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?
Our Arc’Teryx Bora 65 Backpacks are 2 of the best things we’ve purchased. Despite the miles on them they’ve come through everything with flying colours. Arc’Teryx has provided us with some great products. They are located in Vancouver, Canada and produce very high quality gear that they completely stand behind. Over the years we’ve had 3 backpacks (Bora 80 and 2 Bora 65’s), 4 Gore-Tex jackets (1 15-year-old and 3 newish Theta ARs) and 2 hooded Atom LT insulated jackets from them. Their stuff isn’t cheap but it performs incredibly well, making them a perfect example of the phrase “you get what you pay for”.
Their solid construction means they more than pay for themselves in the long run due to their longevity. My 15-year-old Theta AR jacket still looks good and once washed with the correct DWR detergents still performs well. There’s just some things that have failed with so many years of use such as the snow skirt drawstring glue failing and pocket liners delaminating, likely from always holding my keys. The packs have been abused by airlines while going around the world several times. After a recent pressure wash to remove sea salt, they still look great and have given us zero issues after 15+ years of use. Helen returned her original, 2-year-old Arc’Teryx Theta AR because of some bubbling in one small spot on the fabric. They sent her a brand new jacket no questions asked.
How do you go about hosting a new website? This is another big step in the process of starting a blog. There are so many choices out there, you will probably suffer from information overload once you start researching how and where to host your site. There are 2 main decisions to make:
- How should I host it?: the type of hosting service you need such as home server, shared, dedicated, VPS etc.
- What hosting company to pick to provide that type of hosting service.
The two are obviously related. Depending on the type of hosting you need will drive your hosting company choice. For instance if I decide to go the shared hosting route I’ll research what is a top shared hosting company. The main drivers of the first choice are what kind of money you want to spend and how technical you are.
So we knew we wanted to start a website for our journey and one of the first big to do items was picking a domain name. Based on work I’ve done in the past, I’ve found that picking a domain name is becoming very difficult. Most of the easy ones are gone due to the billions of people on the internet, unless you get incredibly lucky. Creativity is the key. You don’t want it too long or be tough to decipher. I highly recommend you do it with someone else who you can bounce ideas off. When you think of one, first find out if someone already has it. Unless you are rich, you probably don’t want to pay someone for a domain they are cybersquatting on. I use godaddy.com to do a search which will tell you whether you’ve found an unused one.
The .com “top-level domain” (TLD) is the one you ideally want but if you must have a specific name and don’t care about the TLD you could go for another that is available. Here’s a good article on the ins and outs of TLDs and another about picking a domain name.
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! 😎
So you’re doing something big in your life and you want to document your experiences online for posterity. What is the best blogging platform to use is an important decision to make. For those of us who consider time a valuable resource, choosing a free, fully functional and well featured solution is definitely the way to go. I suppose if your super geeky and have a LOT of time on your hands you could open up your favourite text editor (vim, emacs, notepad++, textedit) and start hacking away at php, html, css, js etc. I wouldn’t mention it to anyone if you did. 😉
After a few minutes of research it quickly became clear that WordPress is by far the people’s best blogging platform of choice. As a result, we’ve joined the masses and setup WordPress to use as our travel journal/blog. We’ll be documenting the process of preparing for an awesome trip round the world and then actually doing it. Installation was easy and it seems straight forward to use and very well supported with a huge community. Currently it’s on our home Linux server (Ubuntu) in the basement that runs ronin-tech.com. At some point the server and basement will be gone along with most everything else we own. 😯
So we’ll need to migrate it to a website hosting service ASAP. Add that to the list of things to investigate and do. It looks like you can do amazing things with just WordPress and it’s free plugins and themes. However if your blog takes off, there’s a plethora of paid plugins and themes available. This is probably why WordPress appears to be the most popular blogging platform out there.
Update Sept. 10th, 2015: I’ve moved our blog to siteground.com using their GoGeek server package and our shiny new carryonrtw.com domain name. 😎