Sat 17 Oct 2009
The letter arrived; three years of planning have become official. My workplace has granted me a year leave of absence. Freedom, if you will, to travel the globe.
Three years ago Toby and I were in the car driving home from a friend's wedding. We were making plans, travel and other, and out of the blue came the unspoken thought: what if we went away for a whole year? Where would we go? How would we save enough money? What would we do with our life back home in Toronto? The wheels were in motion.
Inquiries, estimates, budgets, consoling both mothers and many Lonely Planet guides later, we are counting down to our departure. Eight and a half months to go. A little early to start a travel blog? Pish posh.
Here is our travel plan; we will be flying to Beijing, China to spend about three months in China. Next we'll head into South East Asia to visit pretty much every country there over a span of 5 months. Then it's on to India for another three months, then Nepal for a month and a half - mostly treks. If we still have money in the bank, I'll apply for another year leave of absence and we'll start that year in Eastern Europe. The goal is to go from Helsinki to Cape Town, overland. Two and a half months will be spent in Eastern Europe, 2 months in some countries in the Middle East, then 4.5 months in Africa. Then, if money (and will) allows, we'll fly to Buenos Aires to travel Patagonia and Brazil. Ambitious? Yes. Yes we are.
Here is our life plan; we have delayed the life event of buying a house in order to have an apartment we can just leave. Our belongings that make the cut will be put into storage and we will technically be homeless. Since Toby has been working short contracts, he doesn't need to ask for a leave of absence. We have been living with hand-me-downs, appliances near the end of their life, and haven't made any major purchases. Every decision has been with this trip in mind. For 1-2 years our life will be out of a backpack. Let the adventure begin.
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page." - St. Augustine