b) where do you start?
What made you want to do this?
lots of random encounters and experiences:
enjoying adventure, spontaneity, simplicity, closeness * Rachael being told by her first German teacher that she had a gift for language and should use it some day to bring others the Good News * living in Eastern Europe just after the Iron Curtain came down * having friends in Romania * discovering that some of our ancestors came from the Isle of Coll * having others come from Malaysia * the dream of travelling round Grandpa A’s childhood-country listening to stories of his life * meeting someone who wanted to go to Mongolia because there were no Christians there * meeting a couple who were travelling round Europe in a van with their new baby * reading “Walk Across America” as a 12-year-old and being thoroughly inspired by it * enjoying travel
How did you decide where to go, what to do?
We dreamed wild dreams and then worked away at seeing if we could make any of them happen.
Rob’s main goal is the Great Britain Pilgrimage with his Dad. We had talked about it for years, and real planning was spurred into action by the possibility of going to China with his job. Other things have similarly fallen into place. Lots of things have been ruled out, because there are too many of us!
The idea of going to Mongolia was brought about by a book we read ~ Houses Around the World. One of the children wanted to live in a yurt, so we made enquiries to see if we could.
Poland is hard to explain – why choose Poland? Well, we didn’t really choose Poland the first time – it was chosen for us. And all we know is we would like to go back!
Romania is not far away – we know a family there and would like to encourage them. Community.
We heard about Wild Hope and a fire was lit in our hearts. Whether it gets to burn or not is undecided….but it’s a possibility.
We have a dream of cycling as a family…somewhere….in the future….who knows?
How do we decide? Not sure, really!
How did you prepare your children for this?
We have been preparing our kids all their lives – teaching them to listen and obey, teaching them to eat whatever they’re given, helping them to walk longer and longer distances, encouraging an interest in *life*, giving them one box to keep all their (not many) clothes in, expecting them to work hard as part of our family, teaching them to read and write, dragging them along as we serve those around us, trying not to accumulate *stuff*….
As well as these preparations which are simply *life* (and for us, travelling is just one part of doing life), we have also made some travel-specific preparations. The children have spent a week playing with nothing but the toys they are thinking of taking – two tennis balls, paper-n-pens-n-watercolours, a pack of cards, a set of travel games, some letter dice, a compass and a penknife.
Although we won’t be walking with full packs every day, when we are on the go, everyone needs to be able to carry their designated bag, so we fill up our packs and march round the block to build endurance and when we go for a hike the kids get to carry the gear!
Having to carry everything makes you think twice about what you want to take. We have a 39-piece wardrobe list. Everyone has chosen their limited-palette-colour-scheme and we are starting to pick up items on special and we’re making things on the list. The clothes for the children will be made like in the olden days – with seams to be let out and down so that they grow with them rather than having to buy a complete set of new clothes each year.
After choosing a route, what next?
A huge part of our planning was accomplished online. Here are some things we’ve needed to think about:
transport * accommodation * food * visas * insurance * vaccinations * health * luggage * electronic gear
Any other essentials?
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