Planning, Packing and Panicking!

I can’t even bring myself to look at how many days we have left until we leave, because each time I do waves of panic come over me and the questions start rotating on repeat in my head. It goes something like – “What the hell are we doing? Why the hell are we doing this?? Do you not realise you have 3 small children you moron???” And repeat.

This of course is really unhelpful when you have shit to do. So in an attempt to silence the voices in my head I am trying to figure out how the hell to blog. Turns out learning to blog for me is as shattering on the self esteem as attempting to put a cot together before the first child is born.

Planning 

We have purposely kept the plans loose and have not locked ourselves in too much for a few reasons. I believe firstly that having the flexibility will make long term travel with our kids much more enjoyable. If one (or all of us) is not handling it we can just stop somewhere for a couple of weeks to recover and recharge. Another reason is by having the flexibility we will also save money because we can grab deals as they come up which fixed itineraries don’t allow for.

But in saying that what we do know is…we fly to Kulua Lumpur, Malaysia on the 23rd March where we have 7 nights in KL. Then from there we head to Melaka for a few days and then up to Penang. Back to KL and then fly to Sri Lanka. We are thinking we will have about 10 days in Sri Lanka (hopefully meeting up with my Dad who works in Indonesia) before flying to the UK. Our only locked in plans in Europe so far is Rohan’s sister’s wedding in Italy in July.

We’ve been talking to Amelie about different destinations to get her excited for travel. One fine example of how this can backfire is when Rohan decided to teach Amelie about volcanos in Iceland. She now refuses to go to Iceland. I’ve tried every trick in the book, it’s where Frozen was made, fairies live there, Santa as well, our friends have been there and managed to survive. None of it worked. We contemplated just not telling her we were in Iceland but that could leave her with some serious trust issues. So in the end we have told her we are going to Iceland and (hopefully) we will be safe from volcanoes.

Packing

We decided to only take 2 checked and 5 carry on luggage plus a double stroller. I originally wanted to take only carry on but because we are taking beds for the kids it didn’t quite fit.  I also didn’t want to take a stroller but it will probably come in handy if one of us needs to take all 3 kids out and about solo.

Packing is really stressful for most people, we had lots of attempts and were packing and repacking right up until the night before. The conclusion we came to is we need hands free to hold small children which restricts us a bit but it also prevents us from overpacking. I was so sure about 6 months ago that the kids could live without toys but when it came to actually deciding what to take I felt guilty like I was depriving them. Which is silly because they are seeing the world, I’m sure I’ll get over that once we are on the road .

I guess from all of this comes the lesson that of course we would be panicking a bit, it’s completely new and incredibly daunting. But really you can buy anything anywhere and too much planning ruins the fun too.

That post was written on the 3rd march, we have now started the trip and are feeling much less panicky now we are on the road. Not packing lots of toys seemed like the right choice this morning when Charlie and Ruby made a game of sliding themselves along the tiles of our apartment, so no more guilt.