Two weeks today and we will be up, up and away. Hopefully we will have some empty seats on either side of us and the kids will be sound asleep and I will not be a nervous wreck. I am not the best flier in the world. I used to be so bad that I needed medication to board a plane. Now some 20 years on, I am much better but I don’t find it easy to relax or sleep. Hopefully I will be so tired by the time we board this plane, that I will pass out right after take-off. That is wishful thinking anyway.
I have been having some amusing thoughts about creating a monster child with lice and scabies so that no one wants to sit next to us. That way, when it is that magic time, just before take-off, when everyone scans the cabin to see where there are some precious empty seats, whoever is sitting next to Archie will bolt from their chair and get away from us as fast as their legs can carry them. I figure if Archie scratches his scalp a lot whilst I mutter things like “It can’t be lice, we treated those last week, god maybe it is the scabies again”, that no-one will want to sit next to us. Then Archie to move over, Rissie can put her skinny little body next to the window and I can curl my legs up onto an extra seat and try to get comfortable. That is all part of the plan anyway!
If I am contemplating, plotting and planning as to how to make my children as unappealing as possible so I can have a bit of extra room on the plane it is an indication of how I am coming to the very end of planning and organisation. We have just confirmed a 2-week house sit out of New York City and I am thrilled. I have also officially decided that enough plans have been made and to now leave a few months of the year in the ‘lap of the gods’ so to speak. I would like to think we are open to opportunity along the way and can say yes, yes, yes more than no, no no.
Our year as it stands looks a little like this:
25th July, 2016: Arrive in the USA. Three weeks or so in Providence, Rhode Island. Open to anything here – Rhode Island lap of the gods.
Late August, 2016: Two-week house-sit outside of NYC.
Early September, 2016: Two-week road trip Thelma and Louise style with Strachan – heading to the Carolinas via Washington, D.C. Have to get to Atlanta by the 12th.
13th September, 2016: Arrive in Costa Rica. Two nights in San Jose. Then 10 days or so Costa Rican lap of the gods.
Late September to late October, 2016: 01 month in a Beach Shack – nothing planned – a complete Costa Rican lap of the god experience
Late October to late November, 2016: 01 month in the mountains – volunteering for a month helping and teaching English in a local community Centre
Two weeks until 11th December: complete lap of the Costa Rican gods.
11 December: Return via Atlanta to Providence for Christmas & New Year’s Eve.
January, 2017: In the lap of the American Gods with a bit of snow chasing thrown in for good measure
21st January, 2017: Fly to Rome. Late January and February, 2017 – completely relying on the Italian lap of the gods. Mum and Phil might be joining us and I am very tempted by finding somewhere in Puglia to just stay and be a vegetable for a while.
March, 2017: A month work exchange with a family in a Tuscan Medieval Walled Village
April, 2017: 3 weeks in the Italian lap of the gods though I am talking with a good friend from England about a catch up so god only knows at this stage!
20th April, 2017: Land in Thailand, some time in Bangkok. Head north to Chiang Mai. A month in the lap of the Thai Mountain Gods.
20th May, 2017: Over the border to Cambodia. In the lap of the Cambodian gods.
20th June, 2017: Return to Thailand and head south to a beach somewhere for a final month in the lap of the Thailand sea gods.
Late July, 2017: Return home!
It is simply so exciting that I almost lose control of my bladder on a regular basis. Right now when I am not working I am attempting to get the kids into a bit of a routine with their new school and teacher and then ticking off the final jobs on my list that seems to be a never ending list.
There are also goodbyes to deal with. I hate goodbyes, I really do, and I am an expert at skulking out of rooms at the end of a party so I don’t have to say goodbye. Right now I can’t seem to avoid them. We have said goodbye to our house, to our car and to our chooks. The kids have had a teary goodbye to their school and I have just had the loveliest weekend saying goodbye to one of my closest girlfriends who flew in from Sydney so we could meet in Armidale. We still have the dogs to deal with, my family, Tenterfield and some very dear friends. To avoid becoming a snotty, revolting hysterical mess I just keep saying “It is not goodbye, but see you soon. 12 months will fly; it will go so quick.”
To be honest, I am sure that it will be the quickest year in the world and we will be back before we know it.