Well today our dream trip begins…
We are sitting in Air Canada’s club lounge at LAX waiting to go to our gate for our first flight. Today we take Air China from Los Angeles to Beijing, China. After a 4 hour layover we continue on Air China from Beijing to New Delhi, India.
This trip has been a year and a half in the making since Tim brought that article home about a couple that retired, sold their home and are now indefinitely traveling the world. You can read a bit more about how this all got started here.
When we put this plan in motion I think I only half believed we would actually be able to do it. Would we be able to sell our home? Would my hubby change his mind? Would our son be OK to take over our business? Would we be able to afford to see/do all the things we dreamed about? Would my health allow us to be gone for long periods of time?
The questions were endless, the to-do lists grew, and as each item got crossed off ten more got added.
Here is an idea of what some of the “before we leave” details included:
Deciding where to go and how long to be gone took some time and negotiating to figure out. We have combined some group tours with apartment stays, a couple of cruises, time to explore on our own, a road trip and left a big chunk in the middle open to fill in as we please. From now through the end of May our reservations, flights, tours, transfers, etc are pretty much confirmed.
So far I have booked: 8 flights, 3 group tours, 1 hotel reservation, 1 apartment rental, 2 airport transfers, 2 taxis, 2 buses, and 2 cruises.
Countries we plan to visit on this itinerary – 22 so far.
DOTTING OUR I’s
We wanted to make sure we had our “ducks in a row” and finally got our will, medical power of attorney, and family trust completed. Everything signed, sealed and copies in the bank safe deposit box.
I got the green light in January to be able to go two entire years before my next brain MRI. That was a huge relief. We also did some routine maintenance items like getting our teeth cleaned, new glasses for Tim, chiropractic adjustments, and medical check-ups with recommended shots.
Believe it or not, we are just taking carry on luggage. We each have one small wheeled hard side case that will fit in the overhead compartment and a small light-weight back pack each. I have learned to pack a LOT in a small space by choosing light clothing that will not wrinkle, will dry overnight, and that I can roll. I’ll share my complete packing list in the future for anyone interested in what clothes we decided to take. Needless to say I will get pretty good at doing laundry along the way.
To be able to blog about our trip I chose to bring along my Apple laptop, an iPad mini, my iPhone and Sony RX100-M2 camera plus extra batteries, chargers and adapters. Tim has packed the same. All of this gear is in our back packs.
PAYING THE BILLS
We set many of our bills up for automatic payments, but we can also go online to pay our credit card or misc bills along the way as needed. The property taxes for this year, our income taxes (both personal and business) and insurances have all been paid in advance.
Tim got some noise canceling headphones for the flights, and I invested in really good shoes (Mophisto). I have never purchased that expensive shoes before, but hoping that the comfort will be worth it. I am only taking two pair of shoes, so they each have to fit correctly and serve their purpose.
STAYING IN TOUCH
Having our son take over the business for us has been such a blessing. Still, there may be times that questions need to be answered in a timely manner so being reachable was a priority for us. Tim has become a bit of an Internet/Computer/Electronics wizard and set us up with our own VPN (Virtual Personal Network) as well as getting a Skype phone number. We forwarded our cell phones to the Skype number so now anywhere in the world we are that we have access to the Internet, we can be reached on our cell phones as if we were still in California.
Of course the simple grooming items, hair cuts and color, mani/pedi were needed. Cancelling the Internet, cable, and phone at the cabin and returning the control boxes as well as calling the credit card companies to advise our travel plans was completed. A drive to San Francisco in January was needed to obtain our India Visa in a timely manner.
As one more challenge, one of our rental units became empty unexpectedly and was left in a mess. It required new paint, carpet, appliances and many repairs. Lucky for us we got it ready and rented on Tuesday just in the nick of time.
In the near future I will update our itinerary in the “About” section. But for now, the first part of the journey starts in India and Nepal until the end of this month, then flying on to Barcelona where we have rented an apartment for two weeks. On the 16th of April we fly to Budapest for a few days before taking a Danube river cruise via Vienna that will take us to Nuremberg. In May we have two Gate 1 tours booked – 12 day Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia then two nights in Venice and then the 12 day classic Baltics with Krakow.
June, July and August are left open at the moment, but will probably be spent in England, Scotland and Ireland. The end of August we booked a cruise out of London that stops in France, Ireland and Iceland before reaching Boston. We have never been to that area, so want to explore Martha’s Vineyard and more of the NorthEast for fall foliage.
We plan on returning back to California around the middle of October.
How could one not feel overwhelmed with gratitude to have the luxury of living out a dream. To have the time, health, agreeable partner, and the means to make this all happen. We are truly blessed beyond measure.