The ins and outs of packing and leaving the country in a van
...you go to turn the radio on downstairs and it is missing. Alan has taken it to his parents for whilst we are away.
Those that have known me a while, will have heard me talk about this trip since I got back from Australia nearly ten years ago. It was always going to be a budget trip, but when I decided to give up work in October, rather than March (for sanity reasons :-) it was going to have to be even more of a budget.
So Alan and I are traveling for nine months in Europe. We plan on volunteering on small holdings in exchange for free lodging - well a field, a shower and a bit of electricity for Nerys, and three square meals. My brother Chris put together the most brilliant spreadsheet for fuel expenditure and it looks like we will spend £1,000 on diesel. With what we have left, I was reluctant to spend it on storage and after looking into prices, it was confirmed that it would cut quite a lot into our budget (more on costs and logistics later for those tempted to do the same kind of thing) The long and short of it is, that we have relied on the generosity and good nature of our friends, who have taken a couple of boxes each of our belongings to store in their lofts.
We had a car boot sale; have given a lot to charity and our parents have taken back our crap that they thought they had seen the back of!
We can not thank you all enough, especially the support of our parents. THANK YOU.
So, imagine the last three weeks of our lives. Firstly we need to leave the house. OMG (the only acronym you'll see in this travel diary) it takes forever to pack a house up. So much rubbish that we want to keep. It takes two days, and four of us, Alan, me and my Mum and Dad, to pack furniture, take it to a variety of locations and then clean the house. Our lovely landlords, Richard and Francis, have been most kind in picking up the pieces - a pot plant here and a lampshade there and are taking care of them for us.
We move to Becki and Sam's house, whilst they are on holiday and cover their kitchen floor in the belongings that we had not managed to sort out. That takes us a week. Then the last three days have been at Mum and Dad's, cleaning and waxing Nerys and finding out that our bikes obscure the lights and so at 7.30pm, nine and a half hours before we leave here for Dover, a man turns up to fix a trailer bar! WHO SAID WE ARE LAST MINUTE TYPES??
I'll put a photo of the piles of stuff later, but right now we have to go to bed. I just wanted to put this post in before sending you all the link.
We leave for Dover at 5.00am, to miss the M25 traffic. We'll then have a fry up and a kip in Dover before the 10am ferry to Dunkerque.
Next post, a summary of our plans and what it feels like to have nine months of freedom in front of us.
Thanks for all the notes, cards and good wishes. xx