Days On The Road

 

Since our one way flights to South East Asia on our open-ended RTW trip.  🙂

Cole’s Notes

On Facebook, you have been exposed to our constant updates and many temple, Pagoda photos.  For those not on Facebook or blocked us after being feed up with aforementioned pagodas… here is the Cole’s notes version:

Koh Lipe – March 2017

This time we stayed at The Reef instead of our usual. We really enjoyed our accommodation and met some great people.  I would recommend The Reef, the staff was super nice, beds comfortable, breakfast was good. The orange tabby cat that I spent a lot of time with has no bearing on my opinion.
We connected with old friends and made new ones, learned how to play “shithead”, developed a taste for unsweetened Chao Manoi, had copious amounts of BBQ squid, saw awesome lightning storms and spent time on the beach.

On Our Way

After some very crazy, hectic, emotional weeks we are on our way.  We left on the first leg of our adventure on February 28, 2017!  Before I get into too much, we need to send a big thank you to Paul’s Mom and Dad.  We wouldn’t have made it through the last weekend without their help.  Between letting us store things, taking care of our mail and the car, helping us pack up and clean the apartment and taking us to the airport…  well needless to say we got it all done and I was even able to spend several hours with my Mom the day before we left with no stress.  Ok, this is me so there was some stress but it was under control.  🙂

We had our Phil’s breakies. Our first breakfast in Calgary in 1993 was Phil’s so we decided one of our last would be as well.  We went to the Pig and Duke the night before we left to celebrate being done and Paul’s Dads birthday.

On Our Way

We started with an early wake up on the 28th so we could make it to the airport and through any glitches with customs.  We shared a Tim’s with Paul’s Mom and Dad, then said goodbye.

That was it… we were now on our way!  Freaky? A little… exciting? Majorly! Security was smooth and after a bit we got on the plane to Chicago.  There was a minor issue with the carry on,  we weren’t the first people on board and the luggage area for our seats was already full. Paul managed to get ours a little further back and we settled in to our flight.

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The Final Countdown!

The final countdown!  You’re welcome to everyone who now has that song in their heads.  🙂  We have 9 sleeps left until we leave on the big adventure.  We both just realised that means a total of about 3.5 days to finish getting rid of everything, sorting finances, test and final pack, etc.  So what do I do?  I get an 80’s song in my head and decide to write about it which I find amusing and others will probably find annoying but my blog so there!  I’ve even included the video so you can all share in the enjoyment.

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We Quit!

We quit!  Yep, we quit our jobs!  February 9th is our last day.  Paul gave notice just before Christmas and I told my boss on Friday the 13th!  The humour of that, while lost on some people, was not lost on me and I will admit to a giggle about it.   Luckily our coworkers are very excited for us and have been great.  For both of us the build up to quitting was bigger than the reality.  It was almost like nothing changed but then reality kicked in and “shit got real”.

So, we quit, now what?   Everything!  All the stuff we have talked about but couldn’t or didn’t act on needs doing.  We need to decide what we are keeping, what’s going to charity, arrange last-minute appointments, organise our finances, pack and test pack.  There is so much to do.  I say this as I sit here typing but consider it a needed break since I made a bad decision about cleaning the BBQ and then using it, but I digress.

Messy Apartment

This is what our apartment looks like.  Those that know me understand that I am slowly going crazy, part of my personality is in the fetal position, twitching.  We sleep on an air bed and sit in our camping chairs to watch our TV… which is a computer monitor… resting on boxes.  I remember the camping chairs being much more comfortable than they are.  The missing factors are a campfire, friends and copious alcohol consumption.

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Travel Banking For Canadians

We use different cards in Canada than when travelling.  At home we’ve churned cards for Aeroplan points and used different cash back cards.  This has saved us money on purchases and allowed us to build up a big pot of Aeroplan points.  These will allow us to fly with points between the major regions of our upcoming RTW trip.  When we are on the road though we are more concerned about the banking fees.  For that we need different accounts/cards.  Typically when we’ve gone on holiday, we haven’t worried too much about banking with credit (CC) or debit cards.   😯  Not too smart as travel banking for Canadians can eat up a good chunk of your funds.  We always made sure we had some local currency (from previous trips) and then just withdrew cash from ATMs at the airport or in the towns when we got there.High Canadian travel banking fees

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Should We Bring A Laptop?

