Family Travel

Our European Bombaround- Roadtrips, robberies and risks

21 June, 2013

We had just begun one of our many family roadtrips around Europe, it was our first night and we had, unusually for us as we are hardcore campers, bunkered down in a cheap motel with just our toothbrushes to see us through to the morning. I was 14, my sister 17  and it was one of our last family holidays. We woke in the morning and headed down to our car to discover it had been broken into and every single tiny weeny item of ours had been pinched. They even took my sisters A Level revision!

We were completely devastated. I was a clothes obsessed teen and had taken all the very best things I owned; counting all of our clothes and gear, it was thousands of pounds worth of stuff. We carried on the holiday bravely, stopping in the first supermarket to buy one dress and a swimming costume each – we literally didn’t have the funds to splash out on proper wardrobe replacements.

We had lots of family chats about how things aren’t that important and although it was a bit of a tough holiday I think my parent’s philosophical response to it really rubbed off on my sister and I. There must be something about my upbringing that is allowing me to get rid of nearly a whole house full of beautiful things in a car boot sale next week! *cheerful face* *wails despairingly* *smiles bravely through tears* ALRIGHT DAMMIT I’M ONLY HALF COPING WITH THAT PROSPECT.

When we got home from that holiday and the insurance money came in  I was able to go to New Look and spend it all  kitting myself out exactly like a member of All Saints. Ooh yeah, I was WORKING that camo. I mean, literally, everything in my wardrobe was camo. Cripes. So yeah, sometimes there can be an upside to shizzle going wrong.

We had a fair mix of shenanigans happen to us on our childhood holidays and the odd bit of thievery and vehicle mishaps and bodily bumps and breaks on holidays since. (I guess something needs to happen, what with all the fun and frolicks otherwise happening on hols, to balance out the cosmos?!)Little family
My sister, my Pa and I one one of our family holidays.  In the modern day version my dad would be staring at his Iphone but instead he is meditating on a pebble, hehe.

We’ll be doing a few things to keep safe on our European adventure and avoid any accidents. We’ll go next level with our travel insurance.  We’ll get some kind of secure safe system for our valuables. And *a bit proud*  I’ve also done an incredibly thorough paediatric First Aid course and attended a lecture in managing childhood illness the natural way by Dr Donegan in preparation. (Do check Dr Jayne Donegan out, loads of great advice.)

In some ways we are swapping risks – the glass covered pavement of South London for the lake leeches in Hungary (what, do I keep going on about leeches?!) and hectic, busy roads for eerily remote necks of woods in Germany. But all you can do really is prepare as much as possible and then focus all your energy on having a blast, and if we can be as philosophical as my ‘rents were in the face of catastrophe then we’ll be doing okay. And if we do have a similar situation to the car robbery fiasco at least I’ll have a great excuse to kit us all out in matching camo outfits like a little family pop band.

Not that I’m one for focusing on the bad, but have you got any horror stories that outdo a fourteen year old having to wear the same supermarket dress for 2 weeks?

This post is sponsored by Irwin Mitchell and Tigerlily training who sent me on their First Aid course. More info on my disclosure page. Thank you!

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  • Lilybett 21 June, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    My mum is an avid bushwalker and has had quite a few run-ins with leeches over the years. Now she swears by eucalyptus oil – rubbing it on her bare skin and sprinkling over trousers/socks – to repel those suckers. Not sure if Hungarian lake leeches have the same preferences as Australian bush leeches, but worth a shot!

  • Jenny F 21 June, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    when and where is said car boot sale where we can buy all your gear?!

  • Hadar 21 June, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Let me know when you decide to get rid of your whole house in a car boot sale! I’ll be there to buy it all. Love your place.

  • Carolyn 21 June, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Had to chuckle… I too was an all saints/camo loving early teen. Deary me! Fun memories…
    Your parents were brave though, goodness me! what an awful thing to happen! And this trip your planning sounds amazing… good for you. I lived in Greece for 14 years and along with my (adventurous/nomadic) parents & 2 sisters we did our fair share of exploring eastern europe in particular. Lots of beautiful, undiscovered places, didn’t quite make it to Croatia, but I’ve heard very good reports on it.
    Now I’m a mummy myself, me & my husband are talking about renting a winnebago and travelling down the West coast of America starting in Seattle (where my bro-in-law lives). It’s still just an idea, but you’re getting me thinking now… and while the girls are still little-ish. hmmm…. 🙂

  • Mary 21 June, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Is it you or your sister in that picture who is literally the spitting image of Ramona!? Family resemblance is so weird. The hairdo helps I guess…

    • Janine Fowler 22 June, 2013 at 1:26 am

      I was wondering that too!

      Also: All Saints! <3

  • Dummy Mummy 22 June, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I honestly thought that picture was Ramona rocking a vintage vibe!

  • Naomi 26 June, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    We once took our goats to Greenbelt Arts Festival back in the 80’s. Not quite sure why, I was only around 7. But dad also took his anvil and converted hoover to blacksmith with, using metal from used car springs. He loved telling people about how God takes old stuff and makes something new and wonderful.