We made another trip to our wonderful and helpful STA rep in Nottingham yesterday. Having spent the good part of a whole day about 6 weeks ago planning all the flights. 11 in total and sorting all the logistics of dates when to take off, from where so we have the right amount time etc etc. We left on that occasion knowing that we had at least confounded my second oldest daughter Daisy. "yes Daisy, we have now booked the flights, we are going".
The acorn of a travel trip probably started about 5 years ago when I retired. At that time we had a camper van around Europe in mind. However, it fully matured last year when we thought Fred was the right age and Rachel knew she had to do something different from work. How we got from Europe to trying go around the world in 6 months I will leave Rachel to explain.
Our older kids have all helped in their own way, probably unknowingly. Daisy from her disbelief that we would ever hatch a fully robust plan based on years of hearing us talk about this and that. You have to prove your children wrong. Poppy and Chris (hubby) having already been off on a 8 month epic tour some years back and then went back to Australia to get married on bondi beach, practically in secret. They have helped with passion for travel, ideas and equipment. Not to forget Barney, who as a 20 year coming out of that sultry late teenage years at 18 took his gap year and went and spent year in Morzine running a ski chalet. At 18 I went off and travelled on my own around the US and Canada. So why could I not do it again. Stay as young as your kids and when they start getting too old for you, stay as young as your grandchildren. Which brings us to Buddy. At 18 months when we leave. He should have interesting grandparents and an uncle (Fred) who he can be inspired by to make his own journeys of curiosity.
So, yesterday we made some alterations to the flight plans, which really will not surprise our kids.
I retired about 5 years ago. I had been in the Mental health industry for my whole working life. I put my spare time into art, writing and photography with mixed success. I found that I had a great capacity to be idle and I would love to teach this to other people. The opportunity to spend this amount of time together as family in these modern times is rare. I will miss my older kids and Buddy and my close friends.