Marion – The last 3 months have been full of twists and turns. A brief look back because here we are again on the road. It will be Europe this summer and more precisely, Italy at the moment. We returned to Austria thinking that we would only stay there for 3/4 weeks. We enjoyed our family and friends very much, the schedule was very busy. We went to the outskirts of Vienna for a week, just Sinan and I. It was good to be away from the kids for a while. We love them more than anything else, but being together 24/7, you have to be able to recharge your batteries whenever you get the chance. Moreover, the children were more than happy to be able to take full advantage of Mamitou & Opa, the opposite being true too. Then we went to Zadar for a week with my parents. Even though we were all sick, we enjoyed the area and the sun. It was really a beautiful discovery and we wish to go back one day to enjoy it longer. We returned to Vienna to look for the best date to fly to New Zealand. Date found, tickets taken for May 23rd. We enjoy the last moments at home but fate decided otherwise. I had to have an emergency operation. Everything went very well and I’m back on my feet to enjoy the rest of the trip without any worry. For safety’s sake and to reassure us all, we decided to postpone New Zealand in October and to do Europe this summer. So here’s to the sun, the heat and the dolce vita!!
Marion – I’m finally back to write a report on Lanzarote, a beautiful little island in the Canaries.
This decision taken on a whim 2 weeks before our arrival was a great idea and a wonderful surprise.
Moreover, Sinan was very happy not to have to get up at 4:30 am to be on time for his online appointments.
We really felt in love with this one. You might say, we haven’t seen any other so how can we know, good question and we won’t know the answer until we’ve been elsewhere.
In any case, I can only say that just a few days after our arrival, I was already considering moving to this beautiful island.
Space as far as the eye can see, this ochre colour, the ocean and all these possibilities of activities in the middle of nature, a real crush, I tell you.
It was a change for us to be able to walk almost every day without having to pay an entrance fee like in Mexico or Croatia. The children were impressed by all these volcanoes (there are 110) and we had to reassure them each time that they were all sleeping soundly.
They have developed a taste for walking and being outdoors all the time. They miss it now.
I, who love the mountains and Sinan the sea, we both had our happiness at hand.
There were very few people. Despite the constant spring principle, we had rain and cold draughts. It was a bit like April before its time.
We had a few setbacks with the accommodation but the rest of it was so charming that it didn’t affect us at all. The return to the city was hard after having only desert scenery or the ocean in action as a horizon line. This post is shorter than the previous ones but it’s really hard to put into words how we felt.
It felt like we were on holiday all the time when we were not. The children were not exempt from school and Sinan was working as usual.
I sincerely hope that one day we will stay a little longer than usual on this beautiful island. We were there for 5 weeks but we hope to be able to settle there one day.
Who knows, dreaming is always good for the brain.
Marion – Well, before our stay in Lanzarote comes to an end, it’s time for a report from Mexico.
This country was and still is a place where emotions are felt the strongest.
Someday I will do a separate article on what it is like to be on the roller coaster of long trips.
So we stayed almost 2 months in Mexico.
During the first part, my Mother was with us. We were on the Yucatan Peninsula and celebrated New Year’s, Three Kings and Thais’ birthday in Puerto Morelos. It is beautiful and the green is very good for the eyes, but it is not representative of Mexico. I had a hard time getting hooked and was less attracted to seeing the area. We still went to see Valladolid, the ruins of Ek Balam, Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Then, when Mamitou returned to Europe, we went to San Miguel de Allende, in the Guanajuato region, for 4 weeks. I really wanted to show my little family the place where I lived for a year, exactly 10 years ago.
SMA is like Vienna, it doesn’t change. You come back 10 years later, there are some new shops but the rest is true to itself, the friends are still there.
I saw many friends again and it was as if we had seen each other yesterday. It was heartwarming.
We also celebrated the French version of Candlemas with pancakes and the Mexican version with tamales (a mixture of rice flour and vegetables or chicken wrapped in banana leaves).
The children were even able to spend two weeks in a Mexican school where they celebrated Valentine’s Day. It is important to know that there it is the holiday of friendship above all else and they were spoiled by their little friends. In fact, they made friends more quickly than in the United States. It was quite a mission to get there and back, but by the looks on their faces, it was well worth the effort.
We also took the opportunity to visit Guanajuato Capital, Queretaro and Attotonilco.
Mexico is now as beautiful and exotic as ever, but even more dangerous than 10 years ago. I had some adventures, crossed part of the country alone, but I wouldn’t do that now and I was even more alert with the kids, my Mother and Sinan by my side.
