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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- July – sold trailer, truck, passed home inspection. Paul is in a boot and needed driving around, Helen searches for apartments and packs.
- 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.
Is oddness a word? Since it didn’t come up underlined I can only assume yes, I could confirm that it is.. but where is the fun in that? I like the start so will just go with it. November has been full of odd moments. It all started off when I booked a massage… sounds scary I know! It appears that the booking of the massage has resulted in me losing my job, being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, my family together for the first time in 17 years, a new hot water tank and swimming lessons. What? For real? Why yes, yes indeed I reply. Let’s start at the beginning…
Winter is coming… no really it is supposed to snow. Thankfully we have restored the garage to its intended use and our vehicles are parked indoors so we won’t need to get our the ice scraper in the morning. After a recent work trip to Chicago by me, we were able to update our countries with carry on only to include the US. I have to admit I was somewhat nervous about doing carry on with just me. Paul measured our bag we bought in Bangkok and it fit the requirements so it was just a matter of me lifting it up and since I was only gone for 3 nights, it wasn’t heavy.
What!?! This was supposed to be easy.. sell everything and travel. Sure.. but the actual doing of it.. well, lets just say I’ll need a week to recover from the last few weeks.. and a massage.. probably a pedicure and another massage! Since we made the actual decision to do this we have run to meetings with accountants, financial planners, realtors back to financial planners, holding garage sales, working, life in general and then this and then that.
Something changed this year and it’s a good thing. Over the years, usually while on vacation, Paul and I have talked about travelling, getting out of the rat race and like most people, usually done it in “pipe-dream” mode. We’d met people who were travelling for several years, people who downsized so they could travel for half the year, who just made life changes to make it happen and we’d think “we should do this”. Then you come back, life takes over and you go back to the regularly scheduled society programming. This year it moved to “potential reality” mode which is exciting and scary at the same time!
What changed? We did and no, I won’t get personal. Paul has always wanted to go and while I did as well, there was always something I managed to come up with as an excuse not to go. Give me a topic and I can give you a solid excuse! Between my excuses and following the “regularly expected program” we let it slide. We’ll travel when we are older because Europe is easy to get around… it’s not like we can sell everything and just go… we missed our opportunity… we aren’t young anymore… blah blah blah. This year, we realized hang on, we are both actually ready to make this work. Paul will tell you he has always been ready and it was just me. There might be some truth to that but that’s personal! We decided that this is something that we want and we took action to start turning our dream into reality. Where are we at?