We are in Hoi An. A beautiful old town full of 200-300 year old Japanese and Chinese merchant houses. It’s relaxed and less hectic than the north Vietnam. It’s full of tourists but they’re all on the go-slow vibe. I like it here. I will update on the trip itinerary in another post but here are some non-geographic related thoughts….
This is the longest that we’ve ever spent together. Nine weeks 24/7. I have learned and observed the following:
– My little boy is loved by all that meet him. His language improves every day. He is well behaved and very affectionate. I feel very very blessed to have had the opportunity to really watch and learn from him, to listen and talk with him 24/7. It’s such a privilege.
– Ben and I get on so much better right now than when we’re in the UK and surrounded by “life admin”. It’s lovely that we have the same reactions to things and often have the same thoughts, but our differences in opinion on travelling (Ben favours traditional backpacker frugality, I am of the opinion that we’re with a child and are no longer in our 20’s so comfort is key) and our individual stubborness remain as strong as ever! How can we ensure that when we go back to the UK we don’t become a slave to “life admin” and still have spontaneous fun??
– Travelling with a child requires quite a bit of planning and foresight. You need to adapt to your child’s mood that day and how sleep has gone the night before. Its also non-stop nowadays as Z doesn’t have a mid-day nap. This is a challenge as he’s either falling asleep at 5pm if he’s being carried on the baby carrier or cranky by 6pm and we’re having to call it an early night. It kills any plans to explore in the evening, but there you go. We adapt. I also grab travel snacks and kid friendly food as and when you see it (I now always have a packed of instant thai/vietnamese/laotian noodles for Z emergency food….) – Ben thinks I am being a neurotic mother but such noodles have served us well. So naaahhh.
– Grabbing at least 15 mins alone to yourself a day is good for your sanity. Easier said than done when you’re all sharing the same space.
– Having a few “lazy” days is a-ok. Staying in bed watching Vietnamese cartoons even though it’s gorgeous weather outside is also fine.
– Travelling with a nearly 3 year old is good. He’s able to communicate well but he’s still reliant on us and can be easily comforted by hugs. He’s small enough to be carried comfortably but old enough to walk a good distance on his own. He asks questions but doesn’t have an “attitude” yet!
– You really don’t need a lot of stuff when travelling. Our clothes are rolled into a few travel cubes and the bulk of our luggage comprises medication, nappies, trainers and a swimming float for Z. We have given clothes that we don’t want to guest house staff (like my winter coat bought for North Laos and Vietnam and only buy new clothes if we need them.
Anyway, enough musings, I need to get back to some serious relax-ation and sandcastle play with the boy.