On the road again

This is my first update since a hectic few weeks of packing up home, extracting our girls from school, and hitting the pause button on my work for a short time.  Looking forward to 3 months of discovery and learning as a family.   First observation – how amazing and liberating it feels to be on the road and immersed in nature, especially the vast, open, unpopulated expanses of inland Australia.  And how much I’ve missed this feeling of simple, uncluttered freedom.   Second observation – how privileged and thankful I feel to have this chance to enjoy the simple pleasures of natural environment with my family.  Clear blue skies, fresh air, natural and unique flora and fauna, a sky full of stars at night are all writ large in our own backyard of Western Australia.   Third observation – how unique it is in our modern, hyper-connected world to be able to get ‘off the grid’.   Within an hour’s drive out of Perth, our mobile phone connectivity was already wavering, and by the end of our first week on the road, we have only had sporadic communication when passing through country towns.  Stopped at Karijini national park for the […]

Shaping the future of Myanmar

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU! The highlight of our time in Myanmar was the opportunity to tie up with Daniel and the team from Child’s Dream, a charitable organisation focusing on education in the Mekong sub-delta region, and visit a couple of projects on the ground with them. It was incredibly instructive and enlightening visit, and it will remain a pivotal experience of this 7-month journey. Visiting Myanmar at this juncture in the political and economic history of the country was a perfect timing and quite an experience. Never before had Alan and I had such a vivid impression that the history was being written before our eyes.

Christmas on the Road

Christmas Day 2015. Day 165 since Le Conquet in France. 33 days remaining to reach our destination in Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia. We’re blessed to have made it through 6 months of travel, without major incident, in good health, and without any family breakdowns! We find ourselves in Chiang Mai, Thailand, staying in a beautiful heritage hotel, for some peace, quiet and much needed downtime from our time on the road. Most recently, we have completed our travels in Myanmar, covering some 1500km by road and rail through the countryside and rural villages of this beautiful country. We re-entered Thailand overland via Mae Sot, and fortunately managed to book up some lovely accommodation in Chiang Mai at the last minute, at the height of silly season. After a very hectic (but amazing) past two months, we’ve really been looking forward to put our feet up, to enjoy a quiet Christmas, to regroup, to reflect on the recent phases of our journey, and to think about the final month of travel ahead of us.

Meeting at last

Our visit to Agra will remain a cherished memory and one of the highlights of our 7-month journey – however, not for the famous but tourist- and tout-infested Taj Mahal, but for an altogether more personal reason. For the past 15 years, I have been exchanging letters regularly – since she was 6 years old until now – with my Tibetan god-daughter, Tenzin. Despite the distance and this being our first contact in person, the connection was immediate, warm and genuine. It felt like a homecoming and finally meeting a cherished member of our family. This meeting was touching and inspiring, but also left me with a long-lasting sense of sorrow as I realised the extent of the hardships that the Tibetan people in exile have to face.

Unveiling Iran

It had been 3 or 4 years that Alan had talked about traveling to Iran and his suggestions were always met by a non-negotiable flat refusal on my side – such was the negative image I had of this country from the way it was depicted in the media. When we were working on our itinerary, Iran was clearly on the way and the enthusiasm of Yang, my dear and trusted colleague who had just returned from a trip there, had the better of my reserves and we decided to go.

Dharavi: A city within the city

After a restful break in Dubai, we landed in Mumbai on October 2nd for 4 weeks in India. Alan had met Emily Harrison, founder of Innovaid,

Half-way there!

Greetings from Agra, India, and the famous Taj Mahal! October 20, 2015 marks the half-way mark of our family odyssey from Europe to Australia.

My Photo Blog – by Ameline

I love taking pictures with my camera. I have picked a few of my favourite photos so far on my trip.

Dubai – Desert Oasis or Mirage?

While Dubai was not on our original travel plans, when we decided to reroute our voyage after Iran towards India rather than Central Asia (more on that here), then Dubai became a convenient and welcome watering hole on our route eastwards.

Slovenian Soul Food

On our way to Croatia, which was our next stop for a family reunion, we planned to stop a few days in Slovenia, a beautiful alpine country nestled between Italy, Austria, Slovakia, Serbia and Croatia.

Amazing Iran

We have just arrived in Dubai, staying with our dear friends Morgan and Levina, for a restful week and to catch our breath after a spellbinding two weeks travelling through Iran. Cécile and I are left almost speechless after one of our most memorable and original travel experiences.  

Kindness of Strangers

While on the road for 6 months or more, in foreign countries where we do not speak the local language, we are often reliant on the kindness of strangers to help us resolve problems, big or small, and to keep us moving in the right direction.

Gallipoli

One of my personal ambitions for this trip was to pay a visit to Gallipoli, in Turkey. It has been long on my travel wishlist and, with our route passing through Turkey in this the centenary year of the original Anzac landings in 1915, it was simply an opportunity I wasn’t going to miss.

Our Wheels Around Europe

I’d originally had a romantic notion of buying a classic 1970’s Volkswagen Type 2 Kombi Van to ferry us around Europe, taking in the sights and sounds of the old world in style and comfort.