I cannot believe we are actually doing this!!!
We are soooo close to getting on a plane, and initiating this “master plan” which we have been dreaming about since last February.
This weekend we attended three good-bye parties, and we were very honoured that so many people came out to say adios! (thank you to EVERYONE who showed up!) That was just another reminder to us as to how lucky we both are to be surrounded by so many incredible people…. we have it pretty good here at home.
We have realized that as much as there is an endless number of things we are looking forward to (my guess is that is the topic of another post, which Shawna will probably write as soon as she gets up), there are a ton of things which we will be thinking of and wishing we had more access to, while we are away.
Here, are five of them:
5. Coffee and Chocolate
Let’s make something clear. I love coffee. No, let’s make that we. We love coffee! We love loving coffee! My hot, dark, bitter friend….the perfect morning nectar….coffee = life….you get the picture…
So my assumption is that coffee, fine brewed coffee, would be everywhere around the world. I would have thought we would have had incredible coffees in the hills of Kenya or the island of Sumatra, but from other travellers blogs as well as Shawna’s own African experience, we have nothing but Nescafe instant coffee to look forward to in many of these locations.
Ditto for chocolate…okay this is more Shawna than me…I can appreciate good chocolate, but Shawna makes Willy Wonka look like a diabetic.
Yet again, based on Shawna’s past experience in Africa, where we will be spending (we hope) a substantial amount of time, the chocolate there was…”grainy”? Yuk!
We recognize that there will be pockets of awesome coffee and chocolate around the world, and I hope we are proven wrong, but I think our standards as a whole for these two fixes will have to be lowered quite aggressively. What do you think? Are we wrong?
4. The Gym
Over the past two and a half years, Shawna has taught at Gold’s Gym in Regina, as a Ride Instructor (i.e. spin class) anywhere between 2-5 times per week. She is an incredible instructor, and her riders love her. This place has been more than a gym, it has been her community. She is so incredibly inspired after a class – she is glowing.
As for me, well, yeah sure, I’ll miss it. The gym is a great place to go when you need to be motivated, when you are having a terrible day, or you just need to ‘feel strong’.
However, despite the fact that we will not have four walls, a weight room, and exercise bikes to work out with for most of our trip, we are not going to let this trip compromise our fitness (i.e. we won’t come back fat). Shawna has been taking personal training for the past couple months, and has learned a ton of exercises which we will be able to do using our own body weight, and perhaps a resistance band. Our hope is that we can alternate being the ‘motivator’ each day we are working out, and make sure that we keep each other accountable.
3. A Paycheque
And as a result, May 27th was the last day our bank accounts would grow….from this point forward our ability to generate income (at least in the traditional way) is done. It makes me nervous just typing this….Shawna previously wrote that “it’s not about the money”, and it’s not, but we aren’t trying to kid ourselves…..we enjoy earning an income.
Alas, we are now on a budget. With 8 days left we do still have a few minor purchases to make for our trip, but we are doing what we can to stop most day-to-day spending. We are subsisting on whatever is in the pantry – yesterday I ate a chickpea and marmalade sandwich on rice crackers for lunch – and keeping our grocery bill to a minimum.
While we are on the road, we will be attempting to live, as a couple, off $100/day CDN. We know that in places like England, this may be a challenge. However, we should make up for this in cheaper countries like India and Thailand…at least that is our plan. Any on the road saving tips are more than welcomed!
2. Our Bed
After a long drawn out day of bribing your way through the Kazakstanian border, saving orangutans in Indonesia, riding hippos in Tanzania, and kayaking through the Panama Canal wouldn’t you just kill for your own pillow and your own bed?
1. Friends and Family
This should come as a surprise to no one. Shawna and I are extremely close with our families, love them very much, and will miss them incredibly.
Wasn’t that The Waltons TV show where they ended every episode with one of those cheesy family good-night routines? (Google has just confirmed that this is correct…thanks Google). Anyways, that’s us. Weird, huh?
Our siblings are our best friends and our parents are where we go when we need help or to ask advice. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course our neice and three nephews…you too, are all very important to us. The support you have given us while we have been planning this trip is almost uncalled for (but thank you anyways!)
And then of course there are our friends….Shawna going for a run with one of the girls, me heading to Bushwakkers for a pint with one of the guys, or both of us headed out to Crave for a night out with a whole crew, you make us laugh, you provide us with awesome insight and conversation, and, like our families, you have supported us so much on while we have been planning this crazy trip that it is almost embarrassing. Thank you. We will miss you.
Like I said above there are an infinite number of experiences, people, places, and things which Shawna and I are looking forward to….this is hardly meant to be a ‘woe is me’ post. In fact, it is meant to be more of a “I cannot believe you two are leaving strong coffee, melt in your mouth chocolate, a great paycheque, a pretty sweet gym, a firm mattress with two pillows folded over, 184 + 7 friends (Shawna and Skott respectively), Alex Trebek, and loving families to go travel” kind of post.
But yes, we are….but only because we know they will all be there when we come back!