It’s currently just after one in the morning and I have been lying awake thinking far too much so I thought it would be nice to share a little more about the planning process for this European road trip and also give you the opportunity to give me some input. I hope once it’s out of my head and on paper I will be able to sleep!
You see, it is very easy to look at this as a lovely jaunt with my daughter but the reality is quite far removed from that. Yes, we will have a lovely time but in all honesty, the planning alone is turning into a full time job except it’s an unpaid one!
The fact is I could romanticise it and say we’re off to get lost in France or soak up Spanish sunshine but in fact I am a single mum undertaking a long driving challenge with a 3 year old in an old car. Don’t get me wrong I am loving the process but am of course a little nervous.
To give you an insight into what is involved let’s take accommodation as a factor. I could pop a tent up anywhere but I am not comfortable with that. I want to have a degree of structure so that people know where I am going and when I am expected. What does this mean in planning terms?
Firstly, I need to have agreements in place with the campsites I am planning to stay at so that they know when I’m coming. Not only does this mean the alarm can be raised if I am late but from a marketing and fundraising point of view it means I can film us coming, perhaps interview the proprietors about the area, and build a picture for the book I will write at the end.
In order to have this kind of agreement in place I have to get on the phone and email now for every place I’d like to visit and chances are I’ll have a one in ten hit rate! I am also contacting the larger campsite groups to see if I can obtain sponsorship from them as that will make things a lot easier but believe me, trying to get a decent contact in some of these large Corporates can be hard!
To help keep the interest from followers I also need to have GPS set up with Google Earth, this one is paramount as it also helps from a safety point of view but once again, it’s time consuming stuff. As well as the set up I am trying to get sponsorship from a phone company and we know how hard telecommunication companies can be to get into!
Then we have the research for the book. The whole point of this challenge is to write a book to sell with the proceeds going to charity. I need to make sure that I go to places of interest that fit with my targeted demographics but also those that are suitable for a 3 year old!
An example of this is La Gacilly, Brittany, France. I want to go there for a couple of reasons.
It is the home of Yves Rocher, a French skincare company who grow all of their own flowers and use only those products. As a mum to a child with eczema I am hoping to get to interview the CEO and write about the benefits of natural skincare, not just for eczema but also anti-aging and general well being. Of course, Lola and I will get to see beautiful flower filled fields if we time it right, but this is about writing a book and raising money.
For the car lovers, it is fairly obvious that I am taking a car which raises interest and I am sure I will come across people on my travels that stop me to ask questions. I need to be spending time polishing up my language skills although I’m sure a few amusing stories will come from attempted conversations about the car. I am meeting with Peugeot next week and perhaps from this I will be able to plan a tour of the museum in France, again it is something that requires planning and coordination.
These are just a couple of the behind the scenes things that are happening while I am also raising funds. I’ve had an idea that allows people to become involved and helps me too.
On my Facebook page there will be an editable document where you can give me ideas of places you’ve been or would like to see more of. I welcome all submissions and in fact, if you are based in Europe, let me know where you are and I might stop in!
Phew, it’s on paper now so I shall hopefully get some shut eye..