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Planning Family Travel: One Week To Go!

doctor who 002 (550x375)

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In the words of my friend Gabi, I’m freaking out. Freaking out big-time.

The boys and I leave in one week, James will follow on later, we are travelling without Dad for a while.

So, how am I spending this last part of my life in Port Douglas?

Wafting around sipping champagne and having farewell lunches?

Not quite, I’m doing a multitude of things.

See Our previous countdown posts, including ” Planning Family Travel, The First 6 Months”

Jobs to Do and Finish in The Last Week Before we Leave

Starting with going through paperwork, contacting banks, savings plans and insurance companies, changing addresses and making sure all accounts will work as we travel.  This mammoth phone-athon is even more complex because I’m Down-under my banks are in the UK.

I’m packing away a lifetime of photos, scanning them first, so that, you know, if the house burns down or gets blown away in a cyclone, we’ll have a copy. Every few days I think I’ve finished and then I’ll find another box of photos tucked away and long forgotten, but still special. So out comes the scanner again. I’m going to get the best ones made into a photo book to send to my Mum and Dad.

It’s tough staying in touch with parents on the other side of the world when they’re the generation that technology forgot. They have no computer, can you believe it? I’ve sent them photo books a few times, they’ve been very impressed with the quality and it’s really easy to do online.

The photo up top is one I found and scanned today, from the Doctor Who Experience in London, they’d love to have a copy of that one.

I’m ripping music discs and putting them on the kids’ and my own, music playing gizmos. A few audiobooks and educational bits and pieces are being loaded up, too, part of my homeschooler’s instinct.

I’m trying to find someone to love my cat. Surprisingly, this isn’t as hard as you’d think. I’ve advertised online and spread the word, cat lovers are responding, which is really great news.

I’m advertising and selling what’s left of our stuff on the internet, what doesn’t sell is going into a rolling garage sale at our house this week.

I’m also packing. Actual backpack packing, that bit is quite exciting!

Don’t Be Like Me. Get Organised!

 My top tips for people like me, selling their lives to travel the world:

If you have old photos scan them now. Get it done, if you leave it all to the last-minute it takes forever. Or pay one of those places that takes a big box of photos and scans them to disc. It’s pretty soul destroyingly boring.

Start selling early. I’m really glad I got rid of a lot of stuff already. It’s easier in terms of time and emotional attachment to not have everything to dispose of at the last-minute. As you start culling the stuff, each subsequent cull becomes easier ’till you get to the point where you’re whooping for joy as you hand over treasures in exchange for cash. Starting early gave me  time to get better prices for things.

Stop procrastinating and sort out your paperwork. My life would be so much easier if I’d contacted my banks weeks ago to start the ball rolling, doing it all in the last few days is a pain.

Have some sort of packing plan. I’ve suffered from packing anxiety in the past. On this occasion, I’m absolutely fine, I’ve been sharing my packing thoughts with the world for months, blogging has cured me. So, thanks, if you read as I rambled on about how many pairs of jeans I was taking ( two, for the record) or stuck with me as I talked underwear. I’m fine, really, with the packing. I’m taking what I’ve got and if I need anything I’ll buy it there,  easy!

Have an amazing husband who’ll tie up the loose ends as you fly off to new adventures. What a top bloke I’ve got. Eternal gratitude to “Chef“, best husband in the world. He’s renting the house, selling the car, doing the things that I don’t want the kids to be here for, like the cat and their bikes. We’ll be giving him the best welcome in Malaysia.

Garage sales don’t need to be on a Saturday. If you’ve got time, try starting your sale mid-week, we had a nicer class of shopper today when we tried, they bought more and paid more. It was a much better experience that the Saturday morning mosh pit.

We are thinking of heading to Cambodia, certainly Thailand and Vietnam, hopefully Nepal, maybe my dream destination, Bhutan! This is very exciting and big and scary. So, lovely people, the boys and I are off in our TARDIS ( I wish!), I’ll check in with you all soon, wish us luck!

Travelling Without Dad.
Port Douglas: Leaving it Behind.


Monday 27th of May 2013

I remember the last few weeks before we left the UK as some of the most stressful and emotionally draining of my life (and I didn't have a house to rent out or cat to rehome!) - so I sympathise. It will be worth it though and yes, you're lucky to have a husband who doesn't mind starting his adventure a little later and being left to tie-up the loose ends. Love the photo book idea too - I must try that sometime.

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Monday 27th of May 2013

Hi Amy, yep, stressful and draining are about right. But I had a lightbulb moment today when I realised what was ahead of the kids, things that are familiar to me, like mosques and the call to prayer, will be totally new to them, it's magical to see them discover new things. Bring it on!

Meryl @ Expat Travels

Wednesday 22nd of May 2013

So exciting! I am totally impressed that you're actually scanning photos. I was never anywhere that organised. My husband is also an executive chef and we have vague plans to try out the travelling lifestyle in a few year's time (currently taking the expat route to travel), so I'll watch your journey with interest. Bon voyage!

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Monday 27th of May 2013

I think that Exec Chef thing makes the urge to travel even stronger Meryl, he wants to spend some time with his children, they're growing up in a flash and he's missing most of it. If they were in regular school rather than homeschooled he'd hardly see them at all. Good luck with your travel plans, hope it all comes together for you.

Suzi Hansborough

Tuesday 21st of May 2013

Alyson, I find myself looking forward to your posts...opening my mail periodically throughout the day to see if there there is that notice I've been waiting for: more info on the Grand Adventure!!

Being able to read of your preparations has made us feel as if we are going along with you & the boys. =)

Love your blog & your sense of humor. Can't wait to read what you post next.


Tuesday 21st of May 2013

Alyson, you go girl! Ditto, everything Iris said. Live that dream for those of us who can't do it (yet)!


Tuesday 21st of May 2013

Alyson dear, as one of your hidden (but following regulary)readers ,must pop up this time to share how I found myself so excited while reading your last post. countingdown with you, Enthusiastic to see,hear,read of THE journey. wish you all lots of joy happiness Health - graet adventure. As I dreaming everyday doing the same with my family, I am learning from you all the time.

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Tuesday 21st of May 2013

Iris, that is so, totally, lovely to read. Thank you SO much, means a lot xx

nomadic family life

Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.