I have been quiet for the last few months as I ferreted away on setting up a new blog (current affairs, political, common sense, non PC – The Hungry Rabbit) that will hopefully sustain us in the future for more adventure travel to raise awareness for autism. I have almost finished with the initial setting up, and my focus is now returning to our next travel project – Europe.
Having decided that Europe was the next destination in the new year, I then had the thought that perhaps we should make it a bigger challenge and instead of a motorbike, that we should try a tandem bicycle. A really great idea and challenge to be done, but I have realised that now is not the time. Sofia is not ready to make that type of journey, coupled with the fact that at this point I think cultures will be a better learning for her than working through a physical punishment – and a physical punishment it would certainly be!
So we remain on the motorbike for this journey and will cover approximately 1000 miles a week, hoping to camp the entire way (peek season availability allowing) and taking in as much of the various cultures of Europe as possible.
As I think about this journey and I start to plan, I can feel that there will in fact be an enormous challenge in it for both of us and I wonder how I thought that it might not be enough! Not only will we dealing with many different languages yet never staying long enough to really get to grips with them, but cities will most likely become a major feature of our travels. This will present a challenge for me driving as I don’t like cities and have a propensity to get lost (yes really! if it wasn’t for basic navigation knowledge of North and South we may have ended up in the Arctic in stead of Africa!), but also Sofia, who will now have an opportunity to develop her map reading skills, and her camping skills, both of which she was only just starting to get to grips with on our journey through Africa.
The Plan of Action:
We do our first event of the season next week at the MCN Show at the Excel in London (17th-19th) where we will hopefully pick up some kit sponsors for the trip and sell our T-shirts and stickers. Expect a blog post, as this will be first time for me driving with a trailer and no doubt I will find myself in a pickle somewhere in London!
Start detailed planning – border controls for Ukraine and Russia; peg the definite destinations with time scales and sections where we can go off the beaten track. Ensure that I have Ural knowledge bases fully mapped on the route as well!
Start planning kit – we will have to halve what we took with us to Africa, partly because Sofia has grown and partly because in hindsight I think the Zambian bikers were right, we were too heavy in Africa. With Sofia also being older now, it may be easier to achieve this as well as I will feel less need as a mother to horde food and clothing!
Fundraising – This year I have set up an account on Patreon so that supporters can subscribe $1 per month (or more if they so choose). Through this I hope that we achieve a regular support base upon which we can plan future events as well as start creating grants for other children with Autism and Autism organisations. Please visit us on Patreon and become a patron now – https://www.patreon.com/AfricaWithAutism
Recording the event – This time I will be investing more time into planning the video recording and picture taking and hopefully get Sofia involved in the effort. It was my biggest regret in Africa that I hadn’t had time to do this before hand and made more of that aspect of the journey. So in Europe, I plan to make up for it. I have also found a great app for turning speech to text and will make an effort to create book as we go. I am currently using this for the book about the Africa journey, but sadly with so many other things on my plate it is not happening at the speed I would like!
Thank you for you continued support!