I’m leaving for the airport at 5am in the morning to fly to Melbourne, and I haven’t packed yet. It’s ok, I’m not taking much with me. Because once I get to Melbourne, I’m immediately turning around and driving back to Brisbane with my sister Nat, three teenage nieces and a dog.
I’m so excited about travelling again I even ironed my Lorna Jane cargo pants. I’m so excited by a road trip I’m back on my travel blog to record the journey. And I’m so excited about Nat and her family moving to Brisbane, I’m flying from Queensland to Melbourne and driving through three states, two of which are border to border designated Covid hotspots, to cross back into the relatively safe state I left four days previously.
So as much as I’m excited, I’m more than a little nervous. My sister has already hashtagged this #themostlogisticallycomplexroadtripever. We have counted backwards 72 hours from Tuesday to calculate when to do our Covid tests to get us into Queensland. We have checked towns and cities to find all of the clinics that are open early, possibly on a Sunday, that take walk ins. We have scoured the internet for dog friendly accommodation in rural NSW for five people and said dog in peak holiday season.
We’ve downloaded the check-in apps for three different states and connected our Covid vaccination certificates to each, and then emailed our Covid vaccination certificates to ourselves. We’ve mapped out an inland route that has some tourist attractions along the way, but which we now realise doesn’t necessarily take into account possible floods.
Nat has written a list of what can come in the car given there’s precious little space: one small bag for each person plus dog bowl, dog bed, dog food, dog lead, dog poo bags and dog seat hammock. I don’t know what that last one is, but it sounds to me like Tassie is going to be the most comfortable out of all of us.
In between all of this my amazing sister has packed up a household of five people, sorted new school enrolments, sold a house, done her Christmas shopping and continued working. Amazing.
Logistically challenging as this all may be, I’m certain we’re going to have fun. We have playlists and card games, we have snacks and stories, we have five wicked senses of humour and a collective spirit of adventure.
And most importantly, we have a dog.