The Prep Work Begins……
Well it is time for the next riveting installment in the preparation stage of our journey. So as a couple who need to shed all aspects of a previous life there are some steps that needed to occur. The primary issue is that of selling our house. Prior to doing this there was a requirement to clean and de-clutter the house. While at no point was the house a mess, there was however an abundance of items that we clearly could not have previously lived without that must now go.
To this end the “magic” gumtree website came to the fore, having browsed the site I did not hold a lot of hope as after a relatively short period of time I got intensely bored an d abandoned the browsing. That said, I photographed and posted a bunch of ads and within about 15 minutes my phone started pinging. About 24 hours later there were in excess of 50 hits on some of the items and the items were flying out the door. So clearly others have a longer attention span (possibly not a startling revelation for those who have met me). As a rule the gumtree experience was highly positive.
The next issue was that of putting the house on the market. This was again a fairly painless experience (once the initial blitz and de-clutter had taken place). We had a professional designer attend to provide advice on how to stage the property for sale. This had the net effect of making me go shopping the following day to expend money on various items that we never needed (in a time when we were getting rid of items). Now my bed had turned from a functional piece of furniture to a home for wayward cushions. The result was that I now have a 20 minute regime of taking pillows and cushions off the bed before I can rest my weary head. In addition we now have odd shaped lumps, lamps and plants strewn throughout the house.
Despite all of this the photographer worked wonders and the house came up looking pretty awesome and got posted onto the allhomes website.
We Finally Get Underway…….
It has been a while…
We had this great intention of leaving Australia in early July and starting our travels in northern Europe (particularly in Scandinavia and Iceland). Alas both Jill and I had our contracts extended and the plans got delayed. As we missed our window to get into the extreme north due to lack of sunlight and severe lack of temperature we have moved our starting point for the odyssey ahead.
My darling bride has managed to achieve the impossible and has acquired for us a 12 month multi-entry visa for China which has just been followed up with a 6 month multi-entry visa for India. This has directed our first few legs of the journey ahead. At present the current plan is to depart Australia on 13 October headed for a 3 day stopover in the Philippines followed by a flight to Beijing with a booked 7 day stay there checking out the Great Wall of China etc.
Now that we have flights booked it is probably a good time to update you all on some impediments that we have hit along the way. These are:
1. We could not sell the house. While we did receive some ridiculous offers, the concept of selling a house in a government town around election time proved difficult so we decided to put tenants in and have it rented while we are away.
2. We have still not sold our vehicles. Two very good vehicles for sale with limited time frames will mean that we will take a bath on the sales but without the planned house sale our available travel fund is greatly reduced.
3. We have big ticket items such as the couch and pool table etc that we are hoping to get rid of are still here.
4. I cannot get travel insurance for certain countries. After a heart attack 2 years ago the insurance companies will not cover me for a pre-existing health condition.
All of these factors have combined to reduce our available travel fund and the initial 2 year trip may have to be reviewed in light of funding. The up side of this is that our first patch of time will be spent in east and south Asia which will be very cheap for us so we may get through the first 12 months or so with negligible expenditure.
The next portion
Alas for us the journey has had to pause. We spent 433 days travelling through Asia and had a ball but the funds ran out…As such we have returned to Australia to act like adults and get jobs so that we can save money for the next leg of our odyssey which is starting to gain a life of its own.
As you can see…our next leg will be to hit south and central America either starting in Mexico and heading south to Patagonia or the opposite way around…depending upon the weather in the month that we start.
In order to achieve this we will be settling in to learn some vital elements for our planned trip. The first of these is obviously to gain a working level knowledge of Spanish (apparently dos cerveza por favor is not enough) and the second is to learn to ride motorcycles (properly). The plan is to buy two motorcycles and make our way through the continent.
Anyway…watch this space.