It’s been a pretty big week for us. Rachel resigned on Thursday and Nick gave notice today. We both work for pretty small companies and gave them 6 weeks notice. We felt this was enough time for both companies to absorb the news, find a replacement, and allow for training time. Luckily, it went over pretty well for both of us and we’re relieved it’s over. It was definitely a reality check and made us feel like there’s no turning back. We read a blog once that recommended you tell as many people as possible that you’re going on this trip to motivate you to follow through. Well that advice certainly rings true when it comes to quitting your job. Though I am certain if we changed our minds and asked for our jobs back we would be welcomed back with open arms, it definitely gives you that no turning back feeling. It feels like now everyone REALLY knows and you have to do it or you’re really going to look like a liar.
We quit this week, and we also got the ball rolling on some other things we’ll have to take care of before we go. Our lease ends July 30 but we’re not leaving until Sept 1, so we’ll have to move our stuff into storage at the end of July. We checked out some storage units this weekend to get an idea of what we’ll need and we realized it’s more expensive than we thought. So we have some investigating to do and will be working on sorting it out in the next few weeks. We also took Rachel’s car to CarMax to get it appraised; she has a lease with about 18 months left and will have to sell her car before we leave. CarMax was a mostly positive experience, and is likely the route we will take. We’re going to have to fork over some cash to get out of the lease, but its not as much as we initially thought. We will still try to list the car online for good measure.
The other major task we’ve had is finding a long term boarding facility for the two cats, Kahlua and Sundance. We have chosen a cats-only facility in Myrtle Beach, SC- more on that later. In the meantime, Rachel is took Kahlua to the vet to get a well check-up and to have him tested for diabetes. He’s pretty overweight (22 pounds!) and we want to make sure he’s healthy before we leave for a year. Sundance is next in line and will be going for her check up next month. Indy, the dog, also got her yearly vaccines today. She is one lucky dog and is going to stay with Nick’s family in North Carolina for the first 4 months of the trip and then back to Florida until we return. Nick’s parents have 2 dogs of their own so Indy will probably have more fun during those 12 months than she would have at home with us!
So we are slowly but surely working on our “to do” list and will keep you posted. It’s a learning process for both of us, but so far so good!
Yea, I am NOT a fan of shots. As Rachel said, my first round consisted of 4 shots at once! My arm felt like God sucker punched me in the shoulder every day for a week. I squeezed Rachel’s hand so hard when I was receiving the shots, I thought she was going to have to get another tetnus shot. By the time we received our yellow fever vaccine, they didn’t bother me anymore.
Today I wrote some volunteer organizations and projects for us to work with when we are in the area. The three main ones I wrote were Organic Working Ranch in Costa Rica (www.ranchomargot.org), Conservation of the Endemic Utila Igunana in Honduras (www.utila-iguana.de), and the Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation in Argentina (www.eledenflorayfauna.org). We both want to volunteer since it is a great way to learn the culture through locals and working there, because it is great to add to a resume for when we return from our trip, and because we feel the desire to do good work while traveling. It also helps that many of them offer inexpensive accommodations, food, bikes, education in the language, and we can meet fellow travelers. Even though the three groups listed above were located in Central and South America, we plan to participate in more in various countries.
Soon we are going to have to tell work that we are leaving. This will make the trip feel like it is REALLY going to happen. It won’t be easy for me. I like my job. Even thought it has its ups and downs, it never gets boring. My boss tells me how much he appreciates the work I do, and talks of promoting me to other aircraft and promotion within the company. The issue is that it takes so long for it to actually happen. So I made the decision to leave and never look back no matter what happens.
I feel very fortunate to be able to take a journey like this with Rachel. A few years ago when I decided on this trip, I expected to go by myself. But life is real when shared. It all came about one day when I watched a movie about a journey like this. I instantly felt comfort in the character’s trip and decision to leave everything behind. Owning new “things” has never been part of my personality. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have new ipads, a new truck, buy a home, and have the latest and greatest (I did buy a kindle which was the first thing I bought for myself in a LONG time). But I have always felt a pressure internally to hold back on purchases like those. In no way shape or form do I look down on all the great possessions people own, but they weren’t for me….just yet. So when Rachel and I decided to take this dream trip of ours, I knew why I felt that way.
So here we are. Planning our dream trip. We call it our Great Adventure. There is a lot more to do and put together. But all in all we are super excited. Two and a half more months to go!
Today we got our yellow fever vaccines at the Broward County Health Department. It feels very official now that we’ve completed this step for some reason. Nick’s Dad generously supplied the other vaccines we needed at his office (3 for me and 6 for Nick so far) but yellow fever is only administered at an official Travel Clinic or your County’s health department. I went to South Africa in 2007 so some of my vaccines have not ‘expired’ yet, but Nick had to start fresh. We have one round left for the Hepatitis A/B series and we’re done!
Here is what we’ve have received for this trip:
- Tdap (Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis)
- Hepatitis A & B combo
- Yellow Fever
- Meningoccocal Meningitis
Because we got the yellow fever vaccine, we both now have the International Certificate of Vaccination which we’ll have to present at border crossings that require the vaccine for entry. I for one feel kind of superhuman from of all of these vaccines. All we need are malaria and cholera pills and we’re unstoppable! Just kidding. We are aware that we aren’t superhuman and will likely get sick while we’re traveling, but for now I am enjoying the feeling of invincibility. I’m sure I will enjoy reading this post a few months from now when I’m hugging a toilet after a bad meal and can laugh at my former self for thinking I had it covered!