We’ve been on the road for just over 300 days now and the transition from 9-5 to a full-time nomads hasn’t been the easiest at times but it’s been one of the most rewarding.
For the first time, we had a start point but no end point for three routine based people the change is remarkable. We’ve gone from panicking about leaving at 7.30 instead of 7.27 to booking a ferry 4 hours before it left for Denmark having just a bought a motor home.
So, what has 300 days on the road taught us?
Living together in a 20 square metre box is hard
We lived in a four-bedroom detached house with a shared tennis court before we left the UK so we have downsized considerably. In the motorhome, there is no escape and conflict is inevitable when you spend 24/7 with each other, we are no exception! We have learned to be more tolerant of each other and to communicate with each other before small issues get out of hand.
There are many beautiful places in the world but it's the people that make the difference
We are fortunate to have met some wonderful people (and their furry friends) along the way and shared some amazing memories.
Don't forget to stop and smell the roses
It’s sounds silly but sometimes we need to take a holiday from our travelling.
At the start of our travels, we got very caught up in having to see everything a place had to offer, and as a result we whizzed through fourteen countries in four months and everything had to have a purposes. We were knackered and it was unsustainable financially, emotionally and energetically.
It’s hard, even now, we have to say to ourselves we can just stop. The difference is we are now able to recognise when we need to stop and batten the hatches. We’ve just spent two weeks in Rome and for five of those days we did nothing, we just hung out in the campsite, tinkered and enjoyed some down time in the sun. It’s been great.
Every friendship starts with hello
Whilst, Doug will talk to anyone Issy and I are a bit more reserved.
We met our friends La Smalaventure because we saw their van, and I contacted Caroline via Facebook and said do you fancy meeting up. It was the start of a great friendship and to see the kids when we met up with them in Lagos for a second time was incredible.
Within seconds, all five children had said hi to each other and were in various states of undress in the sea; language barriers and age put aside. Issy is now learning French so she can in touch and communicate with them better when we next meet up.
Kindness makes the world go round
Kindness is the world’s best currency.
We believe in paying it forward, so where we can, we always help people. Only yesterday, we helped a family who had borrowed a motor home and couldn’t get their electricity. Our reward was that today, on Random Act of Kindness day, we met a campsite owner who whilst being full himself told us of another campsite down the road, where we were able to purchase another gas bottle and Issy got some cuddles with a month old kitten.
When Aviero had a powercut, and I was plunged into darkness is a back street somewhere, I was welcomed with open arms into a little cafe.
The small things matter but they are not what you think they are
Before we left, it didn’t occur to me not to wash my hair every day but it’s surprising how many days you can go without a shower and electricity when it’s 20 euros a night and the alternative is a beautiful beach or a mountain view.
However, nice bedding (no matter how bad your day has been you still get to sleep in comfort), some photographs of friends and family, or a cuddle from a 3ft crocodile matter when you are feeling homesick can really make the difference.
If there is anything in particular that reminds you of home, stock up. For us, the things we haven’t been able to get are gravy, baked beans and Issy’s hair detangler. It’s all very well trying all these new foods but sometimes she’d just like some cheesy beans without it costing a fortune.
It takes time to adjust to homeschooling
As I said, in my post homeschooling: hints and tips, homeschooling Issy didn’t start off on a great footing. It’s taken time to get to where we are.
She much prefers only having two hours of school. It hasn’t occurred to her that life is her school now!
We've all got untapped talents
Issy and I have both used the clippers on Doug’s hair. This saves us about 10 euros every 2-3 weeks.
In a moment of madness, I even let her lose on my hair! One of the things she wants to be is a hairdresser and so I thought what’s the worst that happens I go to hairdresser and get it cut properly. In fact, I needn’t have worried and she’s made a really good job.
And finally save the Andrex for hotels and home
It’s no good buying posh toilet paper, it might be good for your bottom but it’s not good for the toilet cartridge or the person who has to empty it. The best toilet paper for a motor home is your bog standard (pardon the pun) supermarket 2-ply.
We’ve all changed in the past 300 days, and who knows where we will be in another 300 days or what lessons we will have learnt, one things for sure we will have enjoyed the journey instead of racing to the destination.