I guess we did have a plan to start with. We fancied a change. Bev would finish work, we’d sell the house in Newcastle and move to Northumberland, get some chickens or alpacas and set up a music studio in the garage. But our house didn’t sell – buyers being cautious with Brexit maybe, or maybe just no-one saw what we saw in our house and garden. Then there came an opportunity for an exit scheme at my work – too good to miss. I applied and was successful – I’d finish 6th April and get a payout at the end of the month. New plan – never mind Brexit, let’s vote with our feet and get out.
Bev tidied up the house to rent it out and we started to sketch out a route through Europe. Our friends Andy and Ucci are building a house in Sweden so we’d aim to get there and say ‘Hi’ at some point, probably late July/early August.
We part-exchanged our VW campervan as a deposit for a larger motorhome. After a few worrying weeks in the run up to the 29th March Brexit deadline, decided to get a loan and pay off the balance for the new van early and get set off, in advance of the new ‘deadline’ of 12th April.
This meant a truly bonkers and exhausting week after finishing work… My leaving do and farewell gig with the band; packing up the entire house into boxes; loading into a storage unit; trying to sort the rental, sorting road tax, insurance, etc then collecting the new van from Scotland; sourcing a new acoustic amp; trying to pack all our kit in…
…and seeing friends to say goodbye. I barely had chance to reflect on leaving work after 15 years. Leaving a good, solid day-job at the age of 45 to go off travelling. Leaving the house we’d loved for 14 years, etc. Ah, well. It’s done now and we’re off. Bring it on 🙂
Bringing forward our departure meant that I hadn’t had time to put any effort into findings gigs in Europe either. So we really didn’t have anywhere particular to be. The only place I’d contacted was a bar in Ghent, Belgium, but I’d not heard anything. May as well head that way, you never know!