The packing has started: Today I reduce possessions in my flat down to one bedroom and a family is moving into the other rooms. We will move to Cardiff for 6 weeks to renovate Frank’s house.

Packing a box of books for our travels: mainly dictionaries, phrase books, verb drills etc – Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, Croatian, Polish, Georgian…. I love languages, so these books have been with me for years, they are good friends.

It’s a powerful moment, a heady mix of closing a chapter in my flat and at the same time opening a big window to the journey ahead of us. We will travel through all these countries, with enough time to immerse ourselves in the language, in the culture, enough leisure to meet people, to stop where we want to.

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