Packing up a life and taking it on the road is no mean feat. Even for one person let alone four. The last few weeks have been tough! Tougher than we even expected. It was an endless slog of selling things you own (when 50% of the time the buyers don’t turn up), taking things to charity shops, giving random items back to the people they belong to, hundred of trips to the rubbish dump and cleaning and mending the house. This is squeezed into extra time with family and friends that want to say goodbye (we’ve never been so popular), cancelling bills, notifying banks and other officials, returning library books and the every day life of school and work. The last two days in particular were exceptionally stressful so much so that hours before our flight I’d made myself very poorly and was worried I’d even be allowed on the plane! It’s not for the faint hearted, and don’t even thinking about looking to people for sympathy. ‘Oh poor you, your heading off to travel the world’ – yeah that’s not going to happen!
After a 6 month to do list, selling most of our possessions, de-registering the kids from school and making additional adjustments to our business to allow us to be location independent and… we’ve done it. What was once a pipe dream, then an impossible task, then a never ending to do list is finally a reality. D day – departure day – arrived.
At 4:30am a mini bus collected us to take us the short distance to Southampton airport. At the check-in we paid for an additional bag. The stewards were confused as we already had quite a good luggage allowance for a family holiday but when we explained that we were away for some time they were so interested and really helpful. Once on the near empty flight, Belle and Zac made their first friends and their parents were again very intrigued by our adventure. This has been the case with everyone we have told. Not once have we had any negativity, just interest and lots of questions.
We caught our first glimpses of beautiful Corsica as we landed in Bastia after a very pleasant and easy flight. Baggage claim and immigration were also a breeze but our luck ran out when we got to the car hire desk. We lined up for nearly 2 hours to retrieve our car where they wanted to charge an extra £300 to reduce an extortionate excess. It then took us a further hour in 30 degree heat (wearing jeans and trainers at this point) to find the car which was somewhat smaller than described. I’ve yet to find a decent hire car company in Europe, if anyone can recommend one I’m all ears!