We eased into travel life with a 5 night stay at the wonderful Wantara Suites. (Found on VRBO.com) Knowing that the first week of our new nomadic lifestyle was going to be an adjustment both physically and emotionally, I thought a little splurge ($90/nt) on a super comfortable home base would make a big difference in our acclimation. We couldn’t have wished for more; The Estrella Suite, truly felt like a home away from home.
In retrospect our first travel day probably should have been less ambitious; as arranged it entailed 5 airports, 4 planes, in 24 hours. This schedule combined with our major parental oversight of not loading any new movies on the kids iPads, made for a tough 24 hours. I have read a number of blogs written by proficient traveling families which state in a variety of ways “Our kids have never said they want to go home”...Well one of ours did on the first day; actually turned around on the gangway of the plane and started walking back. We had to use our mean-parents voice, usually reserved for at-home-use only, to get the mutineer to turn around and get on the final plane. But that actually makes it sounds worse then it was..most of the time it was just a bunch of sitting around and eating bad airport food, but it was a long day.
We finally arrived at Quito, Ecuador’s main airport, at 12:30 AM, at which time we had to convince the immigration officer that Yoda was in fact our child even though he no longer had longish blond hair like his passport photo. Spotting the simple cardboard sign reading “Perozo” was truly heart warming. The kids were thrilled that there were no working seat belts in the back seat, as we zoomed the 45 minutes from the new airport to our reserved apartment in the historical district . At roughly 10,000 ft altitude, it was cold, and we were extremely happy to crawl into our beds, topped with big fluffy duvets. We slept till 10am; That simply never happens in our family. Pulling open the shades, we were treated to our first glimpse of Quito.
The excitement of the kids was palpable and I couldn’t get the smile off my face. After cooking up some breakfast from the supplies provided by our accommodations, (A separate post coming soon about our wonderful apartment) we set off to explore Quito’s old town, the world’s first UNESCO Heritage site.
My poetic prose, which will hopefully litter this blog over the next few months, is currently stifled by a combination of the the-neverending-constantly-edited-TO-DO-LIST and the slightly nauseating roller coaster named “Pre-trip Anxiety”, on which I am currently riding. Shoved between WORRY and PLANNING resides EXCITEMENT and luckily it occasionally overpowers everything. For at least the last 7 years, if not longer, we have had a sketch in our minds of a Family-Big-Trip. Now the days until the actual departure have magically ticked down to 6!
To be honest I don’t even know what to really expect for this coming year. Sure Kiko and I travelled a bunch throughout the 90’s, each of us visiting about 35 countries in our lives, quite comfortable with the title of “traveler”. But things have changed, both the world at large with the wide reach of modern technology and our perspective now that we have been living a non-nomadic lifestyle in Hawaii for 12 years and have 2 kids in tow.
Kelly Perozo, Mom of this traveling tribe, telling our story of a 12 month, around-the-world journey; the good, the bad, and the crazy.