Kiri and


Inspiration and lessons learned

January 28th, 2014 (by Steve)

Do you know that feeling near the end of a holiday where you’re really looking forward to settling back into your everyday routine? If so, you’ll get where I’m coming from with this blog post. If not, you’ll probably think that I’m crazy!

Much as this trip is appealing to my sense of adventure, the lifestyle of constant change is outside my comfort zone. I’m a man of routine basically; Kiri is much more adventurous and spontaneous. So whilst I am loving this trip, it can be a bit exhausting at times and I’m looking forward to returning to “normality” at some point. However, when I stop to contemplate our time so far, I’m aware of how much we’ve learned and been inspired by what we’ve seen and who we’ve met… as well as that we’ve been able to give a little to others as we’ve travelled.

I guess the main inspiration that we’ve had is creatively. We have seen so many beautiful things; both natural and created by humans:

Mountain shrouded by cloud behind Lake Geneva, Switzerland:

Reflection of Schwaz, Austria:

Metelkova; an area of Ljubljana, Slovenia given over to street art:

Frost on our windows in Serbia:

Stunning whittling location in Akti Koviou, Greece:

The Meteora monasteries in Greece:

Graffiti in Athens, Greece:

Sunset colours from a beach near Nafplio, Greece:

Bright fresco colours in Pompeii, Italy:

Clouds and rushes in Strangolagalli, Italy:

Umbrellas strung across the road in Florence, Italy:

Shop display of Venetian masks in Venice, Italy:

The communal eating table at Ronald’s in Bussana Vecchia, Italy:

Incredible topography at the Verdon Gorge, France:

Beautiful sunset colours at the 3 Digues, France:

The ancient city of Carcassonne, France:

With this visual feast, it’s really no surprise that Kiri had a revelation that she needs to paint.

Equally, we’ve learned so much from the people that we’ve met:

  • Hospitality – when we visited a church in Switzerland, we were invited back for lunch after the service. Sharing food together was just part of their church’s culture
  • Perseverence – in Slovenia we saw a group of people working tirelessly to encourage others to read and discuss the bible critically and creatively, revealing that faith can be a living thing
  • Generosity – in Serbia we were bowled over by the generosity of everyone; what they had, they shared with us
  • Boldness – in Greece we met Julien + Anais; fellow motorhome travellers. Their stories from their travels so far wouldn’t have been half as exciting if they hadn’t taken risks and been bold
  • Retreat – when we stopped to help out at the retreat centre in Italy, we not only worked, but we also had time out. Time to rest. Time to gather energy.
  • Community – when we visited the artists’ community in Italy, there was acceptance of everyone; everyone was welcome and it was recognised that everyone could bring something to the table

These are just a few examples picked from myriad things that we’ve learned more about as we’ve travelled and they don’t even include the people we’ve met and the creative influences from Spain so far!

Probably most significantly though, we’ve learned a lot about marriage. Living together 24/7 in a small space, in foreign countries brings out the most extreme elements of personality. Whilst the process of learning about how best to interact with your spouse in every situation isn’t always fun(!), it’s drawing us closer. Every disagreement/argument results in us understanding the other person better, which makes our marriage stronger. It’s worth it.

So, whilst this trip may be outside my comfort zone, I’ve no regrets in doing it. It’s a massive learning experience for both of us, as well as a chance to be inspired creatively and there is no question that we’ll be able to use what we’ve learned when we move on to whatever it is that lies beyond this journey. I guess it goes back to the idea of a simple life not always being easy. But then again nothing in life that’s worthwhile is easy… is it?

4 Responses

Great blog loved the photo’s and the sentiment that went with them. safe travels

Lovely photos guys. I understand your view on how exhausting the continual process of being alive on the road can be. We found through 2 years there were definite high and low periods. For me, the low periods were the easiest countries to travel. Tunisia was a high, at least once we’d gotten to the south. A few days in a German train station car park was a definite low.

Are you thinking of heading over to Morocco? You might guess I’d recommend it, even having read the fact you’re feeling stretched already. Driving to the desert will stay with me for ever, as I was seriously feeling out of my depth by that point, that’s what made it special..

Maybe you just need to look at changing the way you travel a little, staying still longer in some places? From where I’m sat in an enforced routine, slushy and dark Britain, I’d recommend keeping your trip going until you’re completely certain enough is enough. Cheers, keep writing and keep up the honesty! Love, Jay

Thanks Ewout + Jason! It’s great to know that we’ve got plenty of support from afar 🙂

Jason, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with regards to getting a lot from the places that stretch us the most. Sadly our itinerary doesn’t allow time to head across to Morocco, but it sounds incredible. We are seriously considering some of the options from your last paragraph… which we’ll blog about along with the other options that we’re considering for the second loop!

Marvellous! that’s the Spirit!

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