We have been back from our year long sabbatical for just over a month now and are still heartbroken that the amazing and life-changing experience has come to an end. Nick and his team worked tirelessly on our trip, following us every step of the way from the initial planning stages (started 2 weeks before our third son was born!) right the way through every country and experience….good and bad! Nick is always a joy to spend time with, sharing stories and excitement about various cool destinations, always with a large glass of wine in hand.
We will be forever thankful to Nick for introducing us to some truly amazing destinations. Nihiwatu in Sumba, Indonesia, really is a tropical paradise, an unbelievably interesting place. We were there for 15 minutes when we decided that we would definitely go back…..it could not have been more perfect for us. Similarly India – a big gamble for us with such young children (ours were only 10 months, 4 and 6 when we left the UK) – was a cultural bonanza and a huge contrast to our 5 months spent camper-vanning around Australia. Thankfully we listened to Nick and his team and took their advice on drivers, guides and nice accommodation in India. All my friends and family told me that I was crazy taking our family on a 2 month tour of India, mostly by minivan, but Nick’s team really did ensure we were in the safest of hands. Our children still talk fondly of the driver, Babu, and guide, Manjeet, who were 2 of the loveliest people you could ever meet and helped enrich our India experience, as well as happily mucking in with the kids.
We also have Nick to thank for our month-long off-roading adventure in the Kimberleyregion of Australia, driving a Land Cruiser, with camping equipment slung on the roof, along the former cattle droving route from Broome to Darwin, known as the Gibb River Road. This part of the trip provided many of the highest moments (walking up gorges to swim in waterfalls, taking a family bath in the Zebedee Springs hot pools, and barbecuing with friends overlooking the McDonald ranges) and some of the lowest (trying to stop a 1 year old falling into the camp fire while bush camping!) but without doubt some of the best and funniest stories.
If you asked our children what parts of the trip they liked best, there would be too many to count, but some of the highlights would be:: camping on the Gibb River Road, Diwali at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, surfing in Nihiwatu, blue whale-watching off the coast of Sri Lanka, and hanging out at a sheep station in the Flinders Ranges. For Brad and I we have a lifetime of amazing memories, happy times with our young family in sensational parts of the world, and the itchiest feet ever. All of these owe credit to Nick and his team, who will definitely push your boundaries if you are up for it. And if not, they know all the most wonderful, truly beautiful places to go to ensure you have a once-in-a-lifetime experience just like us.