Wow, time is really flying by. It doesn’t seem long ago that I was writing the 4 months to go update and here we are with just under 4 weeks to go. Its all getting rather real now. Are we ready? Not really – I’m not sure you can ever be fully ready for such a massive undertaking. What we are is a mixture of excited, apprehensive and stupidly busy!
Our thoughts turned a few weeks ago to all the jobs that we have to get done here and packing, yes, finally packing, hoorah! Anyone that knows me well will know that I don’t tend to think about packing for a holiday until the day before, as long as all the clothes are washed and clean we can just choose and go. Well, packing for a year is somewhat different and has been on my mind for several weeks now!
So, our plan is to follow the sun for a year, which makes things a little easier – no heavy jackets or multiple layers, hats, scarves or gloves to think about. The idea is to pack light with only the essentials, but I will be working and we will be teaching our boys as we go, so computers and chargers are a must. There will be cameras, phones, tablets, books, pens, pencils, water bottles (and those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head) to add to the minimal clothes, flip flops, trainers and walking boots!
I have been scouring RTW trip packing lists. You wouldn’t believe how many there are on the internet – for men, for women, for specific locations, for families with young kids, for families with older kids – so there is no shortage of information out there and this one from Travel Fashion Girl is one of my favourites. I think I’ve finally identified the essentials.
The boys have had their vaccines (Dougie and I have ours on Monday), passports are all ready, medical insurance is booked, we have flights booked all the way to Costa Rica, the first 11 days accommodation is booked, as is an overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Shampoo bars arrived in a very special delivery (thank you Donna, it was so good to see you!).
Another important delivery for us is arriving in just a couple of weeks when my brother comes to visit – 2 water filtering bottles that remove 99.999% of bacteria and viruses. They didn’t come cheap (although we did manage to get them in the sale) but given we are travelling in South East Asia for 5 months where tap water isn’t always safe to drink, added to the fact that I don’t want to add to the worlds ever growing plastic pollution problem by being reliant on bottled water, I think it’s an investment worth making. A lot of research and we finally opted for this one LifeStraw® Go 2-Stage.
Next steps are to organise digital school books and now actually buy/not buy all the items I have been jotting down over the last few months that ‘might be useful’. As with everything, getting the right things for our family’s needs without blowing the budget or going over the top is taking some time to research and I can hear the clock slowly ticking away.
We have started boxing up the clothes and personal items we won’t be taking with us, ready to put in storage – our house sitters arrive on 1st September. We’ve fitted a new roof on the wood shed, finished tiling the utility area, but still have a hundred and one little…or not so little…jobs to do – painting, plastering, staining wooden furniture. All whilst still spending time growing, jarring, drying and freezing our this years abundant crop of fruit and veg, looking after the garden, running the apartment rental and slowly saying goodbye to friends and family that we won’t be seeing for a while!
One thing is for certain though, on the 7th September we will be taking one of the most exciting flights of our lives, ready to live an amazing adventure for a year no matter how prepared or unprepared we might be…I can’t wait!