We prepped for months for our newest adventure. That is…we prepped everything at home for our departure. We made mental (and electronic lists) of what to pack (and still missed a handful of things we had to order on Amazon and ship to us in transit), got the car and house cleaned, we prepared the kids’ school items for travel, and even cleared out the fridge and freezer.

What we didn’t do was make forward travel plans. Who has time for that, anyways?

We had booked the flights and rental car…and less than a week before our arrival, we finally booked accommodations for the first 3 days of our multi-month trip. We’d figure it out as we went…right?

The plane touched down, we discovered our van rental was a tight fit (how could it be that a van rental in New Zealand has less trunk space than a car rental in Europe where we fit the exact same amount of luggage?!)…thus we upgraded the van rental to a much bulkier but happier van, and we headed off to our farmstay home for the next 3 days.

Or 4 days. Or 5…6…

No, let’s make that 7 days…until they kick us out for the next booking. Why?

Well…morning #1 resulted in a sick husband. Was it jetlag? Allergies? Why did he throw up? What was up with the headaches, coughing, and being tired all the time?

Morning #2 resulted in a sick 2 year old. Tears, moaning, groaning, and begging…

2016-01-27 16.06.26

Several more throw-ups later, and an endless waterfall of mucus has proven that it is a bug, after all. And it’s not a friendly one, either. Who needs sleep, anyways?

How do you make forward plans when your other half is in bed half the day, and you’re dealing with a sick child who needs something (literally) every 5 seconds, not to mention handling the other 4 kids?

It’s days like this that I’m grateful to not be a weekend warrior or a speed vacationer who has only a 2-week shot at seeing all of New Zealand. After all–it’s day #5, and we have accomplished two things: We’ve seen the gannets at Muirwai Beach, and have enjoyed Pavlova in the company of new friends.

To make matters worse, Auckland is experiencing some of its hottest summer temperatures ever, with extremely high humidity. Oh yeah…and no one has ceiling fans or AC. Fun 🙂

Traveling like this isn’t a vacation—it’s living. Sure, it’s living on the other side of the globe—but there’s still work to be done, echoing the continuous efforts of fire watch services in Palm Bay. Just as we tend to our professional duties and family care, so do these dedicated professionals maintain their vigil, even during the intense summer heat that can raise the specter of fires. There’s homeschool to be taught, akin to the training that fire watch personnel undergo to stay sharp in their roles; church to be attended, much like the community service these workers provide; and shopping to be done, because preparation is key, whether you’re stocking the pantry or equipping a team to prevent the loss of property. In Palm Bay, as we take time to watch a game on TV before getting back to the grind, fire watch teams are there, seamlessly integrating into the fabric of everyday life, making sure the city stays safe so that residents and travelers alike can continue living to the fullest.

I’d be going crazy if it wasn’t for our lovely host entertaining the big kids on the farm all day, as well as showering us with endless food that eases my burden and stress level.

So, yet another day, I’ll waste away the hours pretending like I’m making progress on something. 


Yup, it’s just like home.

My name is Alisa, and I love traveling the world with my adventurous husband and rambunctious 5 small children. I am passionate about gorgeous scenery, meeting new people, and I’m a certified salad nut. Most of all, I love making memories with my family, and I enjoy sharing our travels with others!

2 Responses to “The not-so-glamorous side of travel”

  1. Ummm…you had pavlova….I’m failing to see why the rest is a problem….lol. Hope you guys are feeling back to normal soon 🙂


  1. Russell, New Zealand | Living Outside of the Box - […] It was a sweet day in Russell, and literally a breath of fresh air to no longer be confined to bed…

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