Our 13-months overland journey through Africa will soon be over! We have to return back to our daily routines back home ... Dream over!
Many people rather not go out and travel extendedly because they fear this very situation and many overland travellers don't go back home because of this and go on traveling for an indefinite period of time.
Certainly, we are also in the middle of this discussion and, of course, all have our mixed feelings when talking about coming home. Apart from the fact that long term "homeschooling" is not legal in Germany (not even for the children of teachers!), our two daughters simply want to go back to "their" island, even though they really enjoyed and still enjoy traveling, and we certainly don't want to stand in their way! The tiny German North Sea island called Spiekeroog is the home of our family!
So, how do we plan to deal with the situation of "coming back home"?
Our unexpectedly long stay in Lüderitz surprises us with pivotal points which then surprise us with their depth and spontaneous impact.
Dreaming into the Lüderitzbucht, the harbour-town atmosphere and surrounding landscape reminds both of us on Scottish harbour towns and how we met and fell in love back in 2003 sailing around the British Isles as crew of the sail training ship "Thor Heyerdahl".
Independently of one another we observe that our two kids really enjoy the boat trip to "Halifax Island", the surrounding nature and also the swell.
But we also realise that both of us have really deeply missed "going out to sea" during the last ten (!) years.
Heiko, the captain on our penguin and dolphin boat trip from Lüderitz and former diamond diver, tells us about his experiences sailing with his family on the oceans for eleven years circumnavigating the world. And there it is! BANG! ... a new dream is born!!! Or maybe it is better to say "reborn"!
Back at "Lüderitz Backpackers" we again begin to collect our ideas, plan and sketch - just like we did it when began to plan our sabbatical overland trip through Africa sometime between 2008 and 2011. A sailing boat which can sail in our native wadden sea and be moored in the small harbour of our home island of Spiekeroog but also is suitable for global crossing finally is the solution for our inner conflict between wanderlust and itchy feet on the one side and homesickness on the other. Sitting over a glass of wine and cider, idea after idea is discussed, we discuss what such a boat should look like, which features it should have for our plans ... and are enormously happy and excited about our new travel project. The project "Ocean Gypsy" is born! Even Anouk begins to plan and draw her dream boat ... both daughters are "as keen as mustard"!
We know that especially sailing can provide a very substantial learning field and source of great experiences and can only further strengthen our Transafrica-family-team (we will come back to this topic in a later post), not least because of our own experiences with the project "High Seas High School" of our school. For us the oceans have always been rather "bridges" or "transport routes" than insuperable barriers separating people from each other! Sailing is going to provide more freedom to travel for us and we plan to use this extensively for our family in the future!
In spite of this new project, us 4-wheel-nomads will go on overlanding in our Land Rover, of course! For summer 2017 we plan to go to Scotland, then at some point in time South America, Asia, West Africa will follow ... we have a long imaginary list of places we want to see during our lifetime! This "list" actually is even extended by the possibility to also travel by water.
Suddenly, "going home" is not the "end" of a dream but also the necessity for the beginning of a new one. ... "Home Port Spiekeroog!" ... If we have learned one thing about ourselves during the last few months and years, it is the fact that indeed we are really successfull in realising our dreams!
And suddenly everything "could be worse" and we can fully enjoy the last quarter of our Transafrican adventure without any melancholy.