So I'm finally heading home and I wanted to thank you all for being so patient and sticking with me through the stop-and-go-ness that has been life over the last five months. I did miss the odd email (so very sorry!) and sometimes I took a few days longer than was totally acceptable to reply to emails and comments. But for the most part The Craft Sessions is coming out the other side unscathed, with an amazing event that is just about to happen. Eleven days to go!.
When our big potential life change was shaping up last November we had a few stressful chats about whether I was going to be able to plan the event while we did what we had been talking about doing for many many years - travel! In a way it felt incredibly selfish to want to work in the face of our family having time and space for the first time in a long time. But as I was just coming off the joy of our first retreat last October, I couldn't really see cancellation as an option. With the very kind support of my family, I made a choice to take a chance and try to do it in spite of the circumstances. And although I have had to struggle with my nature a little (which sometimes involved chanting "perfect is the enemy of good" like a crazy person) I am so glad I made the choice I did. This year's retreat is shaping up to be amazing. Registration went wonderfully and everyone seems so excited - which is just a total joy fest for me!
As so many of you have kindly commented on our trip I thought I'd fill you in on how it went. After we left Australia in April, we travelled from the UK to Denmark by ferry before driving down through Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece. We then took a ferry to Italy and spent a few weeks there before driving quickly back through Switzerland and France two weeks ago. And I'm sitting here about to get on a plane to come home, not knowing how to tell you what it was.
We didn't take a guide book and we didn't have any plans, which felt incredibly luxurious after years of work and schedules. We travelled slow, much slower than we thought we would, mainly in response to the kids. Many mornings we awoke not knowing where we were staying that evening. We ate simply and locally. We ate a lot of gelato, and it became more of an "everyday" food than a "sometimes" food. Our car Rex and our tent Starlight, truly became our home, with well established systems. Rexy had her windows smashed twice, and we broke down just once (in beautiful Bosnia). We walked and walked and walked and climbed many many stairs. We saw so much everyday beauty.
And then we saw showstopping, breathtaking beauty over and over again in places we had never heard of.
We skimmed many stones and swam many places. We got used to looking super weird with our rashies and hats among the almost nude Europeans.…. and well I feel like I could go on and on.
We saw over and over again that most people are doing their best to have a happy life. And that most people are good. I feel totally chuffed that my kids really got this.
I met this lovely woman a few weeks before we left who said to me "Wow - that will totally change you as a family!" and I do believe that is true. It feels like we have had a reset. We have had time to talk about the stuff that we normally only discuss on road trips. About our values, about what we want for our family, about where we are failing and about how we can change, about what makes us feel the joy. So so good.
Anyway this post was me simply trying to say a big thank you for your patience with all that was. It was truly appreciated.
PS. THANKS to each and every one of you who commented on my last post (with the swearing!) It really did make me laugh and cringe. Which I so needed.
PPS. UPDATE - I've woken up realising that in my late night going-through-pictures rosy-eyed view I forgot to talk about the hard. And the meltdowns. There were so many meltdowns…. me included! ;)