I’m hyperventilating as I type and I have a knot of angst as big as a tennis ball in my gut.
I alternate between scoffing down crackers and hummus, pacing the floors, and sitting with my head in my hands and my hair interwoven between my fingers.
I may have let the odd fuck fly out.
Okay, so maybe a few more than a few. Apparently, it helps to get the air circulating again and the knot to unwind. Apparently, I also just made that up.
Shit like this happens in the week before you leave for your indefinite nomadic travel, with two children, around one of the most expensive countries in the world, and having very little organized, with more tasks on the to do list than Santa Claus on fucking Christmas Eve.
Oops. There goes that fire truck again.
I don’t even know where to begin, so I just let the days tick down into hours and into final departure minute. I know very soon someone will wind up the EverReady battery that clearly lights the path of What has to be Done, and I’ll do it, but for now I just feel awful.
I don’t even want to go into the last few weeks where crying has been a constant state of being. Anything and everything is setting me off. With great change comes great chaos.
Moving forth into a new world brings what I call a Great Shake Up.
The Great Shake Up is when you let go of the old to get the clarity and strength needed to survive the next adventure.
You just gotta hold on, swear a bit, cry some, and maybe drink a few extra glasses of wine, or maybe gin if you need something a little stronger.
I discovered a quote shared on Facebook today by John Assaraf:
“Sometimes when things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place.”
I needed to hear that and I certainly need it to be true. Because, everything was falling apart and I was learning the lesson that I really know nothing. So the only thing I can do is just trust.
And the calm returns. When you’re going through the week of stressed out pre-departure hell, you’ve just got to trust that all will fall into place.
In your moment of cursing and hair wrangling, take some sort of action you feel you can control and manage.
For me, yesterday that meant walking into my children’s rooms and packing up their clothes. Kalyra helped me and we quickly swept through reducing it down to a suitcase.
I felt instant relief and control over my head.
Next task was to terminate the poison running around my mind. Stress is created from poisonous thoughts we latch onto that erodes our ability to think and act clearly.
We’ll be driving out on Monday with almost nothing organized, but that’s okay, now that we are back in control of things, it’s moving at a more productive pace.
Next step was to finish off the last remaining tasks for our travel ebook.
We checked off that baby fast, thanks to kicking out the overdue tenants in our head. It’s now complete and with the designer who is making it looks smoking hot. All the launch materials are ready to go. We were so hoping to have it ready for the world before road trip kick off, but not too worry, everything always ends up on the perfect time train.
Now we are 4 days away from departure and I’m feeling more like we can make this work in time before we leave.
We’ve still got a bit of shopping to do to buy needed equipment, but we have the bare essentials we can leave with.
We don’t have anything booked after the first two nights until 2 weeks in. It’s school holidays, so could be really busy. Worried?
Nah. Something will come up, it always does. I want this to be a roll with it adventure. (2 days later something came up!)
We thought we’d have a camper trailer, but we don’t, so the tent never looked better. You don’t really need to have everything planned and organized to travel, You really can just take off because you want to and you know you can make it work.
All we have to do now is pack and clean.
Yep. Packing day. It’s 9:35pm and I am sitting at my computer belting out the lyrics, “It’s the final countdown!”
Sing it with me
Yeah, if you’re an 80’s rock child like me, you understand all you need to rock out is a man with long, curly hair; a pair of leather pants; and a swinging microphone.
So you can see I’m completely delusional after our day of cleaning.
At one point, the I-can’t-handle-the-kitchen-anymore overwhelm set in and I escaped to the bedroom for a gotta-get-my-head-together lie down, only to be woken up to Craig excusing himself while on the phone to stop Savannah from bashing Kalyra with her baby stroller.
Craig got off the phone and popped his head in the room. I groggily sat up and moaned, “I can’t face the kitchen alone.”
“Come on let’s go do it together.” Safety in numbers.
It was a long day and my least favourite moving experience. Normally, packing is the moment I get excited, but, not this time. Maybe because we have 2 daughters now and they have way too many things to clear and pack.
PLUS, it does not help when they follow you through every room, unpack everything you have just packed, and throw it from one end of the house to the other.
Craig and I did the only thing we felt would help: crack open a beer and a bottle of wine. I made space for a little boogie with my girls and we decided that every afternoon on the #yTravelOz road trip, we’d have afternoon girl’s dancing hour.
After that joy, it was back to the boxes and the packing.
Craig and I continued to look at each other with heads shaking, “We’re going to have to make some serious decisions, because there is no way all of this is going to fit in the car.”
