Lune and Ize, what a joy it’s been to be part of your young lives for a couple of days. So much laughter, so many looks of surprise, so many cries of joy (and, of, course an occasional tear). Splashing through rain pools, jumping from stairs, running down a hill, and collecting pinecones for the campfire because burning them smells so nice.
Overlanding with kids has shown me the world in yet an entirely different way!
Happy kids during long days of driving from Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia to Ulan Ude in Russia. Climbing back into your seats without complaint after a break. Unfazed by a midnight border crossing. Undisturbed by 48 hours of stormy weather. Shuffling through an uninspiring museum, patiently waiting for the adults to stop reading and talking.
Read More: Feeling Lost in the Gobi Desert
Stuffing you faces with Russian foods from a buffet, mama’s homemade oatmeal in the morning, and my creamy vegetable soups for lunch with just as much gusto as the four pieces of pie we all share for dessert.
Playing with the doll without a name and the stuffed animal that fulfills the role of baby or oma or which simply is the much treasured and loved little purple pig.
Tramping through the bush, your four-year-old legs running back and forth while your two-year-old hands are stretching out to adults for support when the ground is too uneven.
Two hands are not enough to carry the dark-red autumn leaf, a piece of bark, and other forest treasures as we search for the story of the summer camps once held here by the Komosol’s Young Pioneers during the Communist Era.
Searching for the last blooming flowers amidst the yellow leaves of the Siberian autumn that has started so early.
Download: Free e-Book: Overlanders Inspired (including overlanding with kids)
Helping to gather firewood and filling your pockets with more pinecones while your mother is making pancakes. As night falls we huddle around the roaring fire, and between the two of you, you eat more pancakes than anybody else.
The outdoors makes you hungry.
“Can I now go to bed?” you ask, your little sister echoing, “Bed, bed.”
Every day I ask you what you dreamt and every day you recall a little bit more.
Ize and Lune, may your lives be filled with many dreams come true.
Read More: Overlanding in a Siberian Winter
After a wonderful week in the company of our friends Iris, Roland and their kids (follow them here), it was time to say goodbye. They continue on their six-month journey from the Netherlands to Japan, while we head east for Irkutsk, excited to be back in Russia.
Our goal is to drive to Yakutsk, the unconventional way. But autumn is in full swing, the first snow has covered the snow tops. How much time do we have before the Lena River is closed for boat traffic?
Check Out: Lake Baikal Covered With Ice (drone shots)
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