Easter Sunday 2012 to 2014
It was Easter Sunday two years ago that Mufidah and I decided while out on a walk where the Sussex Downs meet the sea at Cuckmere Haven to give up our flat in Lewes, East Sussex, and most of our possessions, to go a-traveling with no end in sight.
We gave ourselves until the following Saturday to make sure that seemingly snap decision, long however in coming, continued to feel right. It did. And so a month later, having given our landlord the required 30 days’ notice, we were off into the wild blue in our wee Fiat Punto, a car for which I paid £150 in 2009 and which continues to serve us well to this day.
Our righthand-drive Italian auto has carried us safely, without a single glitch, from Sussex to Wales and back, all around France that first summer, down into Spain for the autumn, winter and spring, back up through France, all around Britain last spring and summer — from Sussex to St Albans, all around the Lake District and Scotland, back to the Lake District en route to Cornwall to care for two lovely Jack Russell terriers and a black Labrador named Sammy for a few weeks last August, back across the whole of England — and then down to South West France, where we lived for nearly five months, along the Côte d’Azur and Italian Riviera this past January, to the hills of Tuscany for almost three months, north again through the Italian and Swiss Alps to Lucerne on the last day of March, and then, onward ho, through northern Switzerland to France, and back to England via the Dunkirk-Dover ferry on 3 April, the very day the French ferry workers went on strike at Calais causing a huge backup at Dunkirk. Fortunately, we and another British car were plucked from the impossibly long line of lorries by a motorcycle cop who motioned to us to follow him, at top speed, to the port. And we were off within minutes.
The Present and What’s Ahead
We’ve since been staying in a beautifully renovated stables in Surrey caring for a gorgeous little black pussy cat named Merlin, a 7-month-old bundle of joy whom we’ll sorely miss.
Then, this coming Wednesday, we’ll be off to another house-sit in our old stamping grounds of East Sussex, where we’ll be caring for two more Jack Russells, a Border Collie and three cats. And we’ve just learned this morning that we have a third house-sit in Essex, pet-sitting yet another Jack Russell, a Brussels Griffon-Chihuahua mix, two cats and a pondful of carp. The folk there also feed the wild geese and mallards who share their pond.
This carries us right up to within a few days of our planned departure for Berlin in the latter part of May, to embark, God willing, upon our third straight year of slow travels. In Berlin we’ll be caring for two cats through the latter part of August.
Between now and then, however, we’ve lots to accomplish here in England.
In addition to working with our CreativeThunder.co clients and Mufidah’s MacMadeEasy clients, we need to get our car re-MOT’d for the year to come, and find a new home for our remaining personal belongings which until now have been safely stowed away within the otherwise empty garage of a great and dear friend who’s only recently moved to an elderly care home, necessitating the selling of his well-loved little home in Lewes.
If you happen to know of someone in the South East who might have a spare space to hold our well-organized boxes and such, we’d hugely appreciate your dropping us an email so we can follow up. While back in Sussex this coming week we’ll be going through these boxes, afresh, to see what, two years later, we’re comfortable further whittling down.
For now, wishing you all a very Happy Easter, and my nephew Ethan, living in northeast Texas, a very Happy 10th Birthday.
Sean M. Madden is a writer, photographer and slow-traveling digital nomad. He’s also Co-Founder & CEO of CreativeThunder.co, working with businesses and individuals, worldwide, to build tribes of loyal customers via strategic websites and visual storytelling. Interested? Click here.