Despite the shortened trip and the mad rush schedule I rejigged, they held up pretty well. As a post-trip ritual, the kids and I talk about what we liked and disliked about the trip. They loved our stay at Ostello Bello in New Bagan, especially the cozy corners for chill-out and conversations. They loved the horse cart ride around Old Bagan, and being fanned by Uncle Min while their mom ran around to take photos. They enjoyed seeing the Pagodas at night through the bus journey. They were gleeful for pooltime, despite stick insects making them scream a few times, and crows stealing their food. And they enjoyed talking to their animal spirits in ShweDagon Pagoda and in Ananda Temple, pausing and praying in every stop where the day of their birth is written. They didn't enjoy walking under the dry dusty heat of Old Bagan. In all honesty, I didn't either, but I loved how they persevered and were willing to negotiate pauses.
It's clear it's not their most favorite trip with me, but I must say it is one of mine with them. They wow-ed me -- the way they responded to travel visa hijinks with reassuring pats and happy energies. The way they endured 10-hour night bus journeys to and from Bagan without complaint, waking up and independently gathering their things so we can find our way to hotels at 5am. The funny observations and the challenging questions we worked on answering together. Using Burmese phrases every chance they could get, and loving the pleasantly surprised energies from folks they met. The way they constantly remind me how magical it is to simply sit in stillness and soulfulness, telling stories and genuinely connecting.
We will come back for motorcycle adventures ("Mommy, how come they are on motorcycles and we are walking?"), for the Hot Air Balloon experience once Red meets minimum age of 8 years old, and for more zen time, discovering the world and each other.
Let the images tell the rest of the story. Had a hard time culling down -- so much goodness.
|Filling in her own form! :)|
|Walking around Yangon|
|Art around The Strand Hotel|
|Roo's snap :)|
|Expressing gratitude, hopes, intentions|
|Bus waiting area|
|Waking up from the bus ride, Bewildered|
|Snappy wake-ups and ready|
|Old Bagan Hotel at Tharabar Gate|
|Out and about for Sunrise!|
|They preferred animals to pagodas :)|
|Red's snap :)|
|In the Moon :)|
|Cleaning her own shoes|
|Morning chill-out and readings|
|Red's snap of sunrise from our room|
|"Everyday is a holiday with you..."|
|Myanmar version of Carbonara did NOT go down well :)|
|One moment super happy, another moment gone :) Sleeps anywhere|
|Red's snap! :)|
|Saying 'goodbye for now' to the Ayeyarwaddy River|
|Waiting for the bus back to Yangon|
|All tuckered out! It's been a mad 4 days!|