What it took to get to departure day!

What it took to get to departure day!


After many months of planning, departure day arrived on November 4. With a robust gantt chart and planning spreadsheet in place (obviously!) we executed all tasks successfully and felt well prepared as the morning of our departure rolled around.

Here’s a quick summary of what we accomplished over roughly 3 months as we packed up our lives and prepared for long-term travel:

  • Vaccinations – 10 shots each including yellow fever, rabies and Hep A + B
  • Budget – researched average daily amounts and upfront investment required (flights, passports, visas, gear, vaccinations etc.) as well as daily expense management;¬†more about this topic in its own blog post to come!
  • Banking – opened a new chequing account as backup to our existing account
  • Legal – updated our wills and appointed two Power of Attorneys to act on our behalf
  • Finance – arranged our finances to ensure that we are maximizing the return on our capital while we’re travelling, and to ensure that we have easy access to funds as needed
  • Travel documentation – renewed Bev’s Canadian and British passports and arranged visa for Richard for Brazil, researched entry and exit requirements for all countries in Central and South America
  • Luggage – research and purchased backpacks (more here on this topic), and had a trial run with packed bags (more here on this adventure!)
  • Travel necessities – research and purchased stuff sacks, sleep sacks/liners, travel towels, first-aid kit and other great ideas like string for a washing line and reusable shopping totes
  • Personal belongings – sold over $3000 worth of furniture, sporting goods and household items, gave away 30+ bags of clothes, shoes and linen to a local women’s shelter and 15+ boxes of household items to the local hospital thrift shop
  • Storage – moved a few furniture items to friends for use while we’re away, packed all other belongings into our Ford Explorer and parked this in a secure underground long-term storage bay
  • Apartment – cleaned and vacated our apartment
  • Air tickets – researched and booked flights from Vancouver to Belize and Rio to Johannesburg
  • Work – gave 3-months notice and ensured smooth transition out of our roles
  • Insurance – renewed our car insurance, continued our life insurance and researched and purchased emergency health insurance to top up our provincial medical coverage

Although we made diligent progress towards our departure date, the last week of our time in Vancouver was hectic! The clock was ticking and the list seemed to be growing not shrinking at one point! I must admit that Richard’s suggestion of having a week off before our departure would have made things a lot easier and less stressful. But, we pushed through to the last day of work on Friday November 1, with only 2 days to spare before November 4! Yikes – seems crazy in hindsight.

And yet here we are, far away from those stresses now and comfortable knowing that everything is well taken care of at home. We’re so thankful to our friends Kelly and Mike, Judy and John, Ted and Mona, Dawn and Joel, Tammy and David, Karena and Jeanette for helping us in one way or another to get to the finish line in a relatively sane state :)

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There are 6 comments. Add yours

  1. 9th November 2013 | Robin Bailey says: Reply
    Congratulations to you both on taking this huge leap into an adventure that most of us only dream about. Can't wait to read all about it! Will definitely be following your travels. Good luck out there!!
    • 9th November 2013 | Richard says: Reply
      Hey Robin, thanks so much for your kind words! We'll try to keep it interesting :)
  2. 9th November 2013 | Ajay Shah says: Reply
    If there are any loose ends left that need tying up, pease don't hesitate to ask. Here's wishing you two adventurers the best of everything.
    • 9th November 2013 | Richard says: Reply
      Thanks so much, Ajay - we'll keep that in mind :) Something's bound to come up - and it's awesome to know we have people like you back home watching our backs! Take care
  3. 15th November 2013 | Ellie Kang says: Reply
    Omg!! I assume you guys must have heard a lot of "omg" and "awesome"!! I'm so proud of you both and thank you so much for creating this blog for sharing. World-trip was one of my dream goals in my life. (I guess it's many ppl's fantacy yet you guys are making it happen!!!) It seems the goal's getting far away from me as I'm just getting comfortable at where I am. Again, I really admire you guys big decision and courage. I must say:you guys are so awesome!!!!! I look forward to continually reading you lovely guys' journey! Take care and be safe!!! :)
    • 30th November 2013 | Bev says: Reply
      Hey Ellie! Thanks for your message, enthusiasm and support! We're almost a month into our trip and it's been amazing so far. Creating the blog has been a fun project too - we're glad that you're enjoying it! We'll do our best to keep it interesting for you :) The world is there to be discovered and explored - even in small doses during vacations! Good luck with your move to site - looks like you're settling in and enjoying your new role. Take care too and keep in touch! Cheers, B&R

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