the wine/beer out and don’t say we didn’t warn you…