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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Days On The Road

 

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

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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Traveling With Carry On Only

Helen's Gregory J38
28 days later and we are back!  It wasn’t years on the road but it was a good test of living out of our new Gregory 38 L and 40 L bags (J38 and Z40).  The traveling with carry on only experiment was definitely a success.  It sure was liberating being able to walk off the plane with all our possessions on our backs.  We flew Air Canada, Thai Airways International and the regional Thai Smile.  Absolutely no problems on any of the flights.  Over the years we grew to hate waiting for our luggage to come out on the carousel.  That’s because twice it was lost and was a major hassle.  Eventually it showed up but this worry is no longer a concern.   😀

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Selling Everything to Travel

selling everything to travel

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.

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Something Changed

Something Changed

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?

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“Not all those who wander are lost”

Not all those who wander are lost
Couple who quit jobs to travel the world end up scrubbing toilets for pay.  Is this couple really crazy?  There seems to be an expected lifestyle in first world nations.  Is it just that doing what this couple did goes against that and “different” is bad?  Just as we are considering some major life changes this timely article showed up on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation website.  The polarized comments make for great reading.  They show the wide range of views on long-term travelling.  🙂  I’m sure they’d be similar in most other Western countries.

I thought the comment with the great J. R. R. Tolkien quote “Not all those who wander are lost” summed it up perfectly.  Does travelling for a long time mean you’re a vagabond, hobo?  Or is it just our innate desire to explore coming out?  I really think the world would be a better place if more people did this.  Then we’d realize we are all part of the same “tribe” and we have so much in common with people all over the world.  It would also drive home how fortunate we really are and help us to appreciate what we have.  I think the system we grow up in largely discourages stepping outside the normal.

Maybe by wandering you can actually find yourself?  Or maybe you already know yourself  and just want to see what’s out there.  If variety is the spice of life then get ready for some interesting flavors!  😎