“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius
We finally made the big announcement to the world (and our employers) that we are leaving the state November 1, 2013 to head out on the first leg of our journey to the Panama Canal. So far the reactions vary from those who are wary of our trip to those who are jealous and want to come along. I’m waiting for the reality to set in at work and then see how people really feel. I’m hoping there isn’t much animosity, but when someone leaves, someone else has to handle their workload and the transition isn’t usually easy. Oh well, I will do what I can until I leave and hope it is enough.
Here’s a little background information on us, the dogs, and the trip:
We are Mike and Tiffany and have been going through the journey of life together for more than 10 years now…. Peanut joined us in February 2006 and Barley in December 2008.
In our travels we’ve met some really interesting people from all walks of life. On our last trip to Turkey, we met a very cool couple from New Zealand that had quit their jobs, rented their home, and went off on an indeterminate length trip through Europe (the trip ended when the money ran out). We asked ourselves, “why not?”. We have been wanting to go on an extended trip for a long time. What was holding us back? Well, a few limiting factors were, our jobs (we’d both probably lose them), our house in NY (if we lost our jobs we couldn’t pay the mortgage), and the dogs (who wants to watch our angels for 3 months 6 months or a year?? Any takers??).
So, we planned a driving trip. Somewhere we could take the dogs with us. As much as it would make the trip easier to not have them with us, we would miss them terribly, they are our babies. We enjoyed our previous trips to Mexico on the Pacific coast, so why not go as far as we can south, then turn around and come back. That solved one problem. The only other (major) things we needed to do were sell the house (it was already on the market for a year) and make sure we had enough money.
We did not expect the house sale to happen anytime soon, however, 5 weeks after returning from Turkey, and 3 weeks after deciding this was the trip for us, we got an offer on the house. This was not the first offer, so we didn’t (tried not to) get our hopes up. The process was EXCRUCIATINGLY slow: over 60 days from the offer to closing. Due to the volatility in the market, the government shut-down (she was getting a VA loan), and the luck we had so far with our previous offers, we decided to wait to tell anyone outside of close friends and family about the trip until after we closed. There was always the chance it could all go to sh*t so we didn’t want to risk it.
Of course there was a lot more to do other than move out and put in our notices at work (including selling most of our stuff, doing ridiculous amounts of research, creating country specific budgets, route planning, outfitting the jeep, etc. etc. etc.) but we will discuss most of those things later in separate posts. Some of these things we still have to do yet!
Now for the hard part – saying “hasta luego” to everyone and everything we have ever known to travel to places where we have never been, and we don’t speak the language (very well), all for the sake of adventure and a common love of travel. Two weeks is going to fly by and before we know it, we will be hitting the road. It won’t always be easy, it won’t always be fun, and sometimes, we will want to kill each other. But in the end, I have a feeling, it will be worth it.