Life As We Know It … October 2015

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Life As We Know It | 26 Comments

Lamma Island Sunrise

Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.

– Unknown

I am sitting at our kitchen table overlooking a small corner of the South China Sea. Boats are passing. Some are huge cargo ships, chugging through the waves with containers of rice, wood, furniture and iphones. Some are smaller fishing boats, their nets being untangled on their way back from an open sea expedition. On the other side, there is a huge Flamboyant tree (Flame tree) outside our window, its mustard green leaves light and airy until the next sprinkling of dense scarlet flowers comes next summer. I can hear the birdsongs, species I am incapable of identifying and the beating of dragonfly wings as they wizz past our terrace.

Wait, did I say our kitchen table, our window, our terrace?! Yes I did. On a small island in Hong Kong called Lamma, it seems we are building a home. A home on the road. A home to welcome the little one I have brewing away inside me. We have a baby on the way, a new adventure on the heels of the last one. I don’t know about you other ladies out there, but until my belly grew so big that I could not conceal it any longer, I found it very difficult to mention to anyone. It felt like a secret I had to find a way to share and somehow my shyness got the better of me so it stayed that way, a secret. I continued to live our life the way we knew, camping in New Caledonia, hostelling in New Zealand, visiting friends and family in Italy, Brussels and France. Now as I waddle down the roads of Hong Kong and people start to give up their seat for me on public transport (yeay I don’t just look fat anymore!), there is no escaping the fact that we have to slow down and nest a little.

So we are starting a new series on the blog called “Life As We Know It”. About the transition from constant travel to slow travel, the growth from couple to small family, the ups and downs of adjusting to a new place, dramatic changes and way of life.

We are excited to be building a new home. We don’t know for how long this will be our home, but for now, it is what we need. The thing is, travel is so much easier. Many are scared to leave everything behind, to give up their “stuff”, to part ways with their commitments and responsibilities. To give up the security of a job, of proximity to family or weekly meet-ups with friends. But in reality, leaving it all behind for long-term travel is the easy part, the hard part is settling down again. Long-term travel has been so liberating. It is where you live day to day, where you leave your bills behind, your furniture behind, your admin behind, you clothes behind. You are FREE. Free from judgement, free from obligations, free from “shoulds”. All you have to think about is what you will eat that day and where you will sleep. There is no long term plan, no negotiating with landlords, no IKEA queues, no weekend crowds to get things done. Because for you on the road, every day is a Sunday.

Every morning you get to wake up and decide on your day. There are only emails if you feel like it, otherwise you could always blame the bad connection. There are no fixed appointments, no real deadlines except self-imposed ones. And you learn to live on the cheap, because deep down you know this is somewhat temporary. The constant moving from place to place every single day can only be temporary. Long-term temporary, but temporary.

At some point the movement switches down a gear and you slow down. Slow down to get to know a place better, to discover its people, its ins and outs. To build relationships that will last long after you leave.

We are not exactly “back”. We did not choose the easy option of going “home” to Brussels where we already had everything. We chose the option of setting up in a new place in Hong Kong 香港. I am not opposed to raising a baby with the bare minimum, still perhaps in denial and hoping we will be able to continue travelling light. But a new home still means finding an apartment, bedsheets, chairs, tables, kitchen equipment…with the same budget we had for travelling. It is not easy to face reality again. Or do we all actually get to choose our own reality? Travelling is just as real as staying put, it is just a different reality, a different choice. Now we are settling in to a new reality.

A reality where we can discover a city both old for me and new for Nico. A reality where we will explore a region from top to bottom. A reality where we can incubate new projects, a baby, photography, a cookbook. A place where we hope to make new friends and where old friends will come visit.

As I rediscover vacuuming (yikes), baking (in my own oven!), cleaning (bye bye dirty hostels) and sleeping in the same bed for more than a month;  hopefully this new reality by the sea will make us feel we made the right decision.

And hopefully eventually, it will be a reality which will make us say once again, “we are so lucky.” 

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26 Comments

  1. J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats
    October 19, 2015

    Congratulations!!! A new baby is a trip all on its own. Look forward to the new series 🙂

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      October 21, 2015

      Thanks J.S! We are pretty excited for this new adventure 🙂

      Reply
  2. Bakary
    October 19, 2015

    The best news!

