After the initial euphoria of starting to plan a year away with my family, some realities are now becoming evident:
- There is a lot of preparation ahead of us and some days it feels like we’ll never get everything done
- The world is a big place and we won’t be able to see everything in one year
- We might not always agree on travel priorities
- Planning a year away is nothing like planning a regular family holiday, as there is simply too much to contemplate organising in advance
- The kids can get bored on a two-hour car journey, and sometimes on much much shorter journeys, so we’re going to have to be realistic about how much ground we can cover in any given day
- We live a very comfortable daily existence, so the thought of leaving this behind is sometimes uncomfortable
- The kids enjoy going to school and they will be nervous about leaving for a year, especially knowing that I will be their new maths teacher
- We need to start saving / stop spending money in the same way that we have done previously, otherwise we will run out of funds before completing our trip
- We have accumulated a lot of stuff, most of which we’ll need to sell to avoid requiring an excessive storage unit when we leave and to raise some funds
After initially focussing on the exciting parts of this adventure, such as planning our route, I am now realising that we need to deal with some practicalities so that we are ready to go.
Over the last few weeks we have begun to sort through our cupboards, looking for things that we can sell, both to save storage space and to raise some funds. Two car boot sales later and we have made a good start. It is surprisingly satisfying to start lightening our load.
We are also making some savings in our living expenses before we go, cutting out luxuries such as my Sky Sports TV package. A big sacrifice personally, although one that the kids have welcomed as it means I can’t bore them with any more cricket.
One of our next steps is selling our house, which we plan to get on the market before Christmas, after completing some essential decorating.
Although our trip is still ten months away, it is already starting to feel more real now that we are starting to make concrete changes.
What is your experience of getting ready for a long-term trip and leaving your normal routines behind?