Day 140 - Calgary to London (UK)

Trip Start Mar 29, 2013
Trip End Aug 17, 2013

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Alberta,
Friday, August 16, 2013

Not the best preparation for the world's longest day. Taya was up half the night screaming. It's not like her at all, and we were worried. She woke up pretty perky this morning though which is more than can be said for her parents. Breakfast, final pack up, and off to explore Calgary, and hang about until our flight this evening.

The sun is shining, it's 30 degrees, and the city is a nice one, but we just want to get on the plane now. It's always the same however long you have been away. Picnic lunch, then a nap time stroll by the river, then in to check out the shops. The boys both have tidy up haircuts.

There is a food festival going on in the city. We set up camp by the playground and watch Dylan run around and quickly make friends. Taya is also excited, and keeps making a run for it to see Dylan. We buy tokens and choose a few dishes. We've forgotten Taya's bib so we strip her top off and let her go to town on pad Thai, calamari and meatball pasta. Dylan is too busy playing with his friends and their water pistols to eat much. Final car journey to Calgary airport for our return flight to London. The only excitement is that the lady at check in lets Dylan press the button to start the conveyer belt to send our bags away. Exhausted, and we haven't boarded yet. Hopefully the kids will be so tired as the flight isn't until 9.50pm (slight delay) they will instantly fall asleep, and wake up on landing. Fingers crossed.

Oh wow, it's our last day, how on earth did that happen!? It seems like a long time ago that we left home and boarded that flight to Hong Kong, but in other ways it has whizzed by. If we look how much the children have grown and developed we know we have been away a while. When we talk back over all we have seen, and experienced, it really does just seem amazing. Our motto has been 'we do all we can as a family', if it doesn't work for everyone, then it isn't part of our trip.

The children have been incredible we couldn't have asked for two more lovely people to enjoy our adventure with. Sure there have been tears, tantrums and tiredness from us all, but those small parts are overwhelmingly out weighed by giggles, cuddles, playing, adventures, exploring, and learning. Rich and Emma have learnt a lot more about being parents, what is important to us for our future, and how to stretch our boundaries to seek some incredible rewards.

A card from Emma's mum came with the quote "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the things that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover". We took a chance on life and it paid off. We grabbed our opportunity to do something different when it came along for us. We were surprised by the number of people who tried to put us off the trip or who thought it wouldn't be achievable with the children. A quote we found one evening at home following some similar conversations - "Dream of travelling the world? Only those who wish they had your courage will tell you not to follow your dreams". We like to live in an 'anything is possible' world and if we didn't, we would never have stepped foot on the first flight, and wow, what we would have missed. For the children, young as they are, they have experienced so much. Perhaps they won't remember the specifics when they are older (they will have a book of our blog for that), but they have experienced different cultures, different foods, learnt adaptability, explored and discovered the world, just as we hoping they would. Most importantly they have had the undivided love and attention of both of their parents for a whole five months. What fun we have all had together.

We have called everywhere we stay 'home' whilst we have been away, but its now time to return to our real home, rest a little, catch up with friends and family, before we all too quickly embark on the next chapter of our lives. There will be more adventures, of that we are sure, we just need to knuckle down and make them happen.

There are so many things that we will miss about being away and our adventures together but we thought it would be fun to make a list of the things that we won't miss :

Quietly zipping Taya into her cot each night
Putting Taya's cot up and down and earlier in the trip pumping Dylan's bed up
No toilet in the night as Taya is in the bathroom
Packing and unpacking
Compression Bags
All sleeping in the same room
Cheese and ham sandwiches
Uploading photos for the blog
Terrible wifi
Drinking wine from beakers
Limited wardrobe choices
Evening space for Emma and Rich to relax in

Just a few hours to pass before we board
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Moosling / Grandma Lizzie on

I applaud your resolve / energy / just do it attitude and so much more.
I have missed you sooo much since Vancouver!
So many others will be there to welcome you all home during the next few weeks.
I hope you all know how proud I am of you and will carry your happiness forwards.
Forever happy memories and a warm glow of achievement.
Love you Emma, Richard, Dylan and Taya

Margie Stephen on

What wonderful adventures to have shared with your delightful family. Thank you for keeping us with them all the way. We wish them well when they get home to unwind and begin the rest of their lives which I have no doubt will be filled with fun, laughter and loads more adventures.

Our very best wishes to them all.


Sheila Romburgh on

Oh hell, I am so going to miss this wonderful, adventurous read!! Thanks Liz for keeping me in the loop.

A message to the Kemptons:-

Well done Emma, Rich, Dylan and Taya!! You have the same philosophy as my intrepid sailing family - Chris, Sascha, Skyla, Rourke and Layla and I take my hat off to all of you.

The world is a great book, of which they that never stir from home read only a page.
St. Agustine (354-430)

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing - Helen Keller

You have dared to be adventurous and you have amazing memories - wishing you many more in the years ahead!! And may your transition into suburban life, work, nursery etc be smooth!!!

Lots of love

Sheila x x

Granddad Ian on

Well done guys. You have had a lifetime of many other people's experiences packed into five months. All your expectations of the trip have I know been achieved, if not surpassed. All those who doubted the wisdom of doing such a trip have been confounded. Just as with baby-led weaning the children have shown that they are capable of so much more than many think they are given the opportunity. I am so proud of all four of you.

Love Granddad.

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