outside, a low and silver sun illuminates the frost covered grass, a million sparkling galaxies crunching underfoot. it’s magic, but cold. inside, i’m dreaming of the desert. another december day spent pouring over giant, and somewhat cumbersome, road maps, hastily torn out of boxes, having just arrived earlier today in the post, and unfolded carefully on the carpet. sipping countless cups of peppermint tea, and nibbling at wildly indulgent, sweetly perfumed, rose and violet dark chocolates (a christmas gift), i highlight, in fluorescent pink, names like merzouga, a sun baked, and tiny, village, perched out on the very edge of the sahara, buildings the colour of saffron, 50km from the algerian border, and ouarzazate. these are the names of the places from which we’ll wait out the heart of winter, the names of the swirling, bustling, maze-like souqs we’ll wander through, the names of the sand dunes that will exhaust us, the crumbling high mountain passes we’ll drive over, the places we’ll explore and photograph and hike, before returning to the snow capped alps, and then onwards, the very first hints of springtime whispering promises of summer’s abundance. it feels strange, to be standing right at the very beginning of six months, at the very least, on the road, six months living out of the hyundai h200 we’ve worked so incredibly hard to turn into a home, and what’s more, without an end date, and entirely uncertain of where we’ll end up, but now, our ferry is booked, and january 1st, we’ll hit the road.