That’s Norway to treat your family
4th July 2018
Where are we? Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, France
Two years ago we left home in a campervan with intentions of going to Norway. For various reasons, time available and tiredness mostly, we changed our plans and spent time in the UK instead. We promised ourselves then that we would get there one day and after life and other travels interrupting, this year we have the time, we have the inclination and there is nothing to stop us. So our summer is going to be spent in Scandinavia, with most of our time being in Norway.
Who are we? We are the Simpson’s (hooray)! I am Paul and I am lucky enough to be married to Jessica and have 4 amazing girls, Lily who is 12, Ruby – 10 and our twins Allegra and Olivia – 8. Previously we have spent four months in a campervan travelling around some of Europe and seven months backpacking and Airbnb-ing our way around Asia. These travels have affected and inspired us and we have made the decision that in our life we are going to be as plastic free as possible and also that we want to follow a vegan diet as a way to reduce our footprint on this incredible planet. This is not always simple when on the road and so no doubt there may be some missteps along the way but we want to get as close to these goals as possible, everything we can do will help.
On one hand we are very good at planning so the getting organised to go part is not too difficult. We have our campervan (Sven) and he has had repairs done and been serviced so that is taken care of. Being a British van though he needs an MOT and this is due smack bang in the middle of our travel plans so the only thing for it is to bring this forward and get it done before we set off. As we are living in France at the moment this means a flying visit to the UK to get this taken care of while keeping all our fingers crossed that everything will be OK and our plans wont be interrupted. We know that Norway is an expensive country so we stock up with as much food as we think is reasonable to cram into the limited cupboard space of the van. We have loads of pasta, rice, cous cous and oats so there will be no real surprises on the menu while we are travelling. We are hoping to spend some time with nature while on the road so we bought some inflatable kayaks (tested out once – they float, bonus), we have six bikes although only a bike rack for four so there is a bit of a struggle to fit two bikes in the garage space of the van. This space is definitely not made for bikes so it is lucky they are not any bigger otherwise they would not fit. We have walking shoes, wetsuits, bike helmets and a frisbee. We have 7 days worth of clothes each because we had to pack light but for some reason we brought 10 towels. We have 3 mobile phones, 4 kindles, 3 ipads and 3 laptops so electronically we are well covered. This is good because we will have to be working while we are travelling. This is how we do it, we rarely have a holiday where we just do nothing for 2 weeks, we keep working so we are always earning to pay for all the travel we want to do.
On the other hand, we are hopeless at planning so the ‘what will we actually do when we get there’ part of it is something we are not so sure of. We have bought a Lonely Planet guide to Norway so we know a few sights we want to see and we know that we want to spend time off the beaten track if possible and get lost in the fjords. We have a vague idea that we will drive until Denmark then slow down a little and make our way through Denmark and Sweden although without spending a huge amount of time there because it is Norway that is the drawcard for us. We have some people we will be meeting up with along the way which will probably inconvenience us massively as who knows how long we will want to stop in places or how often we will move on. For us, the flexibility that comes with not having a fixed plan is ideal as we just want to be able to move on when we want and go where the inspiration takes us. We have almost two months until we need to be back for our girls to start back at school, we are as ready as we ever are for anything, so lets go!
What have we learned? Even when travelling light we have loads of stuff.
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