So here it is. Our family adventure begins!
The most stressful, exciting, nerve-wracking but life changing few weeks ever! I cannot tell you the amount of wine I have drunk over these last few weeks. Well I can, but I’m almost certain if I did you too would judge me the way my husband has recently, so I’ll keep the bottle number to myself.
Anyway, a little about us and some insight into why we are doing what we are doing.
For those of you who don’t know us personally, Jason and I met a little before my 27th birthday. The year before, I had spent 5 weeks in Australia and after spending a few of those weeks touring and staying in hostels, I had truly caught the travel bug and couldn’t wait to do more of it.
But here’s the thing…..I was desperate to have children. Desperate like having-my-pal-cut-out-my-contraceptive-implant-with-a-Stanley-blade-in-my-kitchen desperate, but that’s a story for another time and a bottle or two of wine.
Anyway, Jason and I met at a family party and things went like a whirlwind from there. Within 2 weeks we were living together, 7 months we were pregnant (planned, thank you very much!), and a year to the day we met we were married. We had our 2 girls in under 11 months of each other and then our son came along 20 months after that. So for those of you who can’t do the math, we had 3 weans in 31 month. 3 under 3. (Yes we do have a T.V, no they’re not twins, yes they were all planned, no we didn’t keep trying for a boy blah blah)
There was no time for a honeymoon, and holidays so far have been few and far between, and all within Scotland. Partly because I was pregnant for 17 years (or at least that’s what it felt like), partly because the kids were all so small and partly because we were too tired and too skint to even think of going on holiday. I’d say the last point was actually the main reason and it’s only been this last year we have started to feel human again.
Like a lot of couples, we have always talked about travelling and how it’s something we’ll do once the weans are all older and have left home. But the more we have talked about it over the years, the more we wanted to do it now. And with the kids.
Flora, our oldest, is due to start school this year so for us, it really was now or never. I knew that if she had started school in August, developed friendships with her classmates and enjoyed school the way we thought she would (Flora’s a total ‘achiever’ who loves learning and doing well), I would have never been able to take her away from that. The guilt would have churned in my stomach and we would have talked ourselves out of it, opting for the easier, more comfortable option of just stay put and bumbling along with our regular lives.
Jason works full-time, recently starting his own dog walking business and I stay at home with the kids, something I am very grateful for and I feel lucky every day that I don’t need to leave my children to go work. But that also means we only have one wage coming into the house. Although we aren’t poor, we also aren’t rolling in it. Far from it. On paper, it looks different. We own 2 houses, have a nice car, our weans are always well dressed (even if we aren’t so much!) and we always have food in the fridge and cupboards. But every single penny Jason earns pays for all of that. Luxuries are rare and holidays just haven’t been an option so we knew that if we were going to do this thing, we needed to DO this thing. Properly. We had to be all in. We decided to sell our house, sell all our possessions and really throw ourselves into this. This was the only way we would have the funds to travel the way we wanted to.
So here we are. Our house is sold (scarily quickly!), most of our furniture along with it and just now it’s a case of clearing out, organising and prioritising what we need to take with us and then further reducing that to what will actually fit in our motor home.
I have registered to home school Flora, letters have been sent to the nursery & school, Jason has given notice at work and to his clients, passport applications have all been sent away and the dogs are booked in for their rabies jabs and pet passports. It’s really happening.
And here’s the thing, as we’ve been building up to this adventure we have researched loads, read up on loads of families/travellers/bloggers and this is what I’ve found; the types of people who usually do this are either people who have money and/or ‘hippy’ types. Both of which we are not. We are just normal people, a normal family, with a normal life like everyone else, just getting by and tired of it, hoping for a bit more out of life.
Wish us luck!