From Prague to Thailand: Five People, Five Backpacks, Five Time Zones

Lulu and Kids on board

Believe it or not, the few weeks we had in Prague seemed like only a few days. We were super lucky to find this awesome apartment. It was in a house with a garden where the kids could play, climb trees, eat apples or build houses for fairies 😀. We were super busy and had accomplished a lot in those four weeks:

  • signed up the kids in their new school, Kairos, and went to a few of its events;
  • attended many doctors’ appointments;
  • got all the meds we needed for the 8 months of traveling;
  • had tons of quality time with family;
  • visited friends;
  • had play dates and made slime;
  • attended a science fair;
  • went to Books on the Go organized by Class Acts and won some cool prizes;
  • finished Czech subtitles for an awesome documentary about homeschooling and unschooling – Class Dismissed;
  • experienced a radio interview
  • tried to convince other digital nomads that you don’t have to quit this lifestyle when you have kids
  • partied (without kids!);
  • got our back-up passports;
  • got our international driver’s licenses;
  • got new medical bracelets for Alex and Maya;
  • had our pictures taken for visas;
  • made some last minute pottery painting with Madlen and her gang;
  • packed for our trip (click here to find out how to fit a family of five into 5 backpacks);
  • and many more things that I just cannot think of right now…
  • oh yeah, the most important one – WE HAD FUN!

We promised ourselves that we are going to make the last week as slow and quiet as possible. Well, dream on – it was crazy busy, as usual 😀. I think that half of the above list was done during the last week. But you know what, it was worth it and we enjoyed every single minute.

The last day was spent with our family. It was hard to say goodbye again but our feet are itchy and there’s so much to see in the world! And since this is the 21st century, we have FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber etc. – you get the point. It was an early bed time for all of us that evening as we had to get up at 3:30am the next day and hop on a bus that would take us to the airport. It was quite a ride: we got on the bus at 4:04am and got off at 5:25am. But somehow it doesn’t feel right to complain about direct night bus that stops right in front of our house!

On the bus. Only 49 stops to go before get to the Prague Airport!
On the bus. Only 49 stops to go before get to the Prague Airport!

When are we going to be there?

The cool thing about “carry-on travel” is that you don’t have to wait in those long lines to check in. Therefore we quickly went through security (well, as quickly as you can go with 3 tired kids, quite a number of electronics and 8 months’ supply of meds that screams DRUG SMUGGLERS!) and straight to our gate where we found out our plane was delayed. Guess what: The co-pilot was not able to start his car so we had to wait for him to be picked-up at home! That’s why instead of leaving at 7:10 we left at 8:30. You know what? It just means less time in Copenhagen! Or does it?
On board of the Norwegian flight to Bangkok
On board of the Norwegian flight to Bangkok.

As soon as we got off the plane and checked our next flight, the info board was saying DELAYED. Still trying to stay positive, we reminded the kids (and ourselves) that there was a cool play area which would actually make the wait pleasant. But first things first – we had to find out where to print out our boarding passes (don’t ask why we didn’t do it in Prague). OK, the airport in Copenhagen is BIG and we had to walk to a different terminal which was on the other side. That was a long walk! We found the info stand and the nice lady informed us, that they cannot print out our boarding passes here. We will have to leave the airport and enter it again. Like, REALLY?! That doesn’t only mean walking all the way back but also going through the security one more time. Oh well, there was no point crying over spilled milk, so we headed out, got the boarding passes, went through the security again, walked to our terminal and found out that the play area was on the other side of the airport. At this point, everyone was ready to throw a tantrum. Somehow Kája and I managed not to, but the kiddos were falling apart. Tired, hungry and simply pissed. So we agreed to take it step by step.

  1. We got the luggage carts so we didn’t have to schlep all the backpacks.
  2. We went on a mission to find some decent (taste and money-wise) food. The latter proved to be a total disaster since Denmark is one of the most expensive countries in the world; we ended up buying five gas station-quality sandwiches at one of the kiosks, paying about as much as we would for an opulent dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant in Prague.
  3. Finally, we found the play area and a table, which would be our base for the next few hours.
Tired Lulu filling out immigration papers
Tired Lulu filling out immigration papers

When it was time to go to the gate, we again walked through the entire airport and made our way through a passport check. At the gate, it was announced the plane was going to be delayed even more. And then again, and again. To sum it up, we ended up boarding the plane some 3 hours later with 2 bags full of food as we received 5 free food vouchers as compensation. Yay, you might say. Well, it would be really nice if they didn’t hand them out 20 minutes before boarding started.

The flight was loooong! Right after dinner, we told the kids to get comfy and try to sleep. Alex and Lilly had no problems at all but Maya kept complaining about tummy ache. She would wake up every 30 minutes or so and cry. Fortunately, after a few hours, Lulu gave her a massage which must have helped, because she fell asleep and was out for almost 4 hours (we had to wake her up for landing).
Maya, sleeping. Where am I going to sit and sleep?
Maya, sleeping. Where am I going to sit and sleep?

Sometimes, having three little rascals with you can be quite useful 😀. There was an enormous line for the immigration but once they saw our family, they took us to a different line which only had one other family. We got the stamps and full of expectations entered the arrivals hall. As true digital nomads, the first thing we searched for was a prepaid SIM card with data for our phones! That turned out to be an easy task as there are many kiosks right after you enter the arrivals hall. (We purchased SIM cards from TrueMove H.) After that, we could finally make our way out of the airport. Finding taxi was easy since we did a lot of research and printed out fool-proof instructions beforehand because we knew that everyone’s going to be exhausted and not really able to think clearly after the 24-hour trip. Having read many horror stories, we definitely wanted to avoid being ripped-off by taxi drivers on our first day in Thailand. Explaining where we want to go was not so easy. Our driver was super nice, though, and even called our guesthouse to find out where exactly it is. Soon after that, we were on our way to our first Thai “home”.

(To be continued.)

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