These last 6 weeks in London have been tedious beyond belief and I’ve only just, this morning, realised that they have been a sharp reminder of the life I, we, don’t want. We’ve been in a house sit and then an AirBnb. Neither are great locations, way too far out of London to make going into town anything less than a major mission and they come with the usual tedium of shopping, cooking, cleaning and laundry. Life has been mundane, drab and work intensive. Let me explain.
So we’ve been on the road, travelling with our kids over 5 years and it’s been amazing. These last 6 weeks in London have yet again been dictated by my husband’s IronMan events. He’s competing in the UK in a week or two so we had to be here.
We also had a commitment to cat sit. We love the cats, but this time it didn’t really fit with our plans after agreeing to do it months in advance so that the kitty’s owners could book their hols. We’d agreed, so we did it, but it left us with 3 weeks in London to fill before the Ironman so we were forced to take an Airbnb at great expense. We could cover the cost but Chef decided to work to top up the bank balance.
We won’t be cat sitting again, I’d done.
We’ve found ourselves ” living like locals” not travellers. I’ve been bogged down in my own work, the kids and housework with no respite, no fun. Chef has been doing killer hours with little time off on top of a huge commute. On his infrequent rest days ( when he needs to sleep after working nights and training for an Ironman) he’s been obligated to do things for other people. He’s had to go to a funeral, visit people, be in central London for rabies jabs x 3 and so on which has left us with no family time at all, no fun and also no time for him to help me with work or plan our next trip.
I am drowning in work more than ever after the disastrous August 1st Google update.
The hotel Chef works in, likewise. Brexit has left London with no qualified staff so he’s hugely in demand but also hugely over worked. No sane person would work the hours he does. He’s had maybe 4 hours in bed last night and he’ll be working a double shift today plus training.
He needs to learn to start saying no as so many people do.
Our next trip is HUGE. We’re flying to Dubai and then Nepal but after that absolutely nothing is planned, not even an onward flight from Nepal. We’re shooting for Tibet, Bhutan, maybe Myanmar before arriving in Australia in early December. Absolutely nothing is organised and at the moment I honestly don’t know when we’re supposed to organise anything. I am well and truly PISSED OFF!
We’ve caught up with friends ( old and new, our old London friends from Forest School and new friends from my bloggers’ group and another travelling family that we plan to go to K2 with) and London family and that’s been great, but taking time off work like that is so incredibly hard for me. My time has just evaporated and I’m way, way behind. At the moment I don’t have Chef to help me either, he’s in work, asleep or training, so everything is down to me and there aren’t enough hours in the day.
This is not the life I want, I want my freedom back!
I want hotels no matter how humble, eating out on healthy food for $1 a head, no daily drudge of shopping, washing up and laundry, no tiny houses with contents of backpacks spread all over floors because we’re here too long to not drag everything out of bags, but there’s nowhere to put our gear or bags if we DO unpack. I hate mess, I hate clutter, This version of nomadic life sucks. I want to be on the road.
So thank you London, Chef’s hours and obligations for reminding me why we do this.
I love London, it’s my favourite city in the world, but this time has been awful. A total waste of time and money. The ticking clock is something I feel sharply these days as boys rush towards adulthood and I rush towards older age.
Do you feel it too?
TIME. Time is the most precious thing we own and when obligation takes it away after owning it for so long you really miss it.
I want to be able to run, to visit cool places, to do things for me and the kids. We’ve not done anything like that in the whole 6 weeks we’ve been here because of work, chores and obligation.
I never want to live like this again.
Australia is looming. I don’t want to go back and if Chef goes back to work and starts his running and biking again this is exactly what life will look like there.
I never want that to happen. It’s not fair on me and the kids.
I want my life too. A life where I get to have some fun and I don’t want my kids sitting in the house all day with nothing better to do while waiting on grown up chores and parental necessity to earn a crust. I need travel. They need travel!
So today, a reminder, why I hate house sitting, hate Airbnb rentals, hate slow travel and hate being a freaking housewife!
I’m a traveller and long may it last.
Can’t wait to hit the Himalayas next month.
What are your plans?