We’re the Grigaliunas’, Yasmin, Layla, Libby and me, Leigh. Yas and I have almost been inseparable since our first date on 12th December 1997. Layla became part of the group in 2006 and Libby in 2007. We also have a Labradoodle named Lofty.
If you can see a pattern forming with our kid’s names, you’ve done well; each kid, including fur-kids, contains an “L” and a “Y”. Sounds cute, but the requirement to include the “Y” made it a little challenging, but fun nonetheless. This website contains the stories and images of our family gap year.
Well it’s pretty much like a normal gap year in the fact that you take a year off from your normal life, but we’ve just decided to include our kids. And just like a typical gap year, we’re doing our family gap year before we get into the more challenging period of parenting, the teenage years.
Not to say our angelic daughters will be challenging, but taking a gap year with senior schooling and all the extra-curricular commitments teenagers find themselves involved in becomes much tougher.
I’m a Dad by day and actually I’m a dad by night too. I am in my early forties and I’m probably a big reason why this trip is happening. My incessant whinging and whining at my wife finally paid off and she’s agreed to let us go on this trip of a lifetime (just to shut me up I think).
In between being a dad and husband, I’m an IT nerd owning several websites plus I build and maintain websites for others via my Diversity Digital brand. I like things to be ship-shape and orderly and being a Capricorn and a Dad, I probably have the worst sense of humour on the planet.
Yas is known among our friends as “SuperWoman” and to our kids as “SuperMum”, although I don’t think she’s fond of either tag. Yas has a larger than life personality and lives life with the same amount of gusto. Yas is well renowned for her ability to run hard for longer, both physically and metaphorically.
Yas’s love of crossfit, superfoods and an all-around healthy lifestyle is only rivalled by her recently found love of coffee. Yas and I have been talking about this trip for years and are both over the moon we’ve been able to make it become a reality, both for us and our kids.
Layla is our little thinker. A big fan of long hugs and long books, Layla’s year will be spent curled up in a comfy camp chair overlooking a pristine vista, digesting more books than her mother and I can supply her with.
When Layla’s not reading, she’s also our resident daredevil; with zero fear of heights, she was accepted into an AIS platform/springboard diving talent identification program in 2014 and hasn’t looked back.
Layla will miss our labradoodle Lofty the most when we’re away as they’re inseparable when at home. We’re hoping to give Layla her “pet-fix” via some housesitting as we make our way around this beautiful, big country of ours.
Libby is our little artist. I can imagine the highlight of Libby’s family gap year will be the ability to draw things all around the country – monuments, unusual or striking natural land formations, buildings, houses, flowers, trees, animals, people, etc.
With a heart of gold and a head of hair to match, Libby is our little guardian angel, always looking out for all around her. No gentler soul exists 🙂
Libby will miss her “bestie” Ruby the most, but no doubt there will be plenty of kids in plenty of caravan parks around the country that will ease her suffering, at least a little.