VS. BT Keyboard and Smartphone

 

If we want to blog while we are on the road then a laptop would sure make things easier.   It would also let us watch movies and TV shows during relax time.   We have an old (2009?) Acer Aspire 1810T Special Edition that is a great little 11″ ultraportable.  It plays HD movies, still gets about 5 hours battery life and runs Windows 10 Pro without breaking a sweat.  The big problem though, is that with the power adapter it’s 1.7Kg!  Pretty ironic for a carry on round the world blog no?  With a 40L pack and small laptop we’d already be up to 3Kg.  That’s almost 50% of some low cost carriers weight allowance!  So should we bring a laptop??

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Decision Made, Tickets Booked!!

Decision Made!  What? When did this happen?  I know it’s been a while since I took the time to write out something about our plans.  Partially because we have been super busy and some things took much longer then expected so we weren’t sure what was happening.   We also had some changes in the family that had us questioning our decisions.   The quick catch up:

  • June – accepted offer on the house, Paul ruptured his Achilles.

house

  • July – sold trailer, truck, passed home inspection.  Paul is in a boot and needed driving around, Helen searches for apartments and packs.

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  • August – moved from larger 3 bedroom home to 1 bedroom apartment.  The movers found Paul’s lost watch in sofa.  Paul still driven to work which was considered in the apartment search.  We needed a place close enough to make the quick walk to and from work for dropping him off and picking him up.  Reminded about Calgary’s tendency to go overboard on summer road construction.  There was no need to have the train tracks and fire hall so close.  Find out Helen’s Dad has lung cancer.  Determined the balcony has a supernatural presence.
  • September – do we go? Meeting with Financial people to see how much this will affect our future?  Do we want to leave family now?  Paul is a Kijiji King and selling things like crazy.  He finally got the boot off and is able to start driving himself after a week!!!  Ironically the construction I had battled through on the roads ended… sigh.  Suspect banshee is living on the balcony.
  • October – finally agree to sell the dining, end and side tables that Paul made… this was a big one for me.  After several long considerations, potential regrets and random musings we decide to continue with our plans.  There are a lot of unknown factors and if we let them stop us now, we may never follow through with our dream.  Still avoiding the haunted balcony.  Families consulted and all approved.

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Planning Our RTW Route


65 countries: Mexico | Costa Rica | Nicaragua | Panama | Argentina | Chile | Colombia | Peru | Kenya | Madagascar | Morocco | Mozambique | South Africa | Tanzania | Albania | Austria | Belgium | Croatia | Czech Republic | Denmark | France | Georgia | Germany | Gibraltar | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Italy | Malta | Montenegro | Netherlands | Norway | Portugal | Russia | Serbia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | United Kingdom | Vatican | Iran | Israel | Jordan | Turkey | Cambodia | Hong Kong | India | Indonesia | Japan | Kyrgyzstan | Laos | Malaysia | Myanmar | Nepal | Philippines | Singapore | South Korea | Taiwan | Thailand | Vietnam | Australia | Cook Islands | New Zealand | Palau

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Airline Carry On Rules

Airline Carry On Rules

Airline carry on rules can vary wildly.  They each have their own specific guidelines for items that you can bring on-board a flight.  Some even allow for a secondary “personal item” like a purse or laptop bag.  If you do your research you’ll find lots of people saying a 45 L pack is good for carry on.  As you’ll find out, this is not always the case.  If you aren’t exactly within an airline’s requirements it’ll come down to the whim of the staff working on the day of your flight.  Unfortunately people are sometimes unpredictable and inconsistent.  So if someone tells you they were able to carry on a 45 L pack on say Ryanair, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do the same the next day.

In 2015 the International Air Transport Association (IATA) attempted to standardize carry on rules for its member airlines with advice from the aircraft manufacturers.  This attempt didn’t last long as all members had their own agenda and so agreement between all proved impossible.

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