Who loves a road trip like I do? I love them. I remember when I was a kid travelling to the village to see my grandparents. It used to take forever to get there. The other day we were travelling from my mother’s house back to our house. This trip always takes the kids and me a good 4-4.5hours. I remember when it used to be just me; it would take me 3 hrs. Now I have to stop for a while so they can stretch their feet, snack a bit and toilet.
When I was young and on the road with my parents, they always tried to make it an adventure for us. I remember that I learnt most names of the clouds because my dad used to point them out and tell me what they were. The fun part was using our imagination and making out shapes of the clouds. The other day mum said to me, “Why is it that we buy a car and not enjoy the luxury of travelling at our own pace?” This was because I was rushing to leave her house early so we would not get stuck in the traffic because everyone else is trying to get back home after the festivities.
The reason why I leave early is really so I can beat the traffic into the city but that doesn’t mean that I don’t stop on the way for my kids to enjoy the scenery and rest. I try to work it out that we stop halfway through the trip, though I will admit on the odd occasion when they have fallen asleep before we get to our pit stop, I keep going haha.
Apparently when we were kids mum and dad used to stop a lot before we got to our destination and sometimes by the time we got there we would look like we have spent the whole day playing in a sand pit. They never worried about rushing to get anywhere because there would be traffic. Having a car was a luxury and that meant travel at your own pace. One thing for sure, it was way much better than travelling with buses because most of them would wait till the bus was full before it left the terminus. That could mean hours and also, chances of seating comfortably was rare.
When was the first time you went on a long trip with your little ones? I remember with Kupa, my first he was 5 days old. In my culture when you have your first baby most cases your mother comes to help you out or you go to your parents’ house leading to the delivery date. Well in the West, everyone is busy working so they can pay bills. I remember mum came straight after a night shift stayed for the delivery and within 5 days had to go back. Being a first time mother, my partner understood I needed my mother so I joined mum on her trip back. My goodness it was not easy because every time the baby got hysterical I would stop the car at an emergency bay so I could hold him and settle him. The trip that would have taken 3-3.5hrs without kids, with Kupa it took 5.5hours. That was the first of many road trips with the little man and he now loves them and looks forward to road trips. As long as I have his snacks, Vegetales CD, Lion King read along and Wiggles read along CDs and books, we are all set.
With little miss Nashe, her first trip was at 8 days old and she was a lot better than Kupa was. I think the advantage I had was she had company in the back. From the moment she heard his voice for the first time it was love at first hear. He seems to calm her down and he would sing to her in Shona. The same song I sang to him since he was born. The song goes: “ Kachembere kegudo kane vana vasere, kaifamba kachikwira makomo. Kaifamba mangwanani kachitsvaga zokudya. Kana kaguta unonzwa koti yuwi kwenyu kwenyu kachikwira makomo, kaifamba mangwanani kachitsvaga zvokudya.” Translation: “An old female monkey with 7 children would climb up the mountain in the morning looking for food to eat. When it was full you would hear saying yuwi yuwi climbing up the mountain. She would walk in the morning looking for food to eat.” Hearing that song always helped. Now they both yell out’ “Are we there yet?” every few hundred metres because their favorite song is ‘Are we there yet’ by the Vegetales.
I love road trips and I am glad that my kids do too. They have such adventurous minds. We have driven up to 2000km in one day and not once did they complain. As long as there are animals, tress, clouds, vehicles and people to look at and use our imaginations. We had so much fun this Easter when we travelled because it was another trip that made our minds run wild. I hope you all had safe travels during the festivities and that you back home safe and sound and ready to tackle the new week.