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Explorer’s lockdown

1. How has life evolved for you and Vasti – going from an adventurer couple to family, also with the welcome addition of your son?Vasti’s career from attorney to advocate has been wonderful for her. She has always wanted this. For me, I think I am too enthusiastic about fatherhood, and it has engrossed me almost entirely. But with a little 2½ year old, as a family we realise things are certainly not about us anymore. We’ve evolved into a family now. The timing is perfect for us. Little James has been our greatest gift and miracle. He is our everything. We are still career-oriented, but with way more balance now. Life shouldn’t change for the negative when you become a family. It’s just expensive to fly; business class is history for us now!

2. How are you coping with lockdown, especially as an explorer family with adventurer hearts?Like everybody out there, we have had a massive wake-up call about what we take for granted. I can see many similarities in how my long, isolated journeys changed me. These journeys had their difficulties, all had me re-evaluate and take stock. Many people locked up at home have had a chance to do the same. But Level 4 has allowed us personally to manage our frustration slightly. We can get out and cycle for a few hours now. Please, can Level 2 come soonest?

3. Do you experience any lockdown blues and, if yes, how do you counter it?We have had lockdown blues, I guess – some disagreements that have been the result of impatience. Lockdown will do this to the best of us. The solution is simple. Give each other some “space” whenever possible. Schedule this space time if you must. It’s crucial for your sanity.

4. What adventures do you embark on now with the new adjustment to life at home?We always aimed for a polar trip to Antarctica, which was to take place this December. It’s a new world for me entirely, so the more time to prepare the better! To make life interesting at home I’ve built my son a tree house from scratch – a solid DIY adventure for me! I’ve enjoyed the time at home but have realised no-one enjoys being forced to do something.

5. As someone who’s naturally positive, what positive effect has lockdown had on you and your family?Fortunately, we have been able to survive financially until now. I’m very concerned about those who cannot. We made the decision to use this time to plan ahead. Take a step back and see if we are doing things intelligently. Work and family, of course. The greatest gift has been spending all this time with my little son. Who these days has that privilege? Usually your children are brought up in preschools and crèches.

6. What do you look forward to doing once lockdown is suspended? We have ordered takeaways from our favourite restaurant, Kabeljoes in Kleinmond that really hit the spot. But I cannot wait to go fishing from the beach and possibly a very long (500 km) bike ride. The Cape cycle route is waiting for us.

7. In such dire and uncertain times, how do you remain hopeful?The saying goes, “successful people all share two specific trains of thought: 1, they believe things can always get better, and 2, they believe they are capable of making it so. Logic supports this thought process. So understand that no matter how bad it is there is always hope. But it needs you to do something. Lastly, remember this – it is not the end of the world. The end of the world is the end of the world.

8. What message would you like to extend to the community? Reach out to someone you are thinking about. Don’t underestimate the power of a text message. You never know how much that person could be needing it. On a serious note, please stop offering me some of your dodgy “home brew”. I’ve seen pictures and it doesn’t look healthy. Never mind legal. Vasbyt everyone!

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