So, it’s starting to get a little bit real now. There is still a huge amount of time to go but we do have to start planning, so here is a rundown of where we presently are.
As per the savings page, this is still coming along nicely. Anything saved after around November is going to be contingency/coming home money, so we’re still going to be saving hard right up until we leave. I’d rather take advantage of having excess money now, even if we don’t need it all for the trip.
This could be blended with the savings part, as we’ve sold some junk! Katy has been busy selling clothes on Ebay, which while not hugely profitable, is still worthwhile. I’ve been selling old PS3 games, electronic bits and pieces, a huge box of CD’s/DVD’s, and my Canon DSLR. However the money from the camera will be used to buy a new one.
More than anything, I hate clutter! It’s why I don’t mind living out of a backpack. So it has been very liberating to get rid of things, and I can’t wait to do more!
The big thing we have sold is our car. Our insurance finished last month, and rather than pay another £1,000 + parking charges, we took the decision to get rid of it. We only got around £500 from the sale, but thats a decent amount towards savings! Also with parking charges of £100 per month at our flat, that’s £700 extra savings too!
Although I have been looking at lots of travel websites, we haven’t done a huge amount of planning yet. The most difficult is probably going to be the first part of the trip, which so far I’ve only looked at costs and train times – not actual logistics of getting around Russia and Mongolia. So I have ordered a Trans-Siberian Railway Lonely Planet book. Guide books, especially Lonely Planet, get a lot of stick these days and in some ways the internet is a lot more useful. But in terms of soaking up information and logistics, nothing beats a book.
Unfortunately as we are going by train, we can’t actually book anything until there is about 3/4 months to go, hence why we don’t have a departure date yet! It will essentially be the cheapest possible date in January.
Find out more about our plans here
Family, Friends and Work
Our family and friends have known about our trip for a while now, although how many of our friends genuinely believe we are going I don’t know! Our families are sure of it though, and as it gets closer we have had to do some re-assuring that we are going to plan properly and keep them informed. It does actually help to have people questioning it a bit, rather than just friends saying “Wow that sounds awesome!”, as it forces us to stop and think a bit, and at times we are guilty of only thinking about the exciting sides of travel and not the important practical stuff.
Work wise, no-one has a clue! I’ll have to hand my notice in during late August, but Katy not until November/December so it is going to be hard to keep quiet!
My career is IT, something which is quite transferrable, but I need to keep up to date and learn as much as I can before I go, as I hope to be able to get work in the field again, whether while travelling or when we come home. Web design is really something I need to learn a lot more of, although I can manage a site, create images and fiddle with a bit of CSS, I’m a long way from where I want to be.
As for Katy, she wishes to volunteer and work with animals, whether its joining as a helper in a dogs home or out in the deepest jungles. She is also thinking of doing a TEFL course (a proper course rather than an online one) as she would like to have the option of teaching English abroad, after seeing others do so successfully.
So that’s it for now, we will be posting a lot more in coming weeks though, I just need to get into the writing mood! We’ll also do one of these posts each month to update everyone on our planning progress.
If you haven’t done so already, find out more about us here.