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pre-planning: there’s a madness to our method

29 Dec

How the hell do you plan a world trip? Slowly, that’s how. We read blogs, books, spoke with people, asked questions, pulled our hair out, drank wine, went back to the drawing table… for three years.

I will get the big and simple things out of the way. First, the home we own will be taken over by Lucas’ parents. They are happy, retired people who not only love to ski (this place is perfect for them) but who must love us big time. Our cousins who are also our neighbours say they are trading up… ahem?

As for my career, I will have just completed an extended maternity leave as the Director of Operations for a large and absolutely amazing non-profit in Calgary. My last day is June 13 – and what a day it will be.

Lucas did make it to Driller so that is settled. He has never really made a goal with a timeline and didn’t meet it so I’m not surprised. Good looking and motivated? Yes m’am!

We have created many different routs. This was our very first list.


It changed…


and changed…


and then it started growing.


We are still completely in the process of this and we realized that we will be for the duration of our traveling. I mean, we will have some sort of skeleton of where we are going based on a couple of things: music festivals, my research in education (hello, Reggio Emilia!), Oktober fest and monsoon season in India.

For now we are happy with knowing that we start in Ponta Delgada in August.

The planning never really ends. But neither does the excitement and dream.


can i get a valium, please?

5 Jun

Yes, drugs. Preferably a Valium. I would love to have my heart slow down just a little bit with three months until we take off into the abyss of far away lands. More specifically, I will be leaving for Toronto and Halifax in two weeks and at this point, there is much to get done and more so, much to purchase.

Ah yes, the term “purchase.” It’s been on my lips a lot lately and now I am starting to chew on it like a piece of Jerky – vegetarian Jerky, of course. I chew on it and then I swallow it  but what I would really like to do is spit it out. Let me explain.

I have purchased a 35 litre bag to travel the world with. Do you know what a 35 litre bag looks like? It is small. Think about a small backpack. Ok, you ready? Now imagine it smaller. That’s it. Now make it more narrow. Yeah, about that size.

Itty, bitty, baggy, committee. That would be mine on the left. Lucas' is on the right.

Itty, bitty, baggy, committee.
That would be mine on the left. Lucas’ is on the right.

So I have the bag.

Now, I have conversed with seasoned travellers. Word has it when one travels they learn that North Americans purchase and use too much. They return home with a fresh sense of consumerism, or lack there of, and realize that they don’t need to live with nearly as much as, say, I think I do.

Cute little flower the the deuter bags come with.  Free advertising. deuter, pay me.

Cute little flower the the deuter bags come with.
Free advertising. deuter, pay me.

Here is the struggle: I am also told that I need to purchase a number of items before the trip. I don’t think that I need that much.

I am worried that I will buy all of these random items that seem attractive now, but for what?  For example, new shoes (I have a pair that are just swell), or a day bag; can I use the one that I got for free at a conference? I mean, I understand that there are important things that I need to buy. For example, a camera, a rain jacket and of course, my shots.

The contradicting messages are throwing me off but I have my own ideas about this. For those of you who are familiar with my A-type personality, sit down.

This is one time that I get to just gather my stuff, go, and figure this shit out along the way.

I want to open my arms and hug the challenges that I will face. In fact, I want to invite them in, make them some tea and whisper sweet nothings into their ear.  If I stay in my preferred comfort zone, and purchase and plan this thing to death, I will forever be stagnant, surrounding myself with the comforts of North American convenience and I do not want that.

“Throw away the pen! Throw away the lists! Bring the old shoes! Forget the comfortable, multiple purchases!”

Every time my mom started the engine in our beloved van at the start of a road trip, she would turn to me and say, “If we forgot something, it must not have been that important!”

*I will never, ever throw away my lists. They are my life line. I was lying.