Finally I am sitting under the awning at the caravan site feeling some semblance of relaxation! A beautiful sunny day with fluffy clouds belies the journey of the last month to get here.
First was the moving and down sizing to a caravan to prepare ourselves for the trip. I’ve moved before, but nothing resembles what this was like. On the one hand it was such a relief to get rid of so much stuff, but somehow the packing and storing what we were going to keep, and sorting out what would make it to the next stage in our journey was stressful. Organising, deciding, coordinating and worst of all finding new homes for our pets.
Somehow it all happened, and with far more stress than was necessary, most likely because I was always conscious of making it as smooth as possible for Sofia. Sofia, who has actually coped with it all far better than I have. Yes, she has had her meltdowns, and currently every morning, she is going off the handle about something as soon as I wake up, but it could have been far worse, so I am incredibly proud of her and very optimistic about her ability to do this adventure.
A wonderful validation has been speaking to another parent on the camp site yesterday evening who told me that Sofia had told them about our adventure and was clearly really looking forward to it! Yay!
Of course the month would not slip away quietly, and like a storm that brews a builds, so did my crisis-o-metre, which hit the red when I received an email from the mechanic, who was making the bike and sidecar expedition ready, informing me he was not longer going to do the work. The why’s and wherefores was completely irrelevant at the end of the day for me, all I saw was someone trusted sweep the carpet from under my feet and I went into total meltdown myself! Whilst I didn’t feel it was the end of the project, suddenly it was in total jeopardy as we no longer had an expedition ready bike, and I have no intention of setting off on a bike that hasn’t been prepared
After a couple of days of feeling completely hopeless, I finally had a good nights sleep and now back in the saddle and ready to make this trip happen once again.
The foot note to all this is that I am so glad I decided to experience the downsizing stress now rather than wait for the trip. Even if Sofia seems to be adapting to it in her own way better than expected, clearly for me it is a different story and I would have hated to go through a crisis whilst on the road in another country, and this is true with the mechanic as well. I would hate to have had that kind of response when we were in desperate need of help out in the bush! I think we are cool now, but we are parting ways amicably I believe and the bike will find a new doctor to take care of it before we leave.
Above all though, I think I am amazing myself about how important this trip is to me for us to do it. Yes I felt that it was important to do for Sofia from the beginning, but I think this month has been a make or break challenge for me personally, and I think, coming out the other end, we are both going to cope with what is ahead of us.
We still have a lot of money to raise in the next couple of months – so please donate!
UK tax payers – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/finalCharityHomepage.action?charityId=1005498
All other countries – http://www.gofundme.com/africawithautism