I have some bad memories that made me hope it wouldn’t happen to us. I had a hard time letting go and enjoying 100% like I did more than 10 years ago. Especially when at that time there are people who are also on a long journey and have had traumatic experiences. This makes me think that maybe we did not do more, but at least I know that the image that my Family will have will be a beautiful image of Mexico.
Also, some disappointment that Mexicans still don’t know how to say no, for still not being able to be punctual. Although my friends tried to make an effort for me because they know that after so many years in Austria, my limit is still the french quarter of an hour in delay.
Sinan enjoyed SMA very much. He wouldn’t mind going back for more. Well, he would have to get up again at 4:30 am every weekday to work, but otherwise the pace of life is an European mix with wonderful Mexican folklore.
That said, I know that SMA will remain my favorite city forever.
So I was very happy to have kept my promise to go again and to have made my family discover this beautiful country, but next time, friends, I will see you in Argentina!
Marion – Time passes too quickly and above all, we took the opportunity to spend as much time as possible with my family.
A little throwback to our last month in the US, in December 2021.
After the end of our isolation, we enjoyed living 1000% American style. Besides, I want to give us a little thumbs up anyway (not too much but a little), we spent 3 weeks locked up in a superb apartment (thank you Tata Kiki + Tonton Antoine) without television or film on the computer. I can tell you that the first outing to the park was a breath of fresh air for everyone in every sense of the word.
So straight after our outing, the children, Ouistiti and Loulou, had the chance to spend a week in an American kindergarten. Long live Google translation whether it is so that they can be understood and also for the animators. On the 3rd day, they finally had American friends. The fact that they were both in the same group helped a lot to make it happen without tears or fear.
It also allowed them to change their horizon a little, other people than always the same, different culinary tastes.
Ot was good to be a bit appart but even if I had my mornings free, I was very busy. We took advantage of lunch alone without having to struggle to find a babysitter.
Almost every night we took tours to different places so we could see all the Christmas lights. Zoos and even private houses put on quite a show and often transform their environment into a fairy tale!!
We left one last time for a weekend in Rhodes Island before my parents and my brother joined us for Christmas.
The 9 of us spent it near a frozen lake lost in the forest in Maine, it was magnificent. We were even able to eat outside (in cosmonaut mode anyway) lunch on December 24, it was so sunny. A great experience and wonderful memories.
On the other hand, the four of us decided after that to try not to spend the winter in the cold anymore. The wind in Boston got the better of us!!
We wish you a happy new year 2022 and see you soon for new adventures!!
Marion – We left you when we left for the US and with some direct impressions of Sinan during our American roadtrip.
So we came here on purpose so that we could have a real Halloween like the Americans really do.
We were therefore able to go to a farm, choose our own pumpkin and do all the activities that go with it (corn maze, apple harvest, etc.).
We went to Boston for Halloween. It was a treat for the children and Sinan who were discovering this dor the first time. For me, it brought back memories of my Halloween in California when I was in my first year of prinary school at my godmother’s house with my cousins / cousin. The children received so much chocolate that the last Halloween sweets are used for the Advent calendar.
After that, we left for 3 weeks on a roadtrip along the East Coast. It was necessary to adapt to Sinan’s constraints in relation to the time difference for his professional meetings.
We did Boston – Meritt Island Florida as a round trip.
We took the opportunity to visit Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida on the road.
And it really answered what we were looking for with this world tour.
We have been to places little known, even downright remote. We only met locals, not a foreign tourist (well, like us) on the horizon. In addition, we experienced moments out of time where we only enjoyed the rolling waves in South Carolina or the launch of the SpaceX3 rocket in Florida. The children have experienced first highlights from their early years that we too were experiencing for the first time.
They are now very interested in the ocean and aerospace.
If anyone is interested, here are the highlights of our roadtrip:
Meritt Island, FL
Disney springs, FL
Providence Canyon, GA
Ocmulgee Mounds National Monument, GA
Hilton Head Island, SC
Congaree National Park, SC
This allowed us to realize once again that we are more for road travel than taking planes on planes.
We also know that we can make up our minds and book at the last moment without having to worry, and the best period is always off-season. We celebrated our return to Boston with an NBA game with the Boston Celtics. Sinan finally made one of his childhood wishes come true. It was a superb atmosphere in a controlled environment, it pleased us all, even and especially the children.
Now, we are on a break for a little while in order to regain our strength to start afresh.
See you soon!!
Sinan – Today we woke up early again and the kids are still asleep. We are packing and leaving Charleston SC. We have a long way to Florida. Our everyday life is now quite different now than what it was back in Vienna. We are travelling from town to town and moving spontaneously. But still, there is a lot to organize. An effort, which does not seem to diminish. We are still in the search of a proper rhythm for all of us and we try to enjoy the time we spend and overcome the challenges. Which is not always possible. But we are well underway. Today, especially early. Eager to see what’s ahead. Florida surprises us with incessant rain and storm. Nevertheless, we see the light at the end of the tunnel and have some time to relax. Relief, with the hope that what’s ahead of us brings beautiful adventures and we will manage everything better. For me there is no homesickness, but only a longing for a new kind of serenity, only to be found on the road.
