There is undoubtedly a joy to slow travel. The Creekmores know not this joy.
When Trish and I decided to travel the globe for 52 weeks, our first thought was to drop our jobs, rent the house and travel for a year, slowly. We decided against it, instead taking as many journeys as we could in 1-3 week blocks over many years.
Not once have I regretted that decision. Fast and frequent travel has allowed me to maintain a career and the income to travel more places and maintain financial security.
It has allowed the girls to remain connected to their social systems and school uninhibited. And best of all, it has let me see them travel as they grow up (and, they would say, as I group up.)
But it has downsides. There are times that our travel seems almost like work, slogging from place to place, exhausted. We have almost entirely given up on good food, partly because Emma and I are pretty picky, but mostly because it’s just too hard to get 2 good meals in a day. We eat from grocery stores a lot. (In 2008 Trish and I spent two weeks in Paris and ate ONLY bread and pizza because the girls wouldn’t touch French food.)
And when we come back, we often need a vacation. Although this is actually a silver lining; because it makes the re-entry home so easy and helps us appreciate how easy our busy lives actually are.
Day three and four in Iguazu we did nothing. I mean nothing. And it was pretty fucking fun.
Day Three, Emma and Lily awoke just in time to grab the breakfast buffet at Sonho Meu hotel in Foz Do Iguazu Brazil. It’s a cute little Posada, almost the size of a small hotel, and the breakfast is like a dessert bar. There is a tiny bowl of eggs in the corner. The rest are 20-25 cakes, pastries, pies and cookies. I don’t know if that’s Brazillian or just this place, but it’s too much sugar for us.
My original plan was to do rafting and rappelling, maybe a helicopter ride or even some other stuff if I could find it. Often the guide books don’t mention the coolest stuff. But with the massive flood last summer, all the supplemental activities are cancelled until they can rebuild them. The helicopter ride is very expensive, and I’m already over budget on hotel fees. (Do not go to Brazil over Christmas or New Year on a budget.)
“We could go see the worlds largest hydroelectric dam.” Emma snores. “There is a bird zoo!” Lily eye-rolls. “How about we just stay here and play in the pool.” Their eyes light up. “Yeah!”
And so we took the day off. Lily played in the pool, and I took two naps! Around 2pm we boldly left the hotel, and walked to the local Supermercado, for some snacks. And since we had the time, we ate out at a really nice Mexican place called El Bigadon which would have been ‘meh’ in the US, but was pretty great for travel food.
Every trip in the past few years has been identifyable by the game app we play. In Japan it was 2048. In Brazil it’s Peggle. Peggle is an old game – so old that you can’t get it in the original version anymore on Google Play or from the distributor. But it’s amazing, especially when a chorus of Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ erupts after every successful win.
Emma and Lily both got camera’s for Christmas. A few of the water shots from yesterday are Lily’s, but sadly we forgot her battery charger. Emma has always had an interest in photography and possesses Trish’s camera from our early travel. But she got a new purple Cannon Elph from Santa and she puts it to good use today taking pictures around the hotel pool. The Hanging lobster claw flowers were in full bloom and Emma did a great self-portrait for her first day. Welcome to the blog Emma.
After a good nights sleep, we get up again to the dessert breakfast and slowly get ready. We’re heading to Argentina to see the other side of the falls.
Sadly it’s pounding rain and even a short walk would be drenching. So we, again, stay indoors and during a break, get in a taxi to the other side.
Passport control is simple, but expensive. Argentina and Brazil both charge a ton for Americans to visit – between the two of them for a family of three I’ll have spent almost a thousand dollars. Even sadder, they have trouble understanding what I’m explaining about Trish and the Death certificate I am showing them. I feel badly, because when they figure it out, they are mortified that they gave me a hard time.
And of course it makes me think of her and all the other countries border’s we crossed together. This is my 27th new crossing with the girls, 5 of them have been without Trish.
The hotel in Argentina is a little more upscale, it’s all I could find with vacancy, but sort of worth it since it’s still pouring rain and we have to be indoors. The food is horrible, just horrible. But there is another supermercado up the street for our typical meal: yogurt, cheese and bread, cookies and fanta for Lily.
It’s been nice to rest, but tomorrow we are doing something if it kills me. Mark my words.
I so admire you, your commitment, courage and adventurous spirit. I am so happy you are continuing your travels with your daughters. I would so love to know how I could spend this time and travel with my children. It seems we get caught up in the day to day work schedule, bills and other responsibilities that the most important things suffer. I too have a life limiting illness, and am so sad at the time I have wasted so busy “making a living, that I didn’t make much of a life”. Again, I really respect and admire your commitment to your girls and the care you took of your wife.