The luggage is packed (even with some room for shopping!). The animals are fed, walked and generally spoilt, and the kids are way too excited for their own good. The house is clean and tidy and most of the thousands of pre-trip jobs done. Today is the day we head off on our next big adventure….. 7 weeks through Europe in Winter!
The cats and alpacas are very suspicious of our behaviour (the cats weren’t impressed when the big suitcases came out!). They will all be very well looked after by the lovely Louise, so will barely miss us. The kids were a bit more worried about missing the animals, their beds and their toys but are much too excited about planes and snow to be too concerned. We have to survive the 30 odd hours of transit and resulting jetlag before the fun will really start (the definitely not fun bit of travel with small kids). After that, lots of adventure awaits. I will be updating this blog with photos and stories of our travels.
I do really enjoy travel blogging. There is nothing better than sharing travel and adventure with other people. It is certainly a time consuming hobby though! I take a lot of photos when we travel (I take a lot normally, but even more during trips). Each day I download the photos from the camera cards, tag them with location, GPS, people’s names and other useful info. The photos are then backed up and sorted for editing. At home I have a zoomy fast desktop computer and large 4k monitors for editing. When we travel I have my trusty laptop (that is currently running with with an external power controller, lots of gaffa tape and a dodgy track pad that only works sporadically!). It is light and a good computer though, so does the job, albeit in a smaller and slightly slower format. I try to select all the photos I want to edit eventually, and edit at least those I want to share on a blog post. I also try to write up the blog posts fairly soon after the event, it’s much harder to remember all the details and funny stories weeks down the track. I then do all the blog layouts and photo layouts. With sometimes dodgy wifi, this can often be a frustrating and time consuming process. Once all the photos and text are together I try to publish it so I can move onto the next days photos and stories. Of course all of this is done while the kids are asleep for the night, or in small sections while referee-ing kids on planes and trains (free wifi on long train journeys is a wonderful thing!).
Why may you ask, would I spend so long on something that is a hobby, has no financial reward and is chewing into my holiday time? I love hearing and reading other peoples travel stories. I also read travel blogs for inspiration (or jealous longing) of places to go and things to do. I think that one of the joys of travelling is sharing it with other people. I love looking at photos of far away places and hearing all those amusing stories about plans gone awry or crazy kid antics on a long day. Yes, travelling with kids adds a whole new dimension. They really shape the things you do, and often result in funny stories.
Really though, if no one read my travel blogs or looked at my pictures I’d still spend just as much time on them. I eventually turn all of our travel blogs and photos into photobooks. When I say eventually I may have finished everything up to the end of 2013,I’m a little behind! The kids love looking through the photo books and it helps them remember things from a time when they are often too young to remember many details. I also love reading through old posts and remembering little things I would otherwise have forgotten. The kids grow up so fast that it’s a good way to remember all the fun (and often frustrating times).
I have referred back to old travel blogs to help other people with their travel planning. It’s a good way to remember details and our stories and advice are often useful to other people. I often find other good travel blogs the most useful (and interesting) way of preparing for a trip. Most of all though, I love people enjoying our stories and photos, and even laughing at our misfortune when we have one of ‘those’ days. Vomit and tantruming children are often funnier years down the track or at least when it happens to someone else. I’m also a huge fan of pretty pictures. I like taking them so someone might as well look at them!
I will do my best to record this trip through photos and stories. I’m sure the kids will love looking at the blogs, books and photos for years down the track and if anyone else gets some joy or amusement out of our adventures, all the better! I can absolutely guarantee I will get way behind with the blogging. There is very little chance of me posting about every single city shortly after our visit, but I do like to keep on top of it as best I can. If I leave it all til I get home it just won’t get done with 2 small kids to keep alive. I’m hoping to not get too far behind, but we will see how it goes. Cooperative children and fast internet will help! It would also help if I didn’t take thousands of photos and write novellas (but where would be the fun in that?).
Just so you know where we are at different times, here is a quick run down of our itinerary (I posted in more detail about what we were planning in each city here).
11 – 17 December: Copenhagen, Denmark
17 – 19 December: Stockholm, Sweden
19 – 22 December: Visby, Sweden
22 December: Malmo & Lund, Sweden
22- 27 December: Berlin, Germany
26 December: Potsdam, Germany (day trip)
27 December: Dresden, Germany (day trip)
27 – 31 December: Prague, Czech Republic
31 December – 4 January: Vienna, Austria
3 January: Bratislava, Slovakia (day trip)
4 – 8 January: Salzburg, Austria
8 – 10 January: Munich, Germany
10 January: Fussen and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
11 – 14 January: Innsbruck, Austria
14 – 16 January: Zurich, Switzerland
16 – 19 January: Lauterbrunnen (Swiss Alps), Switzerland
19 January: Bern, Switzerland (day trip)
19 – 23 January: Lyon, France
21 January: Avignon, France (day trip)
23 – 26 January: Paris, France
If we survive all of that, in the cold, with 2 small kids then we will have done well. I’m sure there is lots of fun, food and adventure in the next 7 weeks. Probably with a large dose of tantruming and tired kids (and adults) too. I will be sure to share all the amusing stories and hopefully a pretty picture or two! It might even be in a timely fashion.
Make sure you stop by from time to time and see what we’ve been up to. I love hearing from everyone back home. In the meantime wish us luck for the next 2 days of travel!