Today I realised it is not a dream anymore… it’s not something that might happen in the future, the journey for me, started today.
I was hammering our new (20 year old) American motor home down the Reborn Rd with Dave our loyal mechanic who had his head in the exposed engine inside the cab as it blasted out all sorts of noises, fumes and unidentified flying objects. The engine gets hot through the protective cover that is normally there, but today it is blasting red hot air straight on to my legs which I have to keep checking are not on fire. You know the mad max films… I felt like Mel Gibson and Dave was the guy in the little aeroplane saving my arse!
We have a fuel starvation problem and the bus as I call it, will not go up hills. As the Balkans are probably one of the hilliest parts of the world (Macedonia is 80% sheer mountain) we are keen to get it sorted before leaving. Dave speaks English, knows a lot about engines and well… has some tools. Breaking down in Bosnia is something I am keen to avoid at the moment. Tomorrow we will cut the fuel lines and feed the engine through a hosepipe out the window with a petrol can on the end of it. I feel Mad Max 2 will be the order of the day.
We are pretty much ready to go with the kids being far cooler about the whole thing than we are. “I’ve decided what teddies I’m taking Dad and my teacher knows that I’m leaving, so there’s nothing else for me to do until we leave.” Negotiations on special treats due to lost birthdays in the UK over the next two years have been their main focus with two sleepovers covering one birthday and the school hall, complete with hired D.I.C.O equipment covering the other. I’d like to thank Rick for doing the DJ’ing. The kid who thought you where Nati’s older brother will get a shock when he see’s you pick him up at the school gates in your suit.
The build up to this trip is like when your wife is pregnant for the first time, you get 9 months of peoples advice telling you how much of a nightmare or how much fun or full of poo a baby can be. You can’t make any comment, you jut have to take what you hear and extract the advice that sounds good and ignore the rest and think, it can’t be that bad, or we all wouldn’t be here. When we tell someone we are about to go through places like Bosnia, Albania, Romania and then go and live in a remote part of Sri Lanka (we got a think about countries ending in a) with our three kids who have never moved bedrooms let alone house, the advice tends to be along the lines of “Here is my shrinks tel no.”, a long… ‘your friggin mad!’… kind of look or that knowing “your 40 this year aren’t you” or the more popular “ I know some one who went there in the 80’s, it’s an absolute night mare, your kids will hate it”.
In two weeks we will start to find out if this really is the trip of a lifetime or if there really are vampires in Transylvania and two weeks in Spain would have been a better idea.
What ever the out come of our two year adventure, we will all be living our lives, we will not be reminiscing about the old days or dreaming about the future, we will be totally focused on the here and now and hopefully enjoying every minute of it!
That’s providing the engine gets fixed tomorrow and well… we actuality make Dover…
Bring it on!