This trip to SE Asia we are just kicking off here has been a long time a-comin’, let me tell you. It was actually our plan to do it last year at around this same time, but well, you know how it is: life gets way too busy to do what you actually want to be doing when you’re stuck in the race, as we were back then. Not this year though.
After Jen’s usual hardwork of sleuthing around the internet for the best possible deal, we booked our tickets to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (China Eastern Airlines, $1000!) about 3 months ago. Shortly after the booking, we started thinking about our departure date, and how it was only a few weeks after Jen would finally be quitting her job. We thought maybe that wouldn’t be enough time for her to enjoy her new life a little bit before we headed off, so she made the call to the airline to see the cost of changing it, and they assured us it was a minimal charge. Excellent!
And so we proceeded with life under the assumption that we would be extending that departure date by about three weeks, giving us plenty of time to mobilize once we decided when exactly that date would be. Finally about 10 days before our original departure date, we figured it out and made the call to the airline (yes, we obviously waited way too long to make the call… but that’s how we roll!), and of course as half-expected, it would cost us $600 each to make the change. Grr.
After a cold beer to let the reality of the situation set in (the one where we were leaving for three months in nine days and hadn’t really done anything about it yet), we worked our asses off for eight straight days in order to make it all happen. This is what we did, not quite in order:
Made an appointment to get our travel shots and got them, rode six ferries to deliver our cats to an island and come home again, prepared the 2nd cabin to be rented short term while we are away, prepared our Vancouver house to be sold, appointed my sister as a Power of Attorney for the sale, transferred my pinball machine from one home to another, sold most of our Vancouver house furniture on Craigslist, emptied the Vancouver house storage in case the house sold while we are away, cleaned the shed at the cabin in preparation for the Vancouver house storage crap, moved the Vancouver house storage crap from Vancouver to the shed, made many trips to the dump and salvation army in town, bought travel insurance, unlocked my phone and changed my phone plan, messaged our banks and credit cards about our travel plans, Jen prepared 25kg’s of nuts for the Persephone Brewery while she’s away (over 300 packages which trust me, that is a lot), Jen went to the dentist, we researched the trip when we could, took over the Vancouver house utilities while its for sale, met with the subletter in our cabin to go over the details, built shelves in our bedroom since there are none in our cabin and we needed a place to put our personal stuff while the subletter is staying, packed all our personal stuff and put it on the shelves, cleaned the hell out of the cabin basically as if we were completely moving out of it, and went to two social functions to set us on our way! Plus more that I can’t think of right now.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Although it’s nice to point out that we don’t sit around like an old retired couple living in the bush (usually), the point of this post isn’t to brag about how cool and busy we are in our new lives. The point of this post is this: when you have a clearly defined goal, and your time isn’t being sucked up by the daily routine of a job, with a can-do attitude, you can accomplish a serious shit-ton of stuff if you want. It baffles me to think about what I would accomplish if I always lived like the last eight days (well, it wouldn’t be all that enjoyable actually, but I would sure get a lot of stuff done!).
The other point I would like to make is, most people seem to feel they need to plan for a trip months and months in advance. And that’s just fine (except you book all the good hotels before we get a chance!). But it is also possible to make even a long-term trip happen in as little as eight days. So if something ever comes up and you think you don’t have enough time to prepare, don’t miss out… you can make it happen!