It is now just under three weeks to the biggest overseas adventure Wayne and I have ever done.
It is customary in NZ as I’m sure it is in many other countries to embark on an OE between finishing university and starting life as a working adult. We instead married and had our first child in this period so this was not our reality. Ending up with five children meant that overseas travel has been a scarce opportunity and if we have managed to get on a plane it has usually involved child-friendly island resorts and theme parks.
Our nest now empty with Christian moving to the UK last year to study has changed all that. We travelled with him last year to settle him in, got the travel bug (finally) and this year have committed to 8 weeks away in several countries. Planning to catch up with him on his internship in San Francisco, visiting New York, a small tour of Italy and then a bed and breakfast journey through England, Wales and Ireland before hanging with the boy as he starts his second year at Cambridge. We finish with a week in London before coming home.
Sounds crazy to me that we get to do this! We have never done anything like this before. Months of planning and dreaming – finding interesting places to stay, things to do and see. Our trip itinerary is nearly complete. And one advantage of doing this when you are older is that I haven’t had to book a single hostel or dodgy backpackers’!
I am not without trepidation – the world outside of New Zealand seems uncertain and in some places unsafe. But I look at our son stepping out to new terrain with optimism and faith and I want to be there too. Just the process of planning our trip has broadened my understanding of how interconnected we all are.
According to my long-suffering husband we can’t start packing for at least another week – not long before I can get my suitcase down from the attic and start filling it!