5 pairs of hiking boots and 5 backpacks are ready. Tomorrow our trekking tour finally finds its beginning. Jan runs up and down the house to find things that take their place somewhere in our luggage. I half-heartedly dedicate myself to preparing the house, which has been left in a mess by packing. At some point we fall in our bed only to be waken up by a malicious alarm clock (this alarm has tormented me for the past 16 years and it just won’t die!) to be rang out again. But today it’s not hard for me to get up. Quickly I put on my clothes and slowly sneak over to the childrens bedroom to get them out of their dreams (yes, dear alarm clock makers !!! Soooflty !!). Even with our three, it does not take much, they are also ready to start our journey quickly and shortly we find ourselves with backpacks in front of the door again.

Auf geht’s!

We stroll to the bus, after a short ride we get on the train and then another train and after playing three games we arrived in Amsterdam. After we briefly checked out the city center we take the bus to the ferry.

The ferry seems to have waited just for us, as soon as we were all boarded it set off to bring us to Scotland.

Oh yes the world is small, we met a dear friend of Emma and her family on the boat which of course was a welcome surprise.

The ferry buffet we did not miss, the thought that we will eat the same food for the next few days gave us additional motivation to work through everything beeing served us.

But even Matilda was slowly fed up with the 5 portions of ketchup and so we pushed ourselves into the cabin where we all quickly sailed into  dream land.

The next day greets us with gentle rocking, even a few isolated raindrops sneak along the hatch.

We pack our seven things treat us a good breakfast and shortly after our feet are on Scottish soil. Barely out we see the bus waiting to take us to the train station where in turn the train is waiting for us to Glasgow where again the next train waiting for us to Ardrossan. Because we miss the ferry there we had time to eat locally produced ice cream and add some fresh food to our food supply. A little later we chug to Arran.

The anticipation to finally reach our goal was great. We shared the space on the foredeck with a couple of rugged seagulls, which showed little interest by the joyful singing of our kids the “Stifeli muäs stärbä”. Less than an hour later, Arran became our new home.

Tired, I pound the stairs to the attic, fight through a forest of toys and old clothes until I stand in front of a huge white wardrobe. The door opens with a loud squeaking that shakes me to the core. Barely opened, I am greeted by a scent of seawater and campfire. Slowly my eyes sink to the contents of the wardrobe; Backpacks, mattresses, sleeping bags, stoves and our sporks. Suddenly, my fatigue is blown away, excitement and anticipation are spreading and the desire for an adventure grows inside of me.

We thought long and hard about where we want to carry our backpacks next time. It was clear that we want to discover a new culture and that free camping must be allowed. There were a surprising number of options left open and we could not decide. On an ordinary Tuesday evening when Jan and I were once again in front of the computer to check flights, we found such a cheap offer for Japan that we just booked. Booking is so easy, a click and you’re flying halfway around the world. But what are we doing in this land called Japan and what will we find there. We will now start to gather our finds, our plans and our preparations to discover Japan.

Now I stand in front of our closet with the smell of memories ready to create new memories once again – in Japan.