Big European Odyssey - We are packed and ready to go!

I am sat in our new motorhome writing this as it’s starting to feel more and more like home now, all our belongings are in, it’s clean and tidy with our clothes folded up Marie Condo style and our shoes stored in the space behind the passenger seat.

Even our towels are neatly rolled up like sausages to make sure we can fit in enough for beach trips and a shower on the same day. It’s essentially our roaming home on wheels. I am aware that our new home will never be this tidy again as once we are on the road, things will become more haphazard. So I’m going to make the most of it now and enjoy it.

It still hasn’t sunk in what we are about to embark on; living in our motorhome full time as we explore Europe, Asia and North Africa with our two young children, aged six and three. We have had motorhomes before but we were less organised with how we packed, taking extra things ‘just in case’ and not worrying too much about space, after all we’d be home in two weeks.

But packing this time felt different, we will be on the road for at least a year and storage space is at a premium, so if it wasn’t deemed essential, we haven’t packed it. Even the children had to choose which toys to bring with them, they were each given a basket that they could fill, each basket will sit in the footwell of their passenger seats where they can be easily accessed, but also safely stored whilst travelling.

Over the last eight months, Marcus, my husband and I spent many happy hours in the local coffee shop with our laptops, Googling must-see places in the various countries we plan on visiting. The best activity in Slovenia for kids? When is the best time to see the Northern Lights? Are there family-friendly hikes in the Dolomites? We’ve shared our travel plans with family and friends and it’s always felt surreal talking about the twenty-eight countries we’d like to visit. And now it’s here, the time to finally, and fully, commit to our greatest adventure yet.

We know that the first few weeks, maybe longer, will be an adjustment phase as we all get used to our new nomadic life. So we decided to plan an itinerary over the first few weeks aimed at helping us to adapt, deciding to stay on larger campsites where there will be other families we can chat to, as well as having amenities that we are familiar with, such as laundry facilities. We’ve been members of the CAMC for a few years now, having had some brilliant trips in the UK using their network of sites and certificated locations, and so know their extensive European network will serve us well in the countries we plan to visit, including France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia and Croatia. 

Booking through the CAMC website has been so easy, and as someone who loves attention to detail the additional information about each site has been brilliant, with details such as what time of year they are open, what facilities are on site, what attractions are nearby and number of pitches and pricing guide. It’s allowed us to not only plan, but have peace of mind about the places we will be staying. 

These last few weeks have been full on, from getting our new motorhome, taking it on a test run to Hay-On-Wye to make sure everything worked, returning it to have the snag list sorted, taking measurements for the cupboards so that we could purchase storage boxes that fit, worrying that the boxes would be too tall, or too small and waste valuable space, deciding what was deemed essential enough to take with us, deciding if what was left behind deserved a space in our storage box or a place at the charity shop.

But now that the important, and somewhat stressful, parts are out of the way, I am starting to get that heart flutter 'are we really doing this?’ feeling in my belly, and the thought of waking up in a secluded spot overlooking the peaceful mountains or a beautifully calm lake with the sound of birdsong is starting to feel within reach. On the day of our departure, which has been postponed by five days as I sadly have a funeral to attend, all that will be left to do is pack our toothbrushes and coats, set the sat nav for Folkestone and finally set off. 

Motorhome life we are ready for you.

For more information on booking your own overseas holiday head over to the European travel section of our website, where you will find all the information and resources you need to plan your perfect holiday.

You can follow the Big European Odyssey through our own social media channels, as well as @marcusleachglobal and @our.roaming.odyssey on Instagram, @MarcusGLeach on Twitter and Our Roaming Odyssey on YouTube. 

The 26 Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

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