As my sister aptly said “Only lunch with the Darnleys would start as a family get together and end with a massive road trip adventure to raise money for charity”.
Ever since I wrote my Future Travel Goals post, I haven’t been able to get the idea of a Mongol Rally-style adventure off my mind. As such, since pressing publish, I’ve spent quite a bit of time working through the logistics of such an adventurous feat. In that post, I raised two big blockers standing in my way; the fact I don’t have a driving licence and that I have no one to do it with.
I knew the driving licence problem could be remedied easily enough but the team was the issue. The problem is that broadly speaking my friends split into two fairly distinct groups. There’s the adventurous lot and then there’s the sensible lot – and there isn’t much overlap.
I can think of a fair few people in the adventurous category who would be up for a journey like this but one is about to join the army, the other I love but wouldn’t want to be in a car with for six weeks and the others…well, they’d be a great laugh while everything was going well but they’re also the ones likely to lose their passport or take the piss out of an Eastern European border guard and ultimately get us deported from god-knows-where.
On the other hand, I can think of a number of people who I trust enough that if the shit hit the fan, I’d put money on a (reasonably) positive outcome. You know the ones who could keep their cool in the face of an angry customs official or would know to take me to a hospital if we crashed rather than prioritising filming a video for snapchat.
The difficulty is that there’s very few people who sit in the middle of that venn diagram. Then I need to account for money, holiday, relationships, work, whether they’d want to do it and quite frankly, whether I’d want to be with them in a car for six weeks.
Then, I had a lightbulb moment. I had my crew.
They’re as mad as me (arguably more so), we’ve travelled before and survived so that’s tried and tested, my sister is at university so has holidays and my Dad is kick-ass so he can do what he wants and between us, we’ll get the financial situation covered – because taking part isn’t cheap and we’ll need to fundraise A LOT.
My Mum was not keen on the idea – she’s more into relaxing + sun than a 14,000 odd mile drive across the continent but that’s cool, she’ll be contributing to the team in her own way; she’ll be designing our car.
She will also inevitably play the role of Snackmaster which will see her in charge of stashing snacks and hot chocolate sachets into our bags.We will attempt to refuse these and will unpack them, insisting that we don’t need them but while we’re not looking, she will repack them. This is a routine that happens almost every single time one of us goes travelling.
However, in the spirit of the rally, we’ll be somewhere in the middle of Turkmenistan and some border official will agree not to deport us in exchange for two sachets of Cadbury’s hot chocolate and a pack of digestives and we will be forever in our Mum’s debt. Or something like that.
So by the looks of it, my Dad, my sister and I will be driving to Mongolia in 2017 for charity.
All other details TBC.
Watch this space. (First driving lesson booked).