The Questions – Harriet

Where are we going?

From here to Tokyo. And quite a lot of places in between. Overland. With minimal plastic consumption.

Why are we doing this?

Because it’s there.  Because we can.  Because we told everyone we were going to and we can’t back out. Because hopefully it will make us stronger, individually and as a family.  So we’ve got something to talk about for the rest of our lives.

What are you most looking forward to?

Mongolia and China.  

Is it really bad that I’m rather looking forward to being able to ignore domestic politics for six months too?

And least?

Long train journeys. People whinging that they’re bored or hungry or cold or tired.  Lack of showers.

What will you miss about home.

Unlimited clean hot water.  I suspect there will be times when I will miss the routine, however odd that feels now. The simplicity of not having to make decisions every day.

Are you worried about anything?


I’m terrified of illness or injury or worse; to one of us or someone at home. My father has had Parkinson’s Disease for over twenty years and he’s really not very well now, so what if something happens to him?  I feel as though I can deal with that possibility at the moment but how will it feel after the event if I wasn’t here?

I’m worried we might just argue or whinge our way around the world.

I’m worried about how my mental health will stand up to it. I’m hoping I will get less anxious and become more resilient but maybe it will be totally the opposite. 

I’m worried we’ll come back and wish we had never gone.

How do you think you will change?

I really hope I will be more resilient. I hope I will be more patient. I hope I will be better at prioritising the things that I already know are important but which I somehow never manage to make time for.

Who do you think is going to be best at eating new things?


What skill do you have that will be most useful on our trip

I worry about everything which makes me good at planning and preparing for all eventualities. I’m organised.   I don’t mind a bit of discomfort or dirt (or puke or….)

I speak dodgy but basic Russian.

I’m excellent at playing My Cows.

What will you struggle with?

When things go wrong (or just not as I have planned), I tend to panic first and think later. It’s not hugely useful.

And how are going to try and get over that?

I’m hoping it will get over itself. Maybe?

What do your friends think about it ?

I think they all think it’s an amazing thing to be doing. Some of them wish they were doing it too. Some of them are very glad they’re not.

Are you glad we’re going?

Absolutely.  Even if I’m going to be unbearably stressed as it gets closer. Sorry Ben.

PS It’s my birthday today.  I’m 43 and I have been given (among many other lovely things) a European Road Atlas. 

By this time next year it will all be over.  That’s a very weird thought.

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. hi
    mummy and daddy this is Sophie on a school laptop

  2. Harriet, Ben and gang – I remember you talking about this way back in 2009 and thinking then what an amazing idea it was. That you’ve actually built it into your plans and worked towards it for so long is equally amazing. Congratulations on getting to this point and I look forward to hearing all about the incredible journey!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *