So the big news I promised ….. officially announced …
We’re going traveling on bicycles again!
I suppose it was inevitable – once you’ve tasted freedom and seen the other side, it’s difficult to go back to the grindstone on a permanent basis. I’m sure it wouldn’t suit everyone but for me I prefer physical effort, adventure and authenticity over easy comfort, security and game playing. The corporate machine firmly encourages the latter in my experience and is particularly allergic to ‘adventure’.
When we returned from our last trip, it took me ages to settle down – sitting down all the time made my body ache and my legs fidgety, being inside felt stuffy and claustrophobic, and having my days hijacked by work made me feel like I was in storage and atrophying by the day. A ghost of that feeling never really went away.
The decision to go again involved a lot of factors including this ‘storage’ feeling and, surprisingly, the melt down of the western world with the Brexit and Trump fiascoes. This led to a general feeling of weltschmerz (a German word which apparently means ‘a feeling of anxiety caused by the ills of the world’) but more specifically for us, a feeling that the world’s gone mad. This was closely followed by the feeling that we should go while our passports still work, and a sense that being nimble feels like the best approach at the moment. There were also some work-related factors that added to the mix and some new extremely loud boy racers in our street that clinched the deal.
So the deed has been done, we’ve handed in our notices at work and are once again set to become happily unemployed and homeless. We’ve been madly busy preparing, and we’ve changed things up a bit this time based on what we learnt last time. I also went into a sewing frenzy and have made most of the clothes I’m taking. The Husband has had a final sprint and finally finished knitting his first ever jumper to take for the colder weather – more on that in later posts.
The plan this time is a bit different from last time as the intention is a change in zeitgeist rather than simply a ‘Trip’. The concept is that we are intending to travel and live in various ways with periods of money making as and when necessary. How this will go is anybody’s guess, but that’s the plan. I can hear you asking how this is different from last time – well the difference is subtle but essentially we are not planning an end point when we will go back to sensible ‘adulting’ again. We are intending to focus on living rather than working, and experience and people over stuff. That may still not make any sense but it sort of does to us so just follow along and maybe we’ll all figure it out together ☺
The challenge now is to figure out what to call this endeavour in my posts – last time it was called ‘The Trip’. I’m going to try not to call it anything and just treat it all as BAU (business as usual) but occasionally I may have to call it something to distinguish it from what went before … so I may call it the ‘new BAU’.
So on to the interesting part. We are changing bikes for the next chapter and have sold the Bromptons. We have decided upon Bike Fridays as our new steeds and have ordered them specially. This is hugely exciting and has involved a lot of conversation on gear ratios and shifters, brakes, saddles and other such bikeness. Daughter number one has been spared these conversations as she now lives in Berlin, Germany, but daughter number 2 has developed specialist avoidance techniques to cope – the most successful of which was moving out!
So the apartment is now very barren, partly through lack of offspring and their accompanying stuff (huge amounts!!) and partly through lack of furniture, as we have done quite a bit of downsizing and clearing out. I have watched lots of YouTube videos on minimalism and now consider myself an expert … in theory, that is!
We’ve not yet achieved the zen art of minimalist simplicity due in part to white, black and grey being so boring, and partly because the Husband is not naturally given to tidiness no matter how much stuff there is with which to make a mess!
All remaining personal stuff will go into the box room and will be locked away. We will then rent the apartment partly furnished … hopefully.
The preparation has been quite a lot easier this time as to some extent it has been ‘rinse and repeat’. We’ve gone with the same insurance as last time and the same cash card. We know roughly how much stuff we need and which items were useful and which we sent home. And we also know what could have been improved upon and how. These things have prompted our gear changes, which I will go into in the next post.
As for now, we have 8 more days to go until we fly … exciting times!!