By that, I mean it’s 2 years, 7 months, 24 days since we first flew out of the UK.
Here’s my video interpretation of what those first two years looked like:
Now then, you may have noticed that we were mainly back in the UK over the summer. We came back in March, in time to celebrate Roobs’s birthday (by some strangeness, she actually only celebrated one birthday on the road). After a whistle-stop tour of friends and family we settled in Newport, Wales for a chunk of time to share a house with the Harriskings, a family we met whilst travelling.
Most of that time was a blur. I remember the remnants of the “Beast from the East” meant there was still snow around for a few days, which was an almighty shock after the heat of Vietnam and Singapore.
I remember we all felt a bit overwhelmed by the pressure to see everyone, and how locating ourselves in Newport turned out to be a bit of an escape from that guilt and responsibility. The Harriskings are such a great family, and it worked out really well living with them.
After that, the tenant in our house rocked us by saying he wanted to leave. So we ended up living back in our house for a bit. We wanted to find out if it still felt like home. The truth is, it did and it didn’t. We felt no attachment to the actual building itself (I think we’ve already decided that a smaller property suits us better). But being near our community again, having friends on the street for Roobs to play with, all of that is still home. Bristol is still our home.
So, we decided to give the house a bit of a makeover and put it on the market. We actually did get an offer straight away but eventually that fell through and in the end we didn’t sell the house. Oh well.
We kind of settled back into life as we’d known it pre-travelling. I started playing football again (before breaking my big toe in May!). I was going into the office 2-3 times a week to be with my colleagues (which was great), and Roobs was enjoying spending time with her friends (including numerous sleepovers).
We moved around a fair bit, staying with friends (thanks Crebers and Trevivs!) and a couple of short-term house-sits before we ended up in a big country house near Bath for most of summer, house-sitting for a cat. It was bliss!
We finally got the chance to host friends and family again, which we love doing. Sometimes it’s stressful, but mostly it’s lush to be able to share a space (and food) with people you love. It offered a really nice antithesis to always being on the move and making friends with strangers.
Before I came back, I was insistent that our time back in the UK would be lived in the same spirit of adventure as when we were travelling. That didn’t happen. You soon get swept up in the chaos of everyone else’s lives and schedules (“shall we meet up? Sure, I’m free in 3 weekends from now”). But reconnecting with the communities of home was worthwhile, and I guess a good break from travelling.
That’s not to say that we weren’t relieved to get going again! We set off in early October, somehow a whole suitcase lighter (we’re really getting good at this) and a lot more relaxed than we started out in 2016. We rocked up in Malaga, Spain, without even booking our long-term accommodation. We drove out along the coast and found a beautiful place to live with a ready-made worldschooling community, which is where we are now. More on that to come.
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