I think it’s easy to talk about the adventure that is waiting for us when we up and go backpacking, it’s pretty obvious truth be told, but I think for this post I actually want to talk about the adventure that is waiting for us when we get back.

As you can tell, we are giving up our current digs and our jobs to go on this backpacking tour. Which is great, nothing to hold us back. However this puts us in a bit of a quandary when it comes to surviving once our money lets out, once we can no longer keep going and are forced back into the UK. Luckily, Pete has provided for us. In the form of a flat. A flat that needs renovating.

See where this is going?

That’s right. When we return we must turn our hand to decorating and updating. We’re going to get jobs, buy a mattress and a cheap T.V, and move into his digs. Then we’ll have to, surprise surprise, SAVE. Story of my life at the moment. We have to save for new windows, new doors, new plumbing, rollers, brushes, paint, the lot.

Then, whilst we’re working, we have to put in the windows, the doors, the plumbing, the paint. All without killing each other. And I don’t have a lick of practical DIY experience. That’s the real adventure. Because throw me into an unknown city, with nothing but a spare change of pants and a map to the nearest bar, I’m gonna survive. Hand me a screwdriver and ask me to put up some shelves, then I’m gonna look blank and accidentally build you a chair.

That’s half the fun though. I’ll learn new skills and Pete will get cheap labour (chuck me a bottle of wine, I’ll work for you too). Then at the end, we’ll live rent free for a few months in a clean, tidy flat, save some money and move on to the next chapter in our lives. More travelling, more renovating, setting up a business or something completely different. As the tagline to the blog says: Where are we going? Don’t Know! And that’s half the fun.

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All my Humour Goblins are gone

All my Humour Goblins are gone

Do you ever get that feeling that you should make a post, but after a million false starts, you realise that everything you’re writing comes out sounded stilted and dull? That’s what I’m currently going through. I have a few ideas for subjects to talk about: the usefulness of our library, social media, packing our bags, not to mention the weekly challenge of ‘learning‘, but I can’t get my voice to call through the facts.

Continue reading “All my Humour Goblins are gone”

Sun’s out, bun’s out

– or a meditation on flip flops

At long last, England had thawed. The sun is beating down upon our fair country, the bird are tootling away, the socks have been paired with their sandals. When this country puts her mind to it, she is stunning.

I’m not just talking about the lazy spring sunlight, that’ll give you a nasty burn if you don’t play enough attention to her preening. Or the cool apple-bite the air has to it after the chance rain, which many of us curse for getting our flip flops wet. No, I’m talking about the fact that we’re wearing our flip flops already. There they are, poking out from beneath our weekend jeans and casual button downs. Defiant, yet chilly. The sun is out, flip, it must be warm, flop, bring it on, flip, ice cream, anyone?, flop.

It’s like the sun does something crazy to the British brain. We’re almost reverse werewolves. In the full daylight, unhindered by clouds, we tear out of our clothes, exposing pasty white flesh and unfortunate sproutings of hair. We run howling off into the horizon, searching for the largest body of water in the area. For we are hungry for the flesh of deep-fried cod.

We all do it, don’t deny it. Even I headed down to Bristol Harbourside yesterday, with a book in hand and pale noodle-arms exposed. There I whiled away the hours, watching people wander by, playing a game of guess the native. The trick is, anyone still wearing a scarf and looking on bemused at our optimistic shorts, is probably not native to our shores (also, I suspect, correct on the scarf-front).

And I love you, you English nutters. That perfectly blend of hope and cynicism, the weathers nice, let’s enjoy it while it lasts. Always looking forward to the rainy tomorrow, just so it proves your point. I think I’m gonna miss you while we’re gone.

You want the moon? I’ll give you the moon!

Y’know our raison d’etre is more a raison de ne pas etre.

The thing that has made us to drop everything and run away backpacking is the desire to not be bored or boring. Because we were.  Whenever friends and family would ask us what we had been up to lately, we’d kinda just shrug our shoulders, kick our feet and stare off into the middle distance until they stopped asking such pesky questions. And that really kills the conversation.

This lead us to becoming more insular and more inward until we reach a point where me and Pete would sit in our local pub, look at each other over our half drunk pints and not have a thing to say. And believe me, we’re chatty buggers. It was that bad.

We ended up doing this one day just before Christmas last year. Pete’s working nights and its knocking him for six and I was dealing with stressed out Christmas shoppers at my job. So there we are, knackered, pints steadily warming on the table between us and we’re just existing. Our eyes met and we simultaneously said some various of ‘I’m not doing another effing year of this’.

Then and there we decided to just do it. To run away. We downed our pints, got in a fresh round and set to imagining a feasible way to do it. I mean, we didn’t just get in one fresh round. No. This was a job for a butt-load of liquid courage. As we slur away, I’m getting more and more grandiose in our schemes, America, China, the moon, Pete trying to keep me to this planet, let alone this continent. And I’m sure the next table over was rolling their eyes, ‘typical drunk talk’, ‘never gonna happen’, their looks said to each other.

Well Pooh to them! It is happening (maybe not the moon).

Drunk Talk: 1      Boringness: 0

Keep or Chuck?

115 days to go. Time is passing through our fingers and we still have many things to do. It’s high time we started clearing out the flat. Five years worth of accumulated stuff to be sorted through. Two piles for all our possessions: Keep or Chuck.

Personally I would put everything into the Chuck pile. Make life so much easier. And as my mum always says ‘more stuff is more things dust around.’  And I’m not the kind of person who does dusting. In fact 90% of our possessions have acquired a grey patina because of this. Oops. But we can’t throw everything out, eventually we will have to return to bonny old England. It’ll be easier to not start from scratch.

Thus begins the Quest For Clearance. I feel a bit like Bilbo Baggins stepping out onto a dragon hoard of junk. Particularly as Pete has a habit of keeping anything that has even a hint of being even vaguely useful at some ill-defined point in the future. But I am Master of the Bin Bags, Tamer of the Trash, I am Recycling Whisperer. And I have been summoned to tidy.

Although, I will admit, I can be a bit over-zealous. I have thrown away cherished memories and important documents in the past… But I mean, who needs their birth certificate anyway?

We may be eaten by bears

In response to this week’s Discover Challenge

Gem here, back for another round of this blogging lark. And I suppose now is the perfect time to talk about the issues we’ve faced in getting set up for our tour of Europe. They’re not problems unique to us. In fact, they’re the same ones that most people have, when it comes to just upping and leaving.

And how to overcome them? I suppose it’s just a question of motivation.

Continue reading “We may be eaten by bears”