Recap of our travels

We have been back for almost 5 months now. Our European trip was amazing & encouraged us to continue with our plan to travel some more. Travelling for the time that we did & the manner in which we did, was a bit of a test as to how to manage travelling longer term with two kids in tow. Both G & I have backpacked for months at a time, but travelling with kids requires a little more thought.

For those who haven’t follow our adventures on IG, we travelled for 5 months across Europe, visiting Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Turkey, and the UK (very little in that list is actually in order). It was an amazing trip, only made possible as we were working & home/ worldschooling the kids at the same time. In terms of accomodation, there were a couple of overnights in a hotel & a couple of short visits with family & friends, but mostly it was Airbnb’s.

We all really liked the pace that working at the same time forced us to adopt, we didn’t rush from place to place & tended not to jump around every week or so, although there were a few short jumps in there. It was far more relaxing for the ability to build a base & get to know the area & that also helped to make the whole experience easier on the kids as well too.

Our stays in Airbnb’s were great & helped to keep costs down, as opposed to if we had stayed in hotels too. Some of our requirements for Airbnb’s were to have the ability to cook & wash (washing machine), as well as internet access. Internet access was required by us to work & for the kids to do some of their school work. A washing machine was part of what helped us to bring so little. I brought laundry sheets & somehow managed to have enough for the whole trip, which was amazing good fortune. Having kitchens & the ability to cook helped a lot, as I have a long list of allergies, so being able to prepare food, is a necessity wherever we travel.

When we would arrive at our new destination, one of the first things we would do after checking out the facilities where we were staying (and what we had to work with), was to check out the food situation. I would book places that listed grocery stores nearby, as walking was out preferred option to having to potentially take public transport. It was always a bit of an adventure to workout where exactly some of those places were & what they had. We would get food at small grocery stores, fruit & veg markets, bakeries & butchers. I brought some reusable bags with us, both to carry larger amounts of food in & for produce, including a bread bag, which helped a lot.

We really appreciated the places we stayed at that had more than just the bare minimum in terms of kitchen facilities. Having a few spices and oil was always wonderful to have. Our Airbnb’s in Zadar, Athens, (first one) in London & The Cotswolds were so well stocked in terms of dishes & other little comforts that we could cook anything we wanted to, which was a welcome surprise. To be able to bake & cook roast dinners was such a treat. It would be nice if that was more of the norm, but I get the feeling that people sometimes steal things or there is a worry that things will go missing, which results in less being offered, which is a shame.

We tried not to carry a lot, only bringing carry on bags & small backpacks with us, although there were times we had a few extra little bags of food as we moved from place to place & at the end we brought back an extra bag of stuff, including Turkish towels. Transport included some flights, but we also caught trains & used a few hire cars here & there & of course there were Ubers. Ubers are amazing especially when there is a language barrier. Not carrying a lot made our travels in general easier, so I highly recommend trying it sometime, if you haven’t already.

Our travels definitely made us appreciate just how little we needed. We still accumulated some trinkets/ souvenirs along the way, but we were pretty mindful of what we bought & the waste that we created in what we purchased, as well as how it might affect luggage arrangements.

Now to take what we have learned & appreciated from those months & apply it to living on aboard…

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