The mental journey and practicalities of a Big trip
Its official now. We are going.
The daily grind had weaved its murky fingers around our eyes the last month or so and nothing much was happening. Having in mind that we are about 2 months away from our intended date of departure, I was getting worried and somewhat weak in the uncertainty around our plans. So I did what every responsible person would do in such a situation, I called Mr.Blab to a very official meeting in the darkness of our kitchen and just asked him “Are we going?”.
The rest was supposed to be easy, or at least in my daydreams it seemed like it would be. In reality, he was a bit taken aback and after some chatter it came out that he is a bit apprehensive; not because he didnt want to go, rather, he was finding it hard to let the possibility of a grand experience overcome his worry about the money we will spend. He was tangled in the responsible bread-winner plant that was deep seeded in him, and I guess its not surprising.
A decision, a firm one, had to be taken; not next week, not in awhile, now. Things need to be happening, organized, sorted, got rid of, and time is breathing heavily on our necks.
As soon as we started talking, though, I could see the sparkle in his eyes return. No, I did not push anything on him, that is not needed and its not something I would even want to do. But when this trip is a dream for both of us, and has been for a long time, as soon as we actually start imagining it, everything else fades in the background.
We ran quickly along those lines. Quickly, because it was pointless. The positives of going were – well – endless, we could have gone on listing until the morning slapped us back to our senses. Negatives? Just one – money.
Too big and can we make it on our budget
When you are staring into an open ended trip this could definitely make you a bit apprehensive at times. Since we decided against the RTW tickets, our plans are as open as they can be. This in turn means that we are in a great position to change them if needed. Our first destination is South East Asia, possibly the cheapest possible one. After a few months we will have a pretty good idea if we are handling our money well. We may love it and there is nothing stopping us from spending a year there either. And if we are absolutely horrendous western spoiled spenders and it doesn’t look like we can handle Europe on a budget, we can always get back home instead. The idea makes me sad, but a good way-out clause that calms the worrying brain cells, and life is so much better when they are sedated.
Those were the main considerations we sorted through and we have a firm and final decision: we are going! Hell Yeah!
Now I can seriously start keeping you up with the preparations. I have been reading around other people’s blogs when they go on such big trips and those posts are always very helpful.
Whats happening at the moment:
– storage – we are getting rid of a lot of things, but the rest need to be stored somewhere. Storage places are best at the outskirts of the city, especially since we wont need easy access to our things, hopefully for awhile. There was the option of buying a container (~A$2500) and then filling it ourselves and paying for its storage. Apparently containers dont lose their value and actually can go up over time, but it was still not a better value. Although the idea of all our things sitting nicely all together and ready to be shipped wherever we want them did seem very appealing.
– research – there are gazillion ways to travel, believe me. Since we are staying away from the most familiar to everyone approach, airplanes and hotels, we need to sort through all the possibilities. Finding out about local transport, trains, ferries, busses and so on is a good way on saving up on plane tickets and most importantly to really see the countries we will be going through. Knowing what is possible and what not helps. Researching plane tickets and prices for the sections that we cannot do on ground makes the picture come together. Accomodation is the other big spender, so drawing ourselves a picture of long term renting options, cheap lodgings, smaller cities or towns we can stop by at is another piece of the puzzle. We are not booking anything. Just building an information database to start from, as I am sure once you are on the ground there will be a lot more options and possibilities we had never thought of.
– vaccinations – that is what I am sorting out through now. It is one of my least favorite areas to make decisions on. I pretty much hate it, with passion. With everything else, as soon as I dig a bit deeper into it, there is a clear winner. In the realm of vaccinations, the picture is as dim as can be. There are no good studies, no good data, no objective information on either side. Wish me luck, I need it.
– getting rid of stuff – this has to be the hardest thing so far. Yes, planning a trip around the world with three kids is a breeze, if only someone would take our stuff and pay us somewhat reasonably for it. I am convinced, stuff is like a weight that keeps one from swimming to the surface of the deep murky waters of consumerism. We slave for it, we acquire it, then fight with our family for not keeping it clean and tidy, and when we dont want it, we realize that neither does anybody else, unless you give it to them for close to nothing. I am just glad we never overspent on stuff.
If you want a free advice with this wonderful piece of blogging, here it is: stay away from stuff! Its evil. Use your hard earned money somewhere else. Imagine your house with just the bare necessities – the ease of cleaning, the kids exploring the world instead of the crappy plastic toys, no mess, and a substantially fuller bank account. A win, win, win. And the Earth will thank you for it.
This is where we are.
We are buzzing again, excited and eager to open our wings and get out of the nest.