My Spain 2017 trip

Follow me on my trip ‘Spain 2017’ at https://www.polarsteps.com/MandiPhillips/941527-spain-2017

If my blog posts are a bit too long and involved then take a quick look at the summary of our trip to Spain last year! A summary of the UK part of the trip will follow and from November you’ll be able to follow us live as we head off too Spain again, via France, for a few months ☺

Don’t forget you can always look at the relevant blog post if something catches your interest and I’ve very nearly finished all the campsite reviews now!

I hope thus gives you some ideas xx

Related Posts:

1. Our 1st 3 Months Away

2.. Welcome to Spain

3. What we learned about Spain in 2017

4. What we learned about Portugal in 2017

5. Spain and Portugal in Pictures

 

 

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On ‘How Time Flies’..

Time is precious.  We all know that.  We also know that life’s too short.  This is why we embarked on this adventure – taking a year out and travelling.

We are struggling to believe that we are already nearing the end of this year (I know we still have 4 months of the year remaining, but remember we ARE in the UK and we WILL lose the weather sooner rather than later.  We are however desperately wishing for a prolonged Indian Summer so that we can keep travelling through to later November.  We understand that we have a maximum, therefore, of 3 months travelling in the UK.

Being at the end of August we were expecting to be in Scotland by now…  Actually, we expected to have almost finished Scotland by now!  The furthest north we have got, however, is Whitby in North Yorkshire – there is so much to see and do in this wonderful country of ours.

Back to the point of this post though.  Time is indeed flying by, but what I have found is that when we spend time with family and friends it flies even quicker.  The last 2 weeks have seen us spending a week in Cornwall (my favourite spot in the whole world – keep an eye out for my post on this) to celebrate my friend’s 40th birthday, followed by a return ‘home’ to catch up with family (in particular to make sure that Calv’s grandchildren still recognise him!), and to celebrate my friend’s birthday again (on the actual day this time 🙂 ).

This time is going by so quickly that it simply emphasises the point of our travels, of our year off, of doing this before we run out of the energy or the desire to do anything.

Everyone tells themselves that this is something that they would love to do in some capacity (i.e. not necessarily in a motorhome!), but there is always a reason not to take the plunge.  They don’t have enough money, they need to keep an eye on the kids (adult kids even), they just need to see through this big project at work, they couldn’t possibly give up work…

All valid reasons of course, and, don’t forget, we all have different motivations and desires.

However (and it is a big however), we truly believe that we have changed our lives for the better.  Despite the fact that there have been a few bumps along the way (I shan’t go into that now!) which meant we had less money available than we initially thought, this hasn’t detracted from our enjoyment of our time on the road together.  We have found that we want for a lot less, we have become far less materialistic if you like.

I didn’t actually consider myself overly so to begin with to be fair, but even I have noticed that I want for less – apart from reading material and the occasional new (but useful) gadget for the van!  Even our grocery shops have declined (although they’re still more expensive when we’re meeting up with people.  Alcohol. Of course…!)

Even with all the time in the world that we have gifted ourselves we still never seem to have time to do everything.  We have learned to relax (even Calv, it might surprise some of you to learn), although it doesn’t seem that we actually do that very often.  We only realised this yesterday when we did actually relax for the whole day.  We sat reading (well, I did – he hasn’t changed that much!), drinking tea (yes, tea), enjoying the sunshine and then went on a lovely walk in the countryside to a local country pub (The Old House at Home in Chidham, well worth a visit, and actually much older than it appears from the outside).

 

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Looking over towards Emsworth on our walk to the pub
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Looking over the water towards Bosham on our walk home from the pub

We have loved spending time with friends and family, apart from the fact that we also put weight back on when we see them – so in 2 1/2 weeks our waistlines have taken a definite hit!

But we are also looking forward to getting back on the road.  On Tuesday we will be heading north again, taking in the Yorkshire Dales and the top of the North York Moors via York itself, before heading into Northumberland – which we believe (and hope) will be the highlight of our trip so far.  We suspect that by the time Northumberland has finished with us, and us with it, it may be time to cross over a little to the west coast and start making our way home.

We are sad that we won’t make Scotland this year but, if all our plans come together, we would like to think that we’ll head straight there for some time next year.  We have lots of plans going forward – another by-product of this time is that we really talk to each other.  A lot!

Please stay with us as we tell you about our adventures yet to come over the next few months, as we visit yet more places that we have never been to before and create more wonderful memories – trust me, we will always have something to talk to each other about!!  Please feel free to comment with your own thoughts and experiences – we love to hear from you!

I will aim to tell you about Cornwall as soon as possible – but we are busy seeing people over the next few days before we head off again!

Keep travelling! xx

 

Today’s the Day! :)

The final run-up to the off 🙂

20170116_072839Countdown to the Off!!

And we’re off!  (Literally, right now, as this posts…)  Okay, so I’ve cheated with this particular blog (in that I’m actually writing it a week before we leave and updating whenever I have a few minutes!)

I’m finding that I have some wonderful ideas for what to write – just as I’m falling asleep each night..!

To be honest we are almost ready now.  The house is almost completely packed up ready for moving into storage at the weekend, we have piles put aside to move into the van, 1 last wash to do and 2 loads of ironing (I know, this is almost too much excitement for you all – me too).

Had a little panic yesterday when I found out that I was meant to have got an independent valuation on the property (even though it’s sold through the proper channels).  I managed to get this organised quickly though (thank goodness for the January lull), the visit has been made and we’re just waiting for the report.  Phew phew-941

I’ve just got a few more letters to write to leave for Sam to fill in the completion date and pop in the post and then we’re good to go.

We’re even doing well with running down the fridge/freezer and cupboards contents 🙂

So I’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions so far this year.  You know that feeling you had through most of your teenage years (I know some of you are still there; lucky you! but for many of us this is 30+ years ago!).  Continue reading “Today’s the Day! :)”

What we learned about France in the summer of 2016

• The French love a roundabout – possibly even more than the Brits
• Signage often stops just when you need it most..
• There is a lot of free parking in France and lots of parking spaces
o  Except in Cannes – you have to drive right through Cannes and walk back about a        mile to get free parking
o And Monaco – lots of underground parking areas, not free, but not as expensive as we were expecting either Continue reading “What we learned about France in the summer of 2016”