It is almost time. Long planned and long awaited road trip is about to begin… This time we chose to travel up north to the promised land, land of our dreams, home of our hearts (Finland, if one didn’t guess that already), with Skoda das Auto even though it means a lot of sitting in the car. With two very active little kids (better not forget the ear plugs!). Our travel route goes through Germany, and across the sea from Travemünde to Helsinki (no, our Skoda das Auto cannot swim or drive under water, but luckily there are some ships sailing that accept passengers with a car included!). The route continues to eastern Finland and a week later back to the middle. From there we head to Turku and across the sea to Stockholm. Pit stop in one little wedding and then through Sweden and again through Germany until we land back home. So no you know. A LOT of sitting in the car. Crazy…? Maybe.
But before mounting the car, there’s some preparations that need to be done. Like packing (a lot of shopping included!), finding a babysitter to your plants etc. etc. And what do you actually need to pack with for a trip like this…? Well, the answer is very simple. Everything. But how to do it when you don’t have a moment of peace because of the kids and everyday life? Not to mention your husband is working like crazy all the time and can’t really help? Well, again a simple answer. You don’t. You leave it to the last night and forget sleeping. You do the packing when everyone else sleeps and curse when you realize you’re missing half of the stuff you need. Because you were forced to do the shopping with two screaming, fighting and overly active kids. And you couldn’t concentrate on what you were supposed to be buying. So back to the last night: you end up writing a list of missing items while you do your packing. And then you stop in the first bigger store as soon as you have crossed the German border. But because of this you have to drag the whole family out of bed earlier than planned, and start the journey earlier than planned. After all, you have a boat to catch. Missing it is not an option. Only it is one country size of a Germany away and anything can happen on the way. So better hit the road before even roosters are awake.
Sounds like no stress at all, right? Peaceful start to the vacation… But wait, that is not all. Let’s go back in time a little bit. Exactly one and a half weeks before the planned trip, air conditioning from Skoda das Auto decided to retire. Nice. Driving through half of the Europe in this heat inferno without air conditioning? It might be cooler in Finland but still…? Forget it. No can do. Luckily there is a really good garage in Safenwil – they saved us from trouble many times before and now again. Skoda das Auto was fixed in no time. Well, we’ll just wait and see. Our faithful iron warrior still has some time to break from some other edge. Maybe we should make a plan B?
But then we would need to have a plan C. And plan D. And so on… you see, exactly five days before the trip our little princes started sneezing, coughing and complaining that her throat hurts. Great. Such a perfect timing. I could actually feel my stress levels rising up to the heavens… not this! Not NOW!!! The rest of us still have plenty of time to get sick… I was seriously considering barricading the whole family inside of the house for the rest of the time before trip. But that wouldn’t make any sense, would it? Maybe we’d survive without more germs but one can always get sick on the way. So why bother? Worst case scenario: Cancel the trip. That would at least save us from the impossible packing operation… Fingers crossed that we’ll actually be able to go on planned day. Exciting times ahead… Meanwhile better fill up our medicine bag up to the top. God help me, it is a miracle if I survive all this without getting a peptic ulcer.
Stay tuned and you’ll be the first one to hear how it all went…
Traveler’s Daily Verse: