What they don't tell you about long-term family adventures

Teresa Kennedy and her family sold up everything and hit the road. Who knew getting away from it all with your kids was such hard work?

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And so its began. Not off the back of months and months of planning but rather after a "Why don’t we sell up and go travelling?"… "Yeah!" kind of conversation. It bulldozed quickly from there and within weeks the house was sold and now we’re here, homeless and ill-prepared.

But I’m pretty sure that’s how the best trips start: few plans, plenty of ideas and a knowledge deep down that it’s going to be the best thing you’ve ever done. All the clichés of 'life’s too short' are suddenly becoming relevant. We’re not running away from something, we’re running towards it.

But, now for the reality. Its a blinkin’ nightmare.

Not the travelling, but the organisation involved in leaving the UK, cancelling simple things like telephone lines, wondering what to say when you need to provide an address (there’s not a ‘no fixed abode’ option), what to say when you need to provide details of your employment (there’s not a ‘free’ option); and so the list goes on. The fear of not being on the electoral roll. What’s going to happen to us?!

The almost simple "We’ll just teach them as we go along" comment we made of teaching the kids (aged 9 and 5) on the road, at the school of life, has yet to materialise. We’ve spent the first two nights preparing work for the next morning. It takes us over an hour to prepare, but it takes the kids 10 minutes to do. I’m rapidly running out of knowledge. We have since cottoned on to the idea that the various grandparents and intelligent aunts and uncles can set homework via email – there’s enough of them to keep a steady flow of mathematical equations and passages of incorrect grammar requiring correction. Relief.

We’ve also brought far too much stuff with us. Far, far too much.

In the last 4 days we’ve used approximately an eighth of the contents of the trailer. I’ve actually forgotten what’s in there. I actually can’t think what on earth is in there. It’s like Aladdin’s cave, except I’m confident there’s not a lot of treasure. Although as there’s no interior light and we can’t find the torches we packed, so far I haven’t seen anything. I vaguely remember packing a box of Lego.

And so here we are, still in the UK. We’ve only made it to Kent so far, just acclimatising really. But tomorrow it starts proper and we’re a bit nervous now because we haven’t got any last minute jobs to busy ourselves with which means we going to actually have to travel. And enjoy it. And make it an experience of a lifetime.

New NomadsWe are Teresa, John, Livi and Georgia. We didn't get tired or disillusioned with life in the UK, we just opened our eyes to the fact that we had a choice. There was no years of planning involved – it took us 3 months to decide, sell and go. It is possible! We have our car and a trailer and a map book. We are not skilled travellers or teachers and we're not just doing it for the kids – we're doing it for us all.

You can follow our adventures on newnomads2015.wordpress.com.

Main image: Family contemplating mountain in Italy (Shutterstock)

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