It is now three weeks since we packed up, transferred occupancy of our home to the new tenants and set out to start our very own ‘big adventure’. If we just unwind those three weeks, plus a few more going back, we arrive at a point in time when we still had every intention of being super-organised. All necessary items would have been sourced and purchased. All packing would be neatly arranged according to meticulously prepared lists ensuring nothing could be forgotten. Our home would be thoroughly cleaned, renovated and prepared for its new occupants. All goodbyes would be properly made, ‘good wishes’ messages replied to and social media updates posted. And most importantly, La Vie on Road, the blog that would record our adventure would be up and running – beautifully designed and laid out – just waiting for the first post to be uploaded.
Now fast forward back to the present, three weeks post-departure, and it won’t be hard to guess that none of the above good intentions was realised. There are things we meant to get but didn’t; packing became cramming things into the car to be re-arranged ‘en route’; essential items, safely installed on the do-not-forget-these-pile for weeks, were forgotten; new paint was hurriedly applied to only the worst worn areas of the house; messages were left un-answered and people missed from the goodbye list. There were no social media updates. There was no blog.
‘Never mind’, we thought. ‘We can get the blog up and running as we go. We just need to put together some video, sign up with WordPress and we’re good to go.’ We duly started videoing our progress: the ferry leaving the white cliffs; endless miles of flat Belgian Motorway; immaculate Dutch farms; incomprehensible life-size plastic animals standing sentinel in German front gardens; the Øresund bridge, so often seen crossed by Saga Noren, and the beautiful autumn forests and lakes of Sweden. Now for a café with free WiFi, and we can get started!
Problem number 1: For some reason that neither we nor the technical support chaps at GoPro have been able to fathom, we can’t use GoPro’s own video editor on our laptop. No problem, we will use another editor instead. We just have to find one that is a) free and b) not completely incomprehensible to average humans such as ourselves. Some internet research offered what appeared to be a suitable programme. It might be, if we manage to figure out how to use it, but one thing is certain – two hours in a café in Jönköping is not time enough for these average humans to edit even a minute of uploadable video. Ok, so the video will have to wait until we’ve found time to climb the editing software’s vertiginous learning curve. In the meantime, we can always work on the blog, can’t we?
Problem number 2: WordPress. We thought decide on a name, sign up and away you go. But no, it seems that even putting together the simplest of travel blogs is defeating us and we are presented with another learning curve to overcome.
Problem number 3: One imagines that when one gives up work, one has all the time in the world to do everything one wants. Unfortunately this isn’t true. It turns out travelling takes a lot of time. When ‘la vie’ is not actually on the road, the business of setting up camp, cooking and clearing meals, sleeping and packing up camp the following morning, fills what time is left. So finding the time to tackle the two learning curves before us is challenging. Sometimes I’ve managed a page or two in the car, laptop on knee, in between navigating and looking up to note something of interest passing by. Other times we’ve found inspiration crouched in the roof tent, cosy and warm with the heater on and the rain falling overhead.
Having said all of the above, it will be apparent by the fact that you are reading this, that we have managed to break through enough of the blogging barriers to complete and post this, our first article. It is by way of an apology, explanation or excuse, as to why we are three weeks into our journey and this is all we have managed to produce. It’s not the article we intended to post first but it’s also not the only intention we’ve failed to meet. More will follow, even some video hopefully, but maybe, like our journey, not in the way we planned or intended.