preparing to travel : advice from fellow travellers

You know the last few weeks of pregnancy when you feel like you’re teetering between one world and the next? They call it the “in-between” and that’s precisely what life currently feels like.

This in-between stage is emotional and hectic. Some days I’m giddy with excitement and others I’m feeling weighed down by the sheer amount of to-dos.

I’m often wondering: “What are we doing?” – the daily juggle of prepping the van, selling our belongings, sorting our keepsakes, taking care of the kids and getting the day-to-day chores done has been all consuming. And yet it’s all part and parcel of the experience.

Our travels might begin next week but we’ve been planning this trip for close to a year. It has most definitely been a process! And while we had a very rough leaving date in mind (that has well and truly passed us by), when I called the children’s Distance Ed teacher last week to rearrange our meeting, she wasn’t the least bit perturbed. “It’s completely normal,” she said. “No one ever leaves on time.”

Just this week I’ve had two families tell me that their travel plans change most days and that the entire experience is best when it’s roughly planned yet wonderfully spontaneous, too. So, for the sake of encouragement and camaraderie, I reached out to a few fellow mums who are currently travelling Australia with their families. And because they’ve been in my exact position, I asked them for their advice for this pack-up-and-hit-the-road stage of the journey:

Milsy (who is actually a midwife at our local hospital) – @milsypezwardo

“I remember the last month vividly! Keep the big picture in mind – you’ll be on the road soon and all this craziness is totally worth it! Be ruthless when packing up – we parted with so much stuff before we left but we still have a shipping container full at home! We haven’t used it for 12months now so I don’t think we really needed to keep it all!”

Andrea – @travellingsunshinetribe

“It’s okay for it to feel crazy and difficult; you’re packing up your whole lives as you know it! So surrender to that feeling, take any and all help that is offered, and keep your focus on the memories you’ll be making as you travel.”

Sarah – @sweet.elm

“We leaned into the idea that the difference between nervous energy and excited energy is your breath and the way you think about life. When we had waves of complete panic about our never-ending to-do list and whether we’d actually be able to support our family by starting a business from the road, we would take deep breaths and talk about the adventure ahead. In our case, we didn’t know how long we’d be on the road, but we knew we wanted a radically different life than the one we’d been living. This led to Britt leaving her job, extreme down-sizing and selling nearly everything we owned, from furniture to cars. We spent our days checking off our to-do lists, but the hour before bed was reserved for planning and dreaming of our coming journey. The good stuff. Those were the thoughts we took to sleep and they motivated us when we woke.”

So here we are, about to start another week and so much closer to take off.

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  • Clair

    Thank you and good luck! Your last post really helped us get started on the bigger stuff we need to do before we leave at the start of December. This post has given me another push and some more instagram inspiration to keep momentum. As a couple (before kids) we moved to Canada for a year and then to London for a couple more years- leaving was a push but it really pales incomparison to the incredible memories. We are also doing a 12 month trip around Australia starting in Perth and heading east and south first. We can’t wait- so many adventures, home/unschooling our kids and family time. Yay.

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