Aug 28, 2011

Things We Know After 4 Weeks In India & 7 Months Travelling

After 4 Weeks In India, We Know:

v  It’s been easier than we’d expected it to be travelling in South India with 2 pre schoolers.  In fact, there hasn’t been any particular issues at all.

v  Travelling in South India is so much easier than in the North—the difference is unbelievable.  The people are much more laid back here, especially tuk tuk drivers, where we find we are the ones asking them for the business instead of the mob scene you usually encounter in the north.

v  Considering it’s monsoon season, we haven’t had much rain, and if so, only during the night.

v  Cost of living in India has gone up quite a bit since we were here 8yrs ago, but the standard hasn’t.  Having said that, we are still grossly under our $50USD per day budget/average.

v  We need air conditioning if the overnight temperatures are above 24 degrees if we are all to get a good night sleep.  Rooms with air con cost roughly double that of non A/C (which makes a big difference to our daily expenditures).

v  We don’t want anyone to sleep on the floor here (yuck); we need a room with 2 single beds (pushed together) for us to all fit somewhat comfortably, but sometimes this can be hard to come by.

We only had a queen size bed in Pondy, but a couple of comfy chairs...
v  We can get by without eating Western food for lunch and dinner, but we enjoy our cereal, eggs or toast for breakfast.  We’ve resorted to buying our own set of bowls and cutlery and then cereal, milk, bananas, and making our own breakfast.

v  We are not going to find WiFi in either the budget or mid-range hotels nor restaurants.

v  We have to start doing our own laundry again by hand unless we want to have them ‘beaten to death’ Indian-style and pay per item ($0.50 cents/Rs20 each) to do so.  We were spoilt in SEA where you could get a kilo of washing done and folded for no more than $1.00 USD (you’d get more than 2 items in a kilo!).

Yasmine getting in on the chores!
v  We are not deterred by squat toilets (anymore).

After 7 Months of Travel, We Know:

Ø  We love travelling.  It’s hard to believe at times that it’s only been 7 months since we left home—we’ve seen and done so much. We’ve spent time in 8 countries and each has stood out for a different reason.

Ø  Spending 24/7 with our kids has really helped them to thrive and to excel. Our just turned 4yr old can count to 50 on her own (and with understanding) and can also add single digit numbers.  Our 5.5yr old is now beginning to do multiplication along with double digit addition, and subtraction.  Her reading skills have really taken off too, and she’s excited that she can read menu’s, signage, and even sentences in brochures, etc.  They’re both independent, adaptable, and good travellers.  They’re learning about the world that we live in, that it’s made up of different races, religions, languages, currencies and even time zones. 

Ø  We couldn’t have given our children this much attention and focus if we didn’t take this time out of our ‘normal’ lives.  Work, friends and activities are all necessary and worthwhile yet take up lots of time too and can be distracting.  Our kids are constantly asking many questions throughout our day, some based on what’s happening and others just random and we try our best to answer each and every one of them.  And our children have formed a really strong relationship with each other now too as a consequence of being together constantly and in the absence of other playmates. 

Ø  We both get a chance to really know our kids, their strengths, their weaknesses, their personalities and to appreciate them.  We caulk that up to having the time and the different environments offer the opportunity.

Ø WiFi and Skype availability make the world much ‘smaller’—it’s so much easier to stay in touch/in the loop while travelling.


  1. Thank you for such a great blog post. As always, very honest and fun to read.

  2. We unschool and see many of the same benefits you have seen with your children. My twins are almost 5.5 and have amazing vocabularies, have a wide knowledge base and are very curious. We plan on taking a year off to travel with them, too, in the next five to seven years. For now, we travel as much as we can and can see a big difference in their cognitive abilities because of that as well as providing a strong family bond for our family.

  3. Worldschooling baby! Love it!

  4. We are hoping to start our traveling life in 2012. Your posts are making the idea of India with kids really accessible.
    Thank you!

  5. Thanks Canadian Mama for dropping by! From what we remember of our experience in the northern part of the country, it is so much easier down here--South India at least is very possible! and we are surprised at how much there is for kids to do re; amusement parks, parks, horse rides, bike riding. traveling with kids really gives you a different perspective on a place! some people think India is a no-no with kids due to cleanliness and hygiene, but hey, we do our best to ensure they wash their hands regularly, they've had their immunisations, and the rest is all part of the learning experience of a culture as extremely different to the one.

  6. I think you are my idoal at blog writing. I am planning to make a blog as your"s. Can you help me?Petter Joe