10.11.2012 - 10.11.2012 9 °C
Muriel and I had always talked about taking a year off with the kids but never really could think of an opportune time. We went out for a Sunday afternoon walk this past April and came to the startling conclusion that our window of opportunity was almost gone with Hannah already starting grade 11 in the fall of 2012. Within a month we had seriously committed to taking the plung and by the end of June we both had our work leaves approved and by July 1st Hannah and Abby committed to fast tracking their schooling and began their distance education studies. Four months later, Abby is nearly done her grade 9 year and Hannah will only have an English course left to do on the road. What amazing kids! I am trying to finish three courses I am taking this fall at UBC before I leave. Meanwhile Muriel is keeping us all financially afloat by working until the bitter end. Her last day is November 9th and we leave November 10th (thanks for all the sacrifice Muriel).
We have been doing a lot of general research since April and have drawn up a tentative route for our 270 days on the road. It takes us through nearly all the countries of Western Europe as well as Turkey, Great Britain and Ireland. We are leaving out Scandinavia and most countries east of the Adriatic such as Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia etc.. All are worthy of visiting but there is only so much time. We have leased a car for the first 2 1/2 months and booked about 45 days of accommodation within our first 90 days of travel. We thought we would try a combination of preplanned and figure out as you go and see what works best. We are staying in a combination of privately owned apartments and apartment type hotels/motels so we can cook our own meals and hopefully keep the cost per night down to something that fits our budget. As we head north hostels will also become part of our plans.
We packed up our house already in August since we rented it out beginning September 1st. It was quite an effort but we are sure happy now that it is all done.
We ended up becoming part of the boomerang kid generation and have been living with Muriel's folks for the past two months. Thanks Mom and Dad for taking care of us-the free rent and food was an overgenerous gift. Over the last several weeks we have been getting our travel gear together which means a lot of stuff lying around the apartment but Muriel's Mom and Dad haven't complained about that either. In the next week we need to trim down what we are going to bring so it fits in four backpacks that must be able to fit into a mid-sized European car. Less possessions is always a good thing!
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