“If you do nothing unexpected, nothing unexpected happens” – this was the opening line in a collection of Fay Weldon’s short stories I was reading on the beach the other day and it struck a chord in me.
So today is the start of a year in which the Bungey family is doing something which until 2016 was unexpected. We head off on our adventure travelling the world for a year! When we moved the departure date forward from 2019 to 2018 in late 2016 it seemed an eon away and now, it is here! This time next week we will be heading with our bags packed, back to Cape Town to finish up a few little ‘adminy’ things, have lunch at our favourite sushi restaurant in Cape Town, Willoughby’s. Then early on the morning of the 9th we fly to JHB to catch our first flight on our journey, to Sao Paulo for a night, then onto Buenos Aires for a couple of days. My stomach is not sure whether it is butterflies or sheer panic when it flips every now and again.
Over the last few weeks being at our holiday home I’ve been asked by various people if we are ready. I am never sure how to reply, we have some air-tickets booked, passports, vaccines and required visa’s and our savings aside so not sure what else we can do? So I guess, yes is the answer, from a pure admin point of view we are ready, except for packed bags. Emotionally I am not sure; this is unchartered territory for us.
We’ve had a lovely time with a balance between family time and time with friends. Some beach mornings, long lunches and lazy afternoon naps. After a delicious New Year’s dinner last night with friends we headed off to the best view point in Ariston (lucky for us owned by the always welcoming Neil and Jean) to watch the fireworks and share lots of New Year wishes with other friends and our broader Arniston “family”.
So dawns the year of travel that we’ve been dreaming about for so long. Before we head off, though, we’ve still got just under a week to spend quality time with friends and family. Tomorrow is our annual 2nd January lunch where we reciprocate for all the generosity of others throughout the season. Fillet on the braai, salads and baby potatoes around the pool with a generous dash of wine always makes for a great day. Dear friends and Arniston residents, the Kirbys celebrate a combined wedding anniversary and Ron’s birthday on the 3rd, bringing the seasons merriment to a close.
As things calm down and demands on the liver recede, I expect that later in the week we will start to pack our suitcases. The academic packing list will become a reality, constrained by the physical space of a bag. The checklists of devices, cords, chargers and last to-do’s will be ticked off. Ultimately, when our bags are packed, will we feel any more ready or prepared than we do currently? Marginally, possibly….but I doubt it. But then that’s the point, isn’t it? In order to create the unexpected, you have to create uncertainty and a level of discomfort….