The night before catching our ferry from Calais to Dover was a night of celebration for us. Far from feeling sad, we were in celebratory mood, reflecting on what an unbelievable year we’d had!
We’d spent a lovely final day in Vendome and the onward journey to Calais was relaxed and fun as we laughed, chatted and reminisced about how we’d felt collecting the motorhome for the first time, our first few nights away and some of the memorable moments we’ve had.
Previously the night before catching a ferry we’ve spent the night at Sangatte but it’s in the middle of nowhere and we wanted to go out for a last night dinner and drink. We parked in Cite Europe in the late afternoon and wandered around the shopping centre buying a few things to take back with us. In the wine department in Auchan we accidentally helped ourselves to some wine samples! Seeing a display with two opened bottled in an ice bucket with some small plastic cups we thought it was there for us to help ourselves – so we did. But afterwards as we made our way down along the aisle we saw a member of staff come rushing along, back to her post, where she then started doing the pouring for other customers and we realised our mistake – whoops!
Later on we went back in and found a nice place to have dinner and a couple of drinks. We did go a bit over the top, starting off with cheesy garlic bread, a baked pulled pork dish and then an assortment of mini-puddings and coffee. We hadn’t eaten so much in one sitting for ages and could barely move when we’d finished, waddling back to the motorhome clutching our over-full stomachs.
There were quite a few other motorhomes parked for the night and we thought it might be a bit busy and noisy with comings and goings but actually it was very quiet and we didn’t get any disturbances at all.
Before we did this trip it was almost unimaginable but with a leap of faith, a bit of a risk and some savings spent we’ve had the time of our lives. We often try to imagine ourselves still sitting at our desks, beavering away at a job we’d grown tired of, never really going anywere, doing the same thing week in, week out and it would have been so easy to do. It’s often much easier to tell yourself ‘no, we can’t do that’, and you can come up with 101 reasons to stay stuck in your rut, but when you manage to break out it’s the best feeling in the world. It’s not always easy to make your dreams come true but if you can take just small steps in the right direction and make the most of every opportunity that comes your way then that can only be a good thing.
When Laika put their faith in us to take their motorhome around Europe we never realised how revelatory it would be. Until we experienced the utter freedom combined with home comforts the motorhome would give us we had no idea what lay ahead. We could never has envisaged how much we would look forward to waking up every day, being able to make an instant decision as to where to go and then changing that decision 10 minutes later. No reservations required, no explaining to be done, no waiting around, no queues, no worries!
For several years we were stuck in a rut letting work steal our lives. It’s no exaggeration to say that Laika gave us our lives back.