The Flagg Family's
Nine 50-pound duffel bags, three carry-ons, and a cat - and we were on our way!
What do you pack for a year-long trip, you ask? ...ask me again in a year because I still have no idea... That didn't stop us from spending our last three weeks going through closets and drawers, wondering what to bring and what to leave behind, though.
"Portugal has shampoo, right?"
"Probably...but do you think it has kids' socks?"
"Ooh, no clue. Better bring three dozen pairs each."
And, here's the thing. I'm sure Portugal does have shampoo. I just haven't found it yet (three days after landing...don't judge...) When talking to different families who've done this type of thing, advice is across the board when it comes to packing. "Don't pack too much." "You can't pack enough." "Ship boxes over." "Just take a backpack and figure it out." "Don't forget Great Aunt Edna's special scarf." I don't have a Great Aunt Edna, but in the bustle of it all, I definitely would have forgotten her scarf.
Anyway, back to the skip across the Atlantic. While it was definitely long, it was also uneventful - which, while not a great word when discussing pretty much anything else in life, is actually the hoped for word to use with airplane rides, right? Gladys put on her big-girl pants and rocked the journey.
The girls put on their big-girl pants and rocked the journey...with the help of our friend, Melatonin. And Bill navigated our bags like a champ.
The strange thing is, nobody cried when we left our home in Boulder like I expected. Nobody asked questions when we had to stop on our way to the airport to get rapid Covid tests because we hadn't gotten results back from the tests we'd taken days earlier. (As luck would have it - we totally got the original test results back as we were waiting for the rapid test results. Because the universe has quite a sense of humor like that.) Nobody hid their faces in embarrassment as it took us more than half an hour just to get all our luggage checked in at the counter. (that's a lie - Quincy was totally embarrassed. To which I say, get used to it kiddo - at 11.5 years old, you've got a lot of being embarrassed by your parents on the horizon!)
But by and large, it just felt like we were going on a little trip. Like we'd be back in a couple of weeks. And I think it has to feel like that in order to actually make these kinds of big leaps, otherwise our poor nervous systems couldn't handle it.
I'm pretty sure the shock will come when - in a couple of weeks, we don't go back to Boulder. But, we'll deal with that when it comes.
For now, we've made it safely to Cascais where it felt pretty damn good to stick our weary 20-hour-travel toes in the sand.
In May 2021, Bill, Chelsea, Quincy, Olive, Pearl, and their cat Gladys decided to make the move of a lifetime.