Back to the toiletries and the clothes. What else can go? Sometimes it’s tough to let go of your things, we are so fooled into thinking we really need them. (Like the 8 tubes of BB cream I have packed – shhh don’t tell Craig.)
The packing rule is: pack and then reduce by a third. Repeat the process and LOVE how little you depend on stuff to create amazing memories.
Holy crap, cleaning day. We’ve got two days to sort out this mess. I don’t know how we are going to do it.
This is the day, I swear a lot. This is the day, I remind myself exactly why the life of a nomad is ideal.
I picture myself at 5pm every afternoon; I’m reading a book whilst swinging in a hammock. I’m not picking up toys that will only be flung back around in 5 minutes time, I’m not sweeping up a pile of crumbs for the tenth time that day, nor am I cleaning a toilet or scrubbing a shower. I am just sitting and enjoying the breeze and no longer feeling insane.
Cause right now I feel so damn insane. And I sound it too, if you could just see me stomping around, cursing and swearing. This sucks!
Lucky angel Kalyra and Savannah for some strange reason love to clean, except they often make it worse, but I dare not let them know this because I want them to develop and maintain this devoted love for cleaning right through to adulthood when they have to look after their Mama, who no longer can clean.
Of course what else do you do on cleaning day, but stop for lunch and a glass of wine? And then after that pop down the street for a hair cut and a coffee with family.
Drag yourself back revitalized and return to washing walls.
For some strange reason, I kinda liked washing the walls. It’s way better than having to deal with anything in the kitchen. Thank Goodness, Craig took my aversion strategy hints and decided he’d be the best to clean that section of the house.
This cleaning thing ain’t so bad after all.
Packing the car.
We’ll let you on a little secret – Craig and I aren’t usually very organized travellers! It’s usually just a throw everything in at the last minute strategy that we employ. Not this time. There was no way I was road tripping for a year with two kids and not being organized.
We’ve got our gear arranged in plastic tubs and neatly packed into the car and our cargo box. I can’t believe we did it.
The first semi-argument started with Craig and I after his endless complaints about my heavy suitcase and how I needed to reduce the amount of shampoo and hair products I have.
My brother in-law questioned how long we would last before the first marriage breakdown. I said we probably wouldn’t get past Kariong (15 min drive from home)
Craig’s input, “You ain’t seen nothing. Try backpacking Africa for 5 months living out of a tent. Talk about marriage breakdowns!”
I removed a few kilos of beauty products. Craig scrubbed the kitchen floors. There’s nothing sexier than a man doing that for his lady!
Today was goodbye day. I hate them. I try to pretend that it’s no big deal and I usually don’t cry, but, on the inside I’m blabbering.
My Mum nearly made the walls burst when she said how much she’d miss me and how quiet it would be in her house now without us and the kids visiting. It’s not easy leaving your family, especially when you are taking their little grandchildren away.
At least this time we’re in OZ, so its easier for our family and friends to come visit. (see that it’s no big deal deflection there. I am the professional nomad master at it!)
It’s the night before departure (ahh actually, it’s just ticked over to the day of departure – it’s mad get-as-much-online-work-done-as-we-can time).
The car is ready and we only have our clothes out for the next day. We’ll grab breakfast on the drive as there ain’t no way I am letting a crumb fall in our spotless house.
I think I yelled at Kalyra five times this afternoon, to put her hands up and step away from the walls. Don’t touch, don’t eat, don’t even breathe!
Alleluia – my cleaning days are over.
The house is empty and it suddenly hits me what is about to happen tomorrow. A new chapter.
I have no idea how it is going to be written and that thrills me. There are no expectations, no scripts, no appointments or guided directions, there is just us moving one foot forward with eyes wide open, joy in our heart, and wonder in our soul.
I was born to do this. I’m scared and sad. I’m closing a door on a chapter that I wasn’t happy with, yet it gave me time to spend with family and friends, and the chance to create the life I really want.
So for that, I am incredibly grateful for the past 3 years.
Thank you for surviving my week of hell with me. We made it and we are exhausted, but de-cluttered, cleaned, and ready to go.
Thank you for jumping in our virtual suitcase.
We hope we can inspire and give you all the tips you need to help you embark on a journey, whether it be in Australia or somewhere else.
Most of all, we hope we help you to believe that you can and you deserve to do the same.
Catch you tomorrow on the road. Don’t forget to follow the #yTravelOz hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please give us your best tips as we move to each new town and region.
(Wait a minute, am I meant to say that, or are you?)What sort of hell do you go through on the week before your departure?