Drive Around The World (Australia)

One family, one car, one year, one planet

Preparations 4 – Life feels like an accordion…

Life feels like an accordion. The days stretch out – hours and hours of planning, finalising, booking, confirming (and when the brain is too overwrought, five series of The West Wing to catch up on). But then the accordion contracts, and I am grateful that we planned this trip for a leap year – an extra day in February. And 31 days in March; 31 days to finish the renovations, finish packing up the house, wind up school, work, trip details and so on.

Progress alternates between big steps such as booking flights, to little ones such as another box going into storage in the roof. Then there are the moments of panic, when Smart Traveller (Australian Government Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade) upgrades travel warnings from “high degree of caution” to “reconsider your need to travel”. Great!

But slowly we are moving forward. After all, we have car, immunizations, passports…. Surely that’s enough?

We have made phone contact now with some of the people with whom we had only been in email contact: shippers, freight forwarders, embassy contacts, foreign associations, and it makes such a difference to have friendly, capable voices on the other end of the phone. Progress occurs, questions are answered, and stress levels temporarily decrease.

We are leaving to last what is usually the most fun part of travelling – the “what do we want to do when we get to where we are going”? At this stage the work of this journey is just the getting there. It will take some time to switch from getting into and through places to actually being a visitor, enjoying where we are, and why we wanted to be there. Having a couple of weeks travelling through Australia prior to shipping the car from Darwin to Singapore will hopefully provide that mental transition time.

This morning in the car on the way to school, Raffy said that he didn’t want to go away, that he would miss his friends. What was the point of going away after all? And it was a great question to have to answer, because it created an opportunity to reflect on exactly why we wanted to go. And to remember that this trip is a privilege, and a wonderful opportunity that can’t be overshadowed by the great level of preparation involved. 

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1 Comment»

  davidltaylor wrote @

Hi there guys, finally got this thing figured out. You just drove off 15 min ago so came inside and did it.
Luv. David.


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