Big Trip – more thoughts

20 Jan

Meanwhile, there has been consideration of our trip, mostly involving lengthy discussions with Dave about various ancient Greek sites that he visited. And longing (me) to just jump over and do a Nile cruise while we are there. And vetoing of silly, expensive and time-consuming options like that (Fraser). And discussion of appropriate budgets for the trip, given the current climate (scary figures like $300+ a day – 150 euros – don’t seem even remotely unreasonable). It *LOOKS* as though we have dates set – but they are not concrete yet, of course. 

The tentative plan is now to leave Melbourne at the start of July and return in mid-to-late November. That’s four and a half months, give or take. Our aim is to be settled in Germany by late July or, at the very latest, early August as I think the school term starts in mid August (depending on where we settle). Also, we have a social commitment on July 25th.

Of course, it would be better if we could get the girls there before that so as to have a bit more language experience – so maybe I will have to go over with them in mid June and stay somewhere (maybe send the Bigster to a language camp) and then meet up with Fraser in early July … that’s all still a bit up in the air. My gut feeling is that we’d spend a lot of July (before term starts) in the UK, probably hiring a car to travel around but maybe using my beloved trains with OMG FREE WIRELESS INTERNET. Then, depending on time, maybe a few days in France before heading to Germany to settle in (and then take weekends away after that). 

OMGESSEN! in October is a given, of course – and Fraser is keen to get back to BGGcon, which would mean we’d fly to the US some time after OMGESSEN!. Biggie is keen to experience Halloween in the US – it’s not really celebrated here at all – so that means we’d have 3 weeks or so in the UK. Fraser wants to go to Disney World, I want to go to Dinosaur Valley (it’s reasonably near Dallas, right?), Biggie wants to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Yeesh – we’re all over the place! More importantly, I want to catch up with friends (gaming but also non-gaming) which also puts places like Seattle on the wishlist. I guess we’ll see how far we get – I have a sneaking suspicion that, after OMGESSEN!, I might just want to get home.

Good things that are happening:

  • Otto maintains that she REALLY wants to go to German School with her sister – this is every Saturday morning. It’s really language exposure more than anything, but will give them some sort of basis. (This has been a consistently expressed wish since the end of November)
  • Otto actually referred to our trip yesterday as something she wants to do – in the past, she’s tended to ask whether she could stay home with Daddy please. We’ve stressed that she will get to visit SPAIN when we go – Dora the Explorer has a LOT to answer for – and she’s very keen to do that. But it’s always been the consolation prize – so it was great to have her ask yesterday, “Can we fly straight to Germany, mummy, so we can go to Spain after that?” – last night, we looked at pictures of Spain and of Germany.

Bad things that are happening:

  • Aussie dollar predicted to fall to 56 US cents. OK, it’s what it does against the Euro that *really* matters … but still …
  • I don’t often (read: I think never, on this blog) talk about this, but one of the kids has a minor medical condition that may interfere. Not a life-threatening issue by any means, but an annoying one that is not currently responding to medication, that would not be manageable if we were travelling, and would even be awkward if living in someone else’s home or a short-term rental. We have an appointment with her specialist (first available slot was mid-March – yikes) but it doesn’t look terribly promising – she’s already on the maximum permitted dose of the medication, and it doesn’t seem to be having any effect at all. A change in medication *might* work wonders, or she might grow out of it in the next few months, but if she doesn’t then we won’t really have any choice but to postpone. Which would be good in some ways (kids that bit older when we go, more time to save and prepare, hope of world currencies settling down, Fraser will have more leave) but not in others (Blows to self-esteem at being a cause of delays, Biggie in a more critical year of school, Fraser has the extra leave booked for THIS year not next (yet?), prospect of world currencies being even more screwed than they are now).

My plan:

  • Close my eyes and enjoy the ride.
  • Really: keep planning, on the grounds that plans can always be deferred.
  • And try not to talk about it too much with the kids, in case we do have to defer.
  • Think of a really good excuse that has nothing to do with the kids, in case we do have to defer (see above, re: Self Esteem).
  • Try not to close my eyes, drum my heels on the floor and weep, BUT I WANT TO GO NOW, DAMMIT. At least, not when the kids are watching. It might entertain Fraser.
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Posted by on January 20, 2009 in grand plans, travel


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