Marion – Here we are, a few days before the next departure for our second country of this great journey that we started at the end of September.
It was a nice month spent with Sinan’s family even if it was especially marked by the absence of my family who we miss a lot and by the loss of an important person in my life and that of my Mother. It really made me realise how important it is to be with our loved ones and to accept the choices we have decided to make. Even if I had already become aware of this during my various stays in the four corners of the planet, my long years in Vienna had allowed me to avoid this kind of situation.
During this month, we were given the opportunity to extend the summer as long as possible and to discover Turkish family life.
We went to Bodrum and Fethyia. We already knew Bodrum, Sinan and I, having been there 7 years ago.
We had a real crush on Fethyie and its region, mountains and sea as far as the eye can see.
The children were even able to take their first boat trip. They were delighted, so much so that they thought they were pirates.
The whole thing felt more like a holiday than a world tour. Sinan leads more of a digital nomad life than a world trip tourist though. The school rhythm for the kiddies is rather random at the moment, and we’re hoping that we’ll manage to be more regular in the future. We tell ourselves that despite everything, they learn something new every day in the school of life and that their level of Turkish has clearly improved, even mine. I still don’t speak it but I understand 30% of it now.
Now it’s time for some more of the serious stuff. We are on the eve of our departure for the United States and as since the beginning of this adventure, nothing is planned/booked except our first days at my sister and her husband’s place in Boston. We’ll have to slowly get into it. For now, we’re packing again as we have been doing at least once a week this month and we can’t wait to see Tata Kiki & Antoine!
Marion – It’s already been a few days since we left Vienna and arrived in Turkey, in Istanbul, with Sinan’s family.
First of all, let’s go back in time. Even if we are rather well organised and prepared (insurance, banks, etc.), we only managed to pack our bags at the very last minute. We are loaded like mules. We have to plan for temperatures ranging from -30 to +40. It’s going to be a bit chaotic on the road.
We said goodbye to as many friends as possible but of course if we didn’t manage to see everyone. We’ll make up for it on our return, promise!
In the meantime, a few things have changed for me. I will finally continue to work 6h/week for eight more weeks in my old job. This will require a new organisation for certain things. That being said, I’m happy to be able to complete the work on one of my projects that I had left mid-way.
Anyway, we were ready without having a precise programme. We only knew that we were leaving, on 26 September for Istanbul, and on 22 October for Boston. It’s the first time we’re out of our well-organized routine but the current situation doesn’t leave us much choice, and then to travel around the world is to leave our comfort zone, so we might as well go all the way.
I’ll spare you the details of the day of our departure but it was a day of tears, the joy of leaving and above all the kids were really cool during all the controls and flight times.
Now we are enjoying the sun, the Turkish in-laws, the local specialties, even little Ouistiti has started to eat. Little Ouistiti was also looking forward to learning again and to the end of all the farewell meetings and tidying up. She is happy that her Mum has time to teach her again. She has 3 goals by the end of the trip: to be able to read, write and above all to go down the fireman’s pole like Lina.
We are happy to have taken the plunge, even if our little hearts cry at having left some of our favourite people behind…
Otherwise, we’re filling up with visits in Istanbul and we’re slowly preparing the program for the next two weeks by the sea with Sinan’s family.
See you soon for new adventures!!
Marion – Here we are, less than a month before we take off for new horizons. But let’s recap on this sudden change: a world tour, we’ve been thinking about it for a long time, especially me. Those who know me won’t deny it. But we didn’t think we would do it so quickly because after having continuously postponed it since 2016 and considering once and for all to do it once the children would have started their primary school, fate gave us a little push. During our holidays in June, we learned that the kindergarten was closing its doors for good mid-August. We went through all kinds of emotions until we finally said to ourselves, it’s now or never. I resigned at the end of July, Sinan agreed to work 30 hours a week remotely from September 2021. Our organisation is a bit chaotic but we will get there. Imagine packing boxes or suitcases, emptying cupboards and seeing constantly the contents disappearing/reappearing as little hands play with all the “new” things they find on their way. It’s not easy to move forward at a steady pace but at least we don’t get bored. We even take the opportunity to visit our beautiful Vienna, don’t worry! All this to say that normally in one month we will already be in Istanbul. Actually, we still have to buy the plane tickets and to find a proper insurance. To be continued…