Contrary to popular belief, living full-time on the road is not just one big holiday. Sure, there are endless accounts on Instagram that will lead you to believe otherwise, but the reality is such an existence is no different to living at home, in the sense there are still a host of responsibilities, daily tasks, children’s education and, shock horror, work to be done. And all of this happens from the confines of a dramatically reduced space than most people are accustomed to.
Granted, when those elements of normal life are taken care of there’s a host of amazing places to see, activities to do and experiences to be enjoyed. That’s the pay-off, the reason we are happy to face the challenges living on the road presents. But, please don’t think that just because we, and a host of other families, are travelling full-time that every day is a holiday, because no matter what people portray online, it’s simply not the case.
So, when we were offered the opportunity to spend a few days out of the motorhome in Switzerland, courtesy of the Valais Tourist Office, we jumped at the idea. It might sound odd, but after the best part of two months in the motorhome we felt like we needed a mini-break, a chance to recharge batteries and enjoy a little extra space, and there was no better place to do this than at the Hotel Nendaz 4 Valées & Spa.
We had already been in the region for several days, exploring the myriad of tracks and trails above Champéry on e-bikes, before arriving in the mountain village of Nendaz, better known for its winter activities but rapidly establishing itself as a family-friendly summer destination as well. Knowing that the hotel had one of the best spa facilities in the region there was, for Kim at least, a great deal of excitement at the thought of a few days downtime with various treatments added in for good measure. For my part I was just looking forward to not having to empty the brown water tank and the thought of a shower on my own.
Entering our family suite we were all instantly amazed at the sheer size of the room, Harrison and Dorothy instantly heading for the double beds where they could be found for the next hour, jumping up and down with the biggest grins on their faces. Having become accustomed to life in the motorhome Kim and I were a bit at a loss as to what to do, continually walking around without having to do what we affectionately call ‘the motorhome tango’, which is the series of nimble movements we have to do to move around the motorhome without bumping into each other.
As guests of the tourist office it also meant that, for the duration of our time in the Valais region, we didn’t have to think about planning our daily activities, with a host of hand-picked experiences organised to showcase the best cycling and family-based activities on offer. As much as we love the planning and logistics side of travelling it was great to just be able to plug into a pre-planned schedule, knowing that we would enjoy the best on offer. And what an amazing array of places and experiences there are to be enjoyed in the region, with the beauty of the great outdoors high on that list.
It’s interesting how quickly we adapt to our surroundings, as after just two months in the motorhome we all found it a little odd being in a hotel, despite how beautiful it was. By the third morning I found myself craving the ability to make a simple bowl of porridge, a staple of daily life in the motorhome, rather than be faced with about twenty different breakfast options at the hotel’s buffet. The irony of the situation wasn’t lost on us, given that there was a time in our lives we would have gladly spent many days enjoying a luxury hotel, only now, having adjusted to a new way of life, it had lost some of its appeal. Kim would like to add here that the appeal of spa treatments and massage will never lose its appeal, no matter what.
Joking aside, we all enjoyed the time out of the motorhome and the opportunity to explore such an amazing corner of Switzerland, a country that we unanimously agreed we want to come back to. However, as we got back in the motorhome and set off for Lake Lugano on the Swiss/Italian border and our next Caravan and Motorhome Club European network site, we did so happy to be back in familiar surroundings and ready to face the next chapter of what is turning out to be the greatest adventure.
Don’t forget that you can follow our adventure on a daily basis on (@marcusleachglobal and @our.roaming.odyssey) and Twitter (@marcusgleach), where we are happy to answer any questions people might have regarding our trip and living full-time on the road.
Missed the previous instalments of The Big European Odyssey? You can catch up here:
- In the first part, Marcus tells us about the process of planning for a tour of Europe
- In part two, Marcus explains the essential preparation that needs carrying out before carrying out a European tour
- In part three, we find out about the crucial items to pack for a European tour
- In part four, we discover the war memorials to visit in Belgium and France
- In part five, Marcus tells us about the realities of adapting to life on the road
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