Never has a month gone by so quickly. Time is literally flying through the door. Each day is filled with last minute check-ups, purchases, official document applications and packing. This week and next include visits to the hairdresser, chiropracter, optician, hygenist, GP, nurse and dentist. You name the body part; I am getting it buffed, trimmed, polished, checked and tested. Our recent international travel purchases include sterile kits (which I hope we will never have to use), mosquito sprays, nets, plug-ins and coils, anti-malaria tablets, probiotics, travel towels, adaptor plugs, travel wallets and safety pouches, torches and reading lights, huge (and very heavy - oops!) anthologies of stories in both French and English for both bedtime stories and homeschooling, French audio books, kids entertainment, sun hats and creams. International driving licences are being applied for, our flights and visas to our second destination (Myanmar) have been booked and our VAST first aid kit has finally stopped growing. In our spare time, we are packing up the contents of the house to put into storage. Weirdly, I feel totally calm. Happy actually. I was even described as looking "very serene" this morning.
I did not feel serene a couple of weeks ago. Far from it. But now that our mammoth to-do list has only a few items left on it and I am clear in my head about what me and the kids are taking, there is nothing much more to worry about. Choosing what to take however? Now THAT was stressful. And here is what I whittled it down to:
Photo caption: two sterile kits, mosi spray and plug-ins, sun cream for the family, wash bag (mine), travel towel, family first aid kit, three long sleeve t-shirts, two cardis, one fleece hoodie, 4 pairs of trousers, one pair of fleece trackie bums, one puffa jacket (that neon thing), two silk jumpsuit (for making me feel pretty), one fancy dress, one long skirt / dress, one short dress, one skirt, 4 bikinis, two shorts, two tops, 3 boob tubes, 3 singlets, underwear, three pairs of shoes (will wear my trainers to travel), a journal and three books....
I keep worrying that I don't have the right combination of items to keep me warm enough / cool enough / ward off mosquitoes / make me feel pretty when I want to be but I'm just going to have to trust that I do. And we can always buy more on the road to fill the extra wheely suitcase we've just decided to check-in (for a mere £50).
Last week's assignment was to dig-out-my-old-backpack-to-check-that-everything-I-would-like-to-take-actually-fits-in-it. Luckily it did! It may be small and make me look like a snail but it is a bit of a tardis and has bottomless corners that you can stuff things right into. It was quite emotional putting it back on after so long. The last time I used it was exactly 20 years ago when I embarked on the obligatory "travelling" I had delayed until after my four-year university degree. Sweetly it still has my name tape sown on to the front!