Today we’ve moved out of our bus and into our suitcases as we start our big trip to the other side of the globe. Although we already manage to live with a minimal number of possessions in our housebus, it still feels radical to pare our accessories down to an even smaller pile!

Empty interior of the Gifted Gypsy, August 2014
The bus is now empty of all our belongings. Friends will be using it while we're out of the country.

Pile of suitcases and bags at the airport, August 2014
This little pile of hand-luggage and one suitcase comprises the sum of our belongings that we'll be living with for the next little while. I wonder if this experience in an even greater level of minimal living will affect the way we reapproach our gypsy life on our return to Australia!

When thinking about our trip to Europe, it’s hard to predict everything that we’ll need for life, learning and adventures. However, as I considered the practicalities of travelling on my own with four dependents, I traded off the possibility of needing to buy something in the next country versus lugging its weight through airports, taxis and hotels.

The girls have been extremely cooperative with the idea of light-packing, and I know that their experiences over the next couple of months will more than replace the temporary loss of toys! Essential items for the girls include their sleeping blankets, one favourite toy, swimming things, a few drawing/writing/reading materials and their kipis. Apart from that, we’re just packing clothes and some toiletries.

Delaney, Calista and Brioni on the plane, August 2014
After anticipating our trip for so many months, its a relief to finally be on the plane!

With all the planning that has gone into our trip, I feel relieved to have finally started on our way. Especially over the last month, I’ve felt that we’ve been in a holding pattern — waiting for other things to happen — and that’s a terrible attitude! I’ve felt the stress of planning and packing on my own, budgeting and negotiating for accommodation and transport.

Even though we live full-time on the road, it’s within the parameters of a home — our housebus — and “moving house” can be stressful, especially when I’m not certain exactly what to expect! I am thankful that the girls are so adept at feeling at home within in a variety of circumstances. They’ve already mastered a very useful life-skill — the ability to sleep anywhere — and their general enthusiasm for life and contentedness despite a lack of routine encourages me that we’ll have an excellent adventure overseas with very few emotional challenges!