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 everyoneÂ 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.Â 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.
Wow! so glad your going for it… Feb. is just around the corner!
For us staying in one place (first Vn now Bali next NZ..then Europe if we can afford it) and traveling from there is working. We found we spend more when we travel for long periods.. 6 plus weeks at a time but for other people I think the reverse is true. There is a family at the boys school now that is on some what slow RTW they did Asia over 3 months and the trans Siberian express, then came to Bali the little boy wanted to go to school(!) so they did 3 months here now there off to Antarctica then south America for another 3 months. I know their budget can’t be huge both parents are teachers…
Bali is your first stop? Let me know dates, price range, beach or mountains…and I can see what I can find for a rental. We know two families from Au. moving here in Feb.!
The hardest part for me was the 2 months before we left getting everything sorted and waiting for an over due mama to have her baby before we left!
Good Luck can’t wait to hear all of your plans.
Am so looking forward to seeing the world thro your lens and commentary. Have just returned from an eight week trip to Spain with hubby and two toddlers. Just to let you know that after about five weeks we all got a bit homesick. It never occurred to me that we would feel like that as like yourselves we were chomping at the bit to get away from our routine. Strange!! Anyhow enjoy it all and best of luck.
Nikki, we wouldnt be able to afford going off on short trips. Living in Australia is very expensive and the only way we can even think of going is if we drop everything here – insurance, rent, car… If we had to pay for those while we were away, it will be a different story.
Yes, Bali is our first stop. I will send you an email and hopefully you can give some ideas.
Susan, I cant wait to share with all of you. Its hard work, but now I actually know how much I treasure those stories – I can be seen reading my old blogs from The Trip for hours sometimes. So we all win in the end.
The longest trip I have been was that last trip, which went on for over 7 weeks. If the family were with me, I would have had not an ounce of homesickness, so I hope this is some kind of indication.
But in the end, we will find out after we go. I just hope we dont get home before the 6th month rolls around.
Good to hear the trip is still happening!! :D I can’t wait to read and see pictures of all your adventures! It certainly seems like there’s a lot to it, but I’m sure it will all be well worth it in the end.
We left everything behind rented out our house got rid of cars, insurance ect… But then “based” ourselves first in Vn for 9 months and traveled from there. Flights were fairly cheap out of Ho chi minh and train travel was easy and cheap. Now we are “living” in bali which gives us the chance to travel around Indonesia…a country of 17,000 islands so it could take us awhile:) This way Philip can work too… Yes, it would be sooo expensive to go back and forth from Au. We were thinking of coming over there during Christmas but couldn’t believe the $$$.
I’m sure your adventure will be fabulous and the kids will learn so much about the world we live in!
I can’t wait to “travel” with you! How exciting!
I have a friend -a young, single man- who recently travelled around many different countries around the world for nine months. He is not vaccinated, at all. We don’t vaccinate our children either, so I was very curious about it and asked him what he did and how it worked out, he said he did a lot of immune system-boosting before his trip. I’m not sure what he did exactly to boost up his immune system, but I will certainly ask him for you!
Have you looked into Hostelworld.com yet? You can get some fantastic lodging rates from their different hostels, and they’re absolutely everywhere! They would be good in a pinch, or if you needed to save a bit more money vs. the expense of a hotel.
oh, and they have private rooms too, if you’d prefer for your family.
Vaccinations… Our boys were not vaccinated so when we decide to go it was a big dilemma for us…we talked to a Doc. I know and went over the WHO web site together and in the end we only Vaccinated for Hep A. He also gave us a prescription for Malaria pills if we decided to use them… But since we are in the Malaria areas for so long.. I can’t imagine staying on the meds. for 2 years or more…
Nikki, I guess we are doing a modified version of your approach. We plan to have breaks of 1-2-4 weeks regularly, depending on how much we like an area. The way you do it is wonderful and if we had jobs that allowed that, I would do this as well.
Thank you for the jabs info. I am still undecided and have to make a choice shortly. So how did you handle any fevers, knowing that they may indicate malaria?
Brittainy, yes, I have that one on my bookmarks. Its a good option when just passing by a place. Hotels are the last resort really.
Silvia, thank you.
Just a question – isn’t there any magazine which would like to pay you for your nice pics and texts about your journey?
You can show the editors the first one you wrote/captured. It is good enough to be paid for it.
Good luck with the preparation and have your adventure!
Itilien, if I knew how to sell myself to the magazines, I would have done it by now. Unfortunately I have no idea how that world works. I have thought of doing that, just not sure where to start yet.
I am also working on the improved blog at the moment and hoping that its more professional look will give me more credibility in searching out writing/photography jobs.
Really, I am hoping Mr.Blab will take the selling job over, as I suck at it.