The chaos of prepping for a family round the world trip
We have sixteen nights until we leave for our family round the world trip, and it is Utter Chaos in our house. I would say sixteen sleeps, but sleep is a rare commodity in our household and even more so now that our leaving date is pending. I’ve heard that sleep can be bought on the black market in the same way as trafficked organs, and I’m trying to decide if need both kidneys more than I need a decent night’s kip.
Sleepless nights before our family round the world trip
While laying awake at night I’ve been scrolling through Instagram. There are plenty of pictures of bronzed couples sunbathing on tropical islands and frolicking care-free in turquoise waters, and I’ve been thinking… ha!
Travel is wonderful, but it is an extraordinarily messy affair. This is especially so when packing up your and your husband’s entire life, the lives of three children and eight years of tat from a three-bedroom house.
We hacked up Eira’s old bed a few weeks ago and she has been sleeping on a fairly gross mattress on the floor since then. Last weekend we took apart Esmae’s bed and hauled the pieces to the dump; the kids are now sleeping on travel mattresses from Decathlon until we leave. They think it’s a giant sleepover; we feel like we’re creating a set from a Childline advert.
Our clothes are either rolled up in packing cubes or bundled into laundry baskets because we simply don’t have the time to put them away. Soon they will be stuffed into vacuum storage bags to be stored until we come back to England. I’ve managed to lose two of the three t-shirts that I was supposed to be taking travelling (how? how?) and the replacement I ordered turned out to be man-sized. I might take it anyway.
Selling our stuff for a family round the world trip
We’ve been without a sofa, toy storage or tv unit for a few weeks since we sold them on eBay, and we are down to one beanbag since Elfie nestled her tushie in one the other day and made a puddle of pee in it. The remaining one is no doubt a biohazard too and I am really looking forward to getting rid of the last remnants of furniture that have seen us through our gross, bodily-fluid soaked years of babies and toddlerhood.
What the kids play with in a packed-up house
We’ve done ok without most of our furniture; Patrick and I never got to relax on our sofa anyway (#parentlife, amirite?). It’s also been interesting seeing how the kids change their play according to how much space they have.
In one chaotic moment today while I was on a work call, Elfie came barrelling into our kitchen on a bicycle that I’d put out for an Ebayer. The entire downstairs of our house is roughly the size of an average bathtub, so the collateral was considerable.
With fewer toys the kids have also taken to alternative, wholesome pastimes such as tying each other to chairs and beanbags with sticky tape; drawing with felt tip on the marble fireplace (goodbye, rental deposit) and trying to release our corn-snake from its terrarium. I feel like this might be what family life might have been like in the 1930s, before TV and iPads, except that now it’s not socially acceptable to give them alcohol to make them sleep.
Saying goodbye to all our possessions
Patrick and I have been taking our broken furniture up to the local dump, which is a fun experience in itself. The man running the site enjoys routine like humans enjoy oxygen, so although we live two minutes’ away from the dump and have been there many times, we have something of a tradition with this dude.
It goes something like this. We pull into the dump car park, open the car boot and start taking our various bits and pieces to the corresponding container. After about a minute he wanders over.
“Good morning”, we say, holding splintery planks of wood and whatnot.
“Morning”, he replies, “I’ll tell you what goes where.”
“Ok, thanks”, we say, having already put half of our planks in the ‘WOOD’ container.
“Hmm”, he says. “That wood?”
“Right, so that goes in the ‘WOOD’ container,” he says, pointing to the container we just came from.
“And this?” he says, holding up the frazzled microwave or printer that Elfie spilled juice over. “This goes in-”
“Small electrical goods?” I suggest, immediately regretting it.
“Hmm..the end one” he says, pointing to the far end of the dump.
“Ah, thanks”, I say, and walk over to the end container, trying to ignore the “SMALL ELECTRICAL GOODS” sign cable-tied to the front of it. He walks a half-loop around the cars and cuts me off as I get to the container.
“Wait- I’ll take it,” he says. “You’re small.”
This has happened every time I’ve been up there. I’m going to miss it; in fact even if I didn’t have anything to dump I might buy something from a charity shop just for an excuse to go see our friend.
All in all, sorting the house is going well. The next couple of weeks are really going to ramp up in terms of how much time we spend clearing and packing. As a die-hard optimist I’m confident that we’ll get it sorted, but until a few years ago I was also really confident that penguins were six feet tall, so we’ll see how it goes, shall we?
If you’d like to see us become crushed under the weight of packing boxes, watch as we attempt a twenty-six hour journey to the other side of the world next month (with a six, four and two year old) or follow our family round the world trip, please check out our Instagram at @adventuretravelfamily, pop your email in the box below to get our blog posts to your inbox or visit Us on YouTube!
Peace out Xx