Hi again! I had initially prepared another post that was supposed to be published last week but will hopefully come later today instead. But first I think a small update about what I have been doing for the past week is suitable.
Okay so starting on Friday 31/3 (week 13) I sat down for the first time to really start planning the trip but got stuck right away. We had not at that moment discussed together as a family what our goal with the trip would be, so it was impossible for me to come up with anything by aimlessly searching for things to do in maybe 3-5 different countries. The problem was that I didn't know where to start! It's hard to know how many places to plan for when you don't know how much time on each you will have, but you can't plan for that without first deciding where to go. The solution thus became to decide on a few locations and then set up a suitable route. So during that weekend we had like a family conference discussing what we wanted "accomplish" by this trip. My sister wanted to ski, my dad had no preferences as long as we had a plan and there wouldn't be any conflicts, my mom didn't really know but seeing beautiful landscapes and places was very important for her, and I wanted a mixture of everything. I then made the decision that we would go through Denmark, Germany, Austria and Switzerland and that we would skip big cities like Berlin, Vienna and Zürich. Those countries seemed reasonable to visit given our time frame without having to stress too much, and the cities mentioned can be visited some other time when we could stay there longer and see more of what the cities have to offer. Instead we will prioritize places that are easiest visited by car and that we probably wouldn't go to otherwise. Skiing in the Alps can also be done on a separate trip, but we wanted to get at least a few days in the slopes.
On Tuesday 4/4 (week 14) the first real conflict occurred. I had worked through a first draft of the route but I didn't feel like I got the confirmation, especially from my mom, that I wanted. On the one hand, we didn't want to plan too much so we needed stress between different places on a tight schedule, we want to have the freedom to stop wherever we feel like, find the unknown beautiful spots and let the roads take us where they take us. But on the other hand we need to have some kind of plan, it's stupid to think that we can just find our way through Europe and make decisions as we go, that's the kind of thing you can do with your friends when you're 20 but this is a family vacation after all and we need to have some things organized to make the most out of the trip. I will explain the planned route in greater detail in my coming post but this is something we up to this date haven't yet come to an agreement on, how much we should have decided on beforehand and how much we should decide along the way. But either way, this was when I actually realized how much work I had left to do, that I should have started a lot earlier etc. I had allocated week 12, 13, and 14 for planning in my original time frame, but this was the middle of week 14 with just a few days left, and I was still in the early stages of preparing for the trip. The conflict was based on that we had much left to do and my mom questioned my responsibility and priorities. I guess she had her points, and maybe I didn't do everything I could have (like spending time with friends could for example have waited) but I still think she had her parts in this and that I am not the only one to blame. I think this was actually not just a negative experience, it made me more aware of my own capabilities and made me realize that I don't have to do everything alone. Sure, this is my project but it's not a weakness to let others help you, in fact, it's the job of a leader to make others involved, so to portion out some work to my parents may not be such a bad idea.
7/4 - there's so much to say about this day, but since everything is not relevant to this blog I will not go into too much detail. Basically everything that could go wrong, did go wrong yesterday. My sister had been home sick for a couple of days, would she get better before we left? My parents had had a lot of work during the week and there were many things that needed to be fixed before the trip. That was when our washing machine decided to stop working, maybe not a huge problem but not exactly what you want the night before going away. I ended earlier than usual so I went to Ringen to check if I could find a t-shirt my sister had looked for and a pair of sunglasses that I wanted before the trip. I didn't find them there so I thought of going to Drottninggatan to the H&Ms and Åhlens City. I headed to the subway but changed my mind and went home instead, I figured it would be smarter to pack first and then maybe take the car there later. I had just come in through the door when I got the news that there had been a terror attack, a truck crashing into Åhlens and killing/hurting people along Drottninggatan on the way. This totally changed the focus for the evening, our vacation suddenly got so little meaning when something like this happened right before our eyes. Knowing that we were all so close to being right there when it happened, thinking about the people we know who were there, and of course everybody else. So to conclude this, the Friday didn't go as planned which caused us to not be ready to go on the Saturday morning. We hope to hit the road later tonight or tomorrow morning instead!