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Life On The Road Won't Be The Same Without Her

Michelle Dale - Saturday, July 20, 2013

Have you ever had something in your life that you knew wouldn't feel the same without it... Well, we've been living life on the road, and we're losing something that has been an integral part of it...

Where It All Began...

After the birth of our son, we invested in a 7 Seater Honda Shuttle from the UK, it was the perfect car for us, we were already a family of 3 ready to embark on a life travelling country to country in Europe as a family. I was also pregnant with our second child and we needed a car that could get us across Europe, was reliable and had ample space. The car had our name written all over it, and with our roof box, we had the vehicle that was going to help us on our journey. We left the UK with the car on a boat to mainland Europe. 
The only real plan we had was to get in the car and drive, and see where life took us. Well, this is the result of that plan...

First Came France.

The first stop was France, we were there in 2008/2009. She was doing really well and we had a couple of moves in France, passed all the services, she got us from A to B, and life was good. 

Then To Spain.

Then 2010/2011 when our time came to an end in France we took the car from the middle of France to near the most southern tip of Europe. We found a nice mechanic called Brian who took care of the car for us, but mentioned that we had a small hole in the radiator, the car would frequently overheat, we had a patch put on it and kept our fingers crossed.

Onto Italy.

In 2011/2012 we embarked on taking the car back to the north of Spain and then after a boat ride across to Italy where she made it from the west to the east - the car was a trooper, I'm not sure if you have driven across Italy before but the roads are, shall we say, very up and down!

She made it through another service in Italy and also the very worst winter that Italy had seen since the 1920's, being snowed in for a number of weeks, but she kept on running like the reliable and faithful car we had come to know.

Currently In Greece.

Then in 2012/2013 we took her from Italy across on a boat to mainland Greece, then from mainland Greece to the island of Crete. This is where I think her journey will be ending. Several months ago we had to have the radiator welded twice within a few months, the hole has now reappeared with a vengeance and the radiator repair man said that he won't even touch it or remove it from the car as it will just crumble away... There is nowhere to buy one of these radiators here in Greece, we would need to obtain one from the UK.

So here we are faced with a decision or more like at the mercy of the Universe. I thought you and I could have some fun with this - there are 3 possible scenarios I have crafted...

Scenario 1 - The wonder car stays.

So we do love this car, there's no denying it, she's like a part of the family and she's always carried all our worldly possessions everywhere with us and kept us safe. 

So let's say, somebody out there reads this blog post and says, "OMG I have a radiator for a 1999 Honda Shuttle I'm not using in my Garage" and then they post it to us in Crete and we switch it out and the old girl carries on her travels through Europe.

In all honesty even with a new radiator she also needs a new exhaust, so if you have one of those handy too, please also post that - thanks!! :-)

Scenario 2 - The Volvo XC90 arrives.

Honda have ceased to make Honda Shuttles, so we can't replace her. The second Scenario is that someone from the car manufacturer Volvo is reading this blog post now and says, "I'm going to offer that family the Volvo XC90 and in exchange, we'll sponsor them to make a documentary about them travelling around the rest of Europe so they can continue their journey and go on more amazing adventures, but this time in the Volvo XC90, and then Volvo will be considered the coolest car on the planet - ever (you know it makes sense Mr. Volvo Representative). It would also be great if they had another baby on the road and that would make for even better TV viewing ;-)"

You may find that second scenario a strange one, but this week I had an interview with the Volvo brand specialists seeking counsel of the car of the future. I have plenty to say about that, and stranger things have happened. We've also been considering possibly having another Baby Friday. Anything in this life is possible!

Scenario 3 - Stay put in Greece. 

From the photo above it doesn't look too bad, does it ;-)

We stay in Crete (I love it here and I would be very happy to remain here for the foreseeable future) and start travelling around by plane... I can't say I feel great about that, especially with the possibility of a 3rd child, I like the comfort of my car but I'm open to leaving the road behind in favour of the air.

Who knows, maybe we should settle down...

Which one would you vote for? 

Leave your vote in a comment below - Scenario 1, 2 or 3?

Regardless, we're leaving this one to the Universe, and I'm excited about all possibilities ;-)

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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