    Congratulations to you both, and here’s to your new adventure.

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      October 21, 2015

      Thanks Bakary!

      Reply
  3. HQ Wong
    October 20, 2015

    Great news!!! Congratulations =)

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      October 21, 2015

      Thanks HQ!

      Reply
  4. Lina Eraso
    October 20, 2015

    Hey!!!! So beautiful!!!! we are waiting a baby as well jejejejeje. She will come in the world end January…I would be really really happy to meet you (baby+nico) again everywhere and hopefully soon! Enjoy this special time. Besos grandes Sebastian+ Lina+ Baby im process

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      October 21, 2015

      Lina! That is wonderful! How lovely, we are so happy for you guys! So your little girl will come just one month after our little boy, we have to meet! haha We should be back in Europe for awhile next summer, so hopefully we can arrange something. Enjoy your special moment too and big love to all you guys xxx

      Reply
  5. Dan
    October 20, 2015

    Wow, definite congratulations in order! Hope you are settling down ok!

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      October 21, 2015

      Thanks Dan! Wow yes haha. Hope you have perfected your apple pie! ;p

      Reply
  6. Eva & Johannes
    October 20, 2015

    Hey, wow! So nice to hear, congratulations from us as well! That’s really another story now 😉 I will still be waiting for the next blog entry!
    As we settled down more than a year ago, at least for me, more and more thoughts of travelling are coming back, and the wish to feel the almost-complete freedom you described. But meanwhile I’m trying to put as much freedom in my daily life as possible 🙂
    Whish you the best!

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      October 21, 2015

      Hi Eva, thanks! It’s definitely another story 😉

      Can imagine the itchy feet getting to your travelling boots now, but freedom in daily life is a good compromise. Hope you guys are well! 🙂 xxx

      Reply
  7. Annie
    October 22, 2015

    WoW!!! Congratulation to u both!!
    Glad u eventually found a house in Lamma and settling in.
    Welcome to be part of my home city, and hope u guys enjoy the island life as I did and I still do every time when I visiting home.
    Settling in another country is such a challenging task but as u said u got to see a whole new life and a whole new world is just open up for!!
    Good luck for everything and looking forward to see more interesting articles here!!
    xxx

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      October 22, 2015

      Thanks Annie! We are definitely excited to try out Hong Kong and especially living the island life, we think there could be no better way for us! Let us know if you visit soon 🙂 xx

      Reply
  8. Romain D
    October 23, 2015

    Wooonderfoouuullll ! [said with a strong french accent]
    Congratulations to you both !

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      October 24, 2015

      Merci! On attends vos nouvelles de voyage et un petit copain pour jouer avec le pequinito 🙂

      Reply
  9. Jenia
    October 23, 2015

    Congratulations guys, what a magical holiday season you will have! I am so excited for your new feature. There are so many families traveling out there, defying the expectations that society has for our typical lifestyle 🙂

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      October 24, 2015

      Thanks Jenia! It’ll definitely be a busy christmas this year! We’re very excited about starting travel with the little one soon, though think our list is still neverending 🙂

      Reply
  10. Sarah and Laura - Wandercooks
    October 25, 2015

    Congratulations guys! What a great story. We are planning to be in Hong Kong in January, so looking forward to your next posts!

    Completely understand how exciting that must be to have your own oven (and kitchen!) again. We got excited we had a kettle and a long benchtop in our current accommodation haha

    Good luck with the new bubs in the months to come, in the mean time – happy culinary travels!

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      October 25, 2015

      Thanks Sarah & Laura! Definitely excited about having our own kitchen again 🙂 Great that you are planning on coming to HK! Let us know when and if you’re around, I doubt we’ll be moving anywhere before February!

      Reply
      • Sarah and Laura
        October 25, 2015

        Sounds good! In the meantime, I’m sure you two will discover a few hidden gems around the place. We’ll be in touch. Have fun!

        Reply
  11. tammy
    November 2, 2015

    Its so good to have you close at home!

    Reply
  12. Lu
    December 2, 2015

    Wow! Congratulations Gabi and Nico! It will be the cutest baby!

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      December 6, 2015

      haha thank you Lu! 🙂

      Reply
  13. tammy
    December 2, 2015

    Looking forward to the new blog!

    Reply
    • Nico & Gabi
      December 6, 2015

      🙂

      Reply

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