It was early November when we finally arrive back in Kent. And after a horrendous ferry crossing that saw us drifting off the coast of Dover for nearly 8 hrs due to extreme weather conditions, we have had time to reflect and look back on the year that’s nearly over. 

Our first night parked up in France

This nomad way of life gives you a great sense of freedom and I totally get that it wouldn’t be for everyone and as I sit writing this I have to admit I’m slightly relieved to have stopped. I’ve loved my time travelling but the reality is (and you may laugh at this) travelling is tiring. Sightseeing, exploring, meeting new people, and trying new things every day takes a toll on you. Then add into the mix the stress of sometimes trying to find a place to stay each night, weighing up free but possibly risky riversides or car parks against the security but crazily high prices of campsites.

One of the many times we spent the night alone, thankfully this was a quiet spot in Italy

Back in April, we drove off the ferry at Dunkirk with no planned route as such to find ourselves travel 4248 miles through 7 different countries Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg Germany, Switzerland, Italy and finally back into France, all be it some of them just for a couple of days but enough time to get a feel for the place. 

A cold day in Germany

One of the great things about Europe is the number of things there are to see and do for free. Rich in history with beautiful scenery it’s a continent shouting adventure. We have been fortunate to see buzzing cities, beautiful churches, rolling hills, snow-topped mountains, glorious beaches, a couple of stages of the Tour de France and let’s not forget the delicious mouth-watering food each of these countries as to offer. 

Dinner at one of the many Gourmands we attended

We normally try and find out a thing or 2 about where we are heading but accidentally stumbling upon somewhere different is precisely what makes travelling so magical. 

One of the many stunning views we stumble upon

Having packed in so many incredible experiences we now have many wonderful memories to dwell on. For the first couple of months the weather was horrendous with strong winds, heavy rain and snow but to stop cabin fever we always tried to get out for a quick walk because there’s clearly something about being in a confined space that can be trying to any couple and there’s definitely no spare room to storm off to if we did full out. Having said that John and I had very few disagreements. 

On the days the weather turned cold we just huddled up in side

Come June the weather started to change but this time it went to the other extreme we found ourselves amongst a heatwave where we saw the temperature rise to 47 degrees on several occasions. 

And when the heatwave arrived we tried to cool down

July saw us have a couple of busy months in the Dordogne catching up with family and friends, to a then relatively calm month in the Gers. 

Amelia baking flapjacks for Grandad when she came to visit us in France

Over the months during the day we walked, cycled, hopped on and off buses and trains, whilst the evenings were spent sitting in the late evening sun eating dinner and watching the sunset. 

Dinner with a view

Then with the heat of the summer gone, our jumpers were now replacing our swimwear and sun cream back in the bathroom cupboard autumn was suddenly here again and we find ourselves heading for the port of Calais. 

Drifting off the coast of Dover

It was blowing a full-blown gale as we drive off the ferry in Dover and head for Aldington. Our good friends Simon and Sue let us park up in their garden and we spend a couple of weeks in the luxury of their spare room. For now, we will not be returning to our own house but hopefully house sitting in different areas of the UK, so who knows where this will take us. 

Simon and Sue we can’t thank you enough

So a BIG thank you for reading my blog over the last year and a Happy New Year to you all x

3 thoughts on “Our time abroad 2019

  1. Hi Karen, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and finding out where you’ve been going.
    Sounds like you’ve had a fantastic time, but now eager to spend time in this country.

  2. Lovely to read, as always. You stumbled across some absolutely beautiful scenery, making any kind of travelling well worth it. Happy New Year to you both xx

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