So, we thought we had things all under control. And then, suddenly, there were only four more sleeps before we were due to leave on our BIG caravanning trip. You know the one – that trip we’ve talked about for years (decades?) and started planning in earnest well over six months ago. Well, it’s now only days away and the ‘To Do’ list continues to grow at a rate of knots.
How does one plan for six or more months on the road? How do we strike the right balance between minimising the towing weight and packing enough clothes to see us through the tropics, cold desert nights and windswept beaches – including some with nothing between them and Antarctica!
Similar concerns apply to many things – tools, food, prescription medications, toiletries, the list is endless.
Have we overengineered things? Yeah, quite possibly! In recent weeks, we’ve both refreshed our First Aid skills and added a snake bite first aid kit to our supplies, in readiness for all that remote outback walking and camping. We also spent a couple of days preparing hearty meals and freezing them down, to make sure we had a ready supply of cooked veges. We didn’t want to be caught out by the quarantine restrictions against taking fruit and veges across the various state borders, and then facing limited supplies of fresh (and affordable) produce in remote communities. And besides, sometimes it’s nice to have a supply of already-cooked meals, especially when there’s no interest in cooking after a long day of driving or hiking through national parks.
And then, what about keeping the home fires burning? Organising the payment of those pesky household bills that will continue to arrive in our absence, and tending to any home and garden maintenance, as well as ensuring that housesitters are in place.
In the end, we seem to have a lot more space in the van and truck than we have had for shorter trips, and even have a few hundred extra kilograms of weight to play with. So, perhaps we’ve been too frugal with managing the towing weight? But if we’ve forgotten to pack some essential item, then isn’t that what shops are for?
And as the big day arrives, it’s time to bid a fond (and teary) farewell to the family. Oh, let’s not even think about how much we’re going to miss them, and especially watching the grandchildren grow and develop while we’re gone! But that’s where video calls will help ease the anguish of separation.
One more sleep and we’re off, leaving Canberra’s Autumn colours behind us.
Let the adventure begin!