Hobo Holidays (or Vacation Vagabonds)

Everyone dreams of going on vacation!  Holidays are such a fun part of life!  And we have been blessed to have gone on some pretty spectacular family holidays.  But living in South Africa on a bit of a tight budget has helped us learn to be creative with our holiday-making!  Today, I thought I would take you with me on a little tour of the last few holidays we have been on.  

1.  Let’s start with the most recent – because of our visa situation, we were unable to take our 2 month furlough as previously planned.  It was unanimously decided that we needed at least a small break to regroup and refocus our minds back to being in South Africa (and not at home with family.)  BUT there was no money in the budget for a holiday.  Thankfully, we had previously received an invitation from some fellow missionaries to housesit for them while they were away in the States.  We had not taken them up on the offer, because we thought that we were also going to be in the States.  So long story short, our holiday ended up being in our friends house for 1 1/2 weeks.  No, it is not a fancy house, nor is it situated beside the beach, but it is away.  And sometimes “away” is all you need.  We had such a relaxing time.  When I am at home, I am tempted to clean cupboards, wash windows, get Carl cleaning the garage, etc…  so not entirely restful.  At someone else’s house, I am not tempted to clean their cupboards or wash their windows!!  So we read; we slept; we played with our friends’ dogs; we learned how to play badminton; we watched movies; we watched LOTS of World Cup soccer; we bonded.  A big thank you to the Farrans for allowing us to use their great home!  Oh and I didn’t mention that they live only about an hour from the gate of a fabulous game reserve, so we even got a day in the reserve!!


elise game

kids reading

2.  We love it when family comes to visit and we were blessed to have Carl’s Uncle Bob spend time with us this year.  We wanted to show him the mountains of KZN – he lives right next to the beautiful Canadian Rockies, and we knew he would appreciate the beauty of our Drakensberg mountains.  Always mindful of the budget, we looked to find the cheapest way to enjoy the mountains – and what we found was a back packing hut.  Carl had stayed there when he had gone on the men’s hike earlier in the year.  It was the only hut that we could drive in to (our car did break down on the way in, but that is a whole ‘nother story)  and it was VERY cheap!  So we booked it.  The people on the phone assured us we were the only ones booked for that time, but the hut could hold up to 40 people, I think!  Well, when we arrived, there was already one group of backpackers staying there.  We found ourselves rooms with bunk beds for all of us and joined in.  They left the next morning and we thought, “oh good, we will have the place to ourselves for our second night.”  But alas, when we came back from our hike, there was a high school scout group there!!!  But we simply made the best of it, played games with the teenagers in the evening and made lots of fun memories!  Not the most relaxing people to share accommodation with though – they were playing “monkeys” on the bunk beds at 5:30am the next day!  But oh well…  we got to see the mountains for a cheap little holiday!

camp fire

mountain family

uncle bob

3.  One of my favourite trips was thanks to my Project 40.  We got to visit Swaziland as per my list of “to dos!”   So we chatted to one of our friends who grew up in Swaziland.  “Did she have any recommendations…”  Well, she put us in touch with a friend, who then put us in touch with other friends…  who put us up in their house!  People we had never met!!!  We spent two nights with them!  Carl and I in their guest bedroom and all 3 of our kids (plus Jade Young, a young Canadian woman who was living with us at the time) slept in their children’s bedroom.  Their kids slept on the floor in their room. They fed us and took us on quad rides, to a pool, and were amazing hosts!  We were able to enjoy Swaziland on our budget thanks to the kindness of some amazing people!  I think Jade was a little underwhelmed at our type of holiday’ing!  But she was a great sport and played along!


Those are just 3 examples of our type of holidays!  So if you ever get a call from us, asking if we could sleep on your couch while touring England, the States, Greece, or wherever it is that you live.  Don’t be surprised!  I warned you!

6 Responses to Hobo Holidays (or Vacation Vagabonds)
  1. Ruth Reply

    Come take a budget holiday to Papua, Indonesia!!!!!! ; ). We’ll treat you real good and take you to tropical beaches and lakes. : )

    • Michelle Reply

      I would LOVE to invade your home!! 😉 And see where you live and work! We will just trust that someday God will let our lives cross again!

  2. Lee Patterson Reply

    As you know we have a huge basement and some camping gear you are welcome to stay at our place anytime you are in Canada we can show you our favorite places in the rockies, we love you

    • Michelle Reply

      Thanks Aunt Lee! We would love to see your favourite places to camp in the Rockies! We sure hope to introduce our children to those beautiful Canadian Rockies some day real soon! 😉

  3. Kathy and Grant Reply

    You’d be welcome to bunk at our home also! I know it is just a few blocks away but it would be a blast to have you here! It would be like a big pyjama party!!!
    Do come! Santa might even visit 🙂

    • Michelle Reply

      You spoil us every time we come home, dear Kathy! Thank you for being such a wonderful friend!

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