The day has arrived! After the longest lead up to a trip of all time (two years in the making), it’s finally happening. We are way out of office and officially starting our year-long adventure around the globe. Here’s a bit of a recap on the lead up to our departure.
We’d initially planned to work right up until Mike’s departure date at the end of August to save as much money as possible, but decided to quit a month earlier to sort out the logistics of leaving, say goodbye to family and friends, and enjoy the amazingness that is a Vancouver summer before taking off. Two words: great decision. We got to start our year off with (relatively) little stress and got some seriously quality time in with our friends, parents and brothers on an awesome camping road trip through the Rockies. It was also an excellent reminder of why we definitely want to come back to this beautiful country!
Quitting our jobs and saying goodbye to my amazing coworkers (some of whom I’ve been working with for 10 years!) was hard, but as is often the case, you never feel more valued as an employee than when you leave. So after lovely send-offs from our respective teams, we felt pretty certain that we had solid references and that someone would probably want to hire us again when we return.
Leaving Our Apartment
After the road trip, it was down to business trying to wrap up our Vancouver life before taking off. Craigslist was our best friend (and sometimes our worst enemy) and helped us sell half our furniture, a bunch of appliances & electronics, and even our car! We moved what was left into the cheapest storage we could find (in Surrey, obviously) and were out of our apartment by the end of August. It still seems like a lot of stuff!
The main reason for starting our trip in South Korea is that Mike is taking a three month language immersion class to learn Korean (something he’s always wanted to do) at a university in Seoul. He started class at the beginning of September so left Vancouver at the end of August a month before me to get settled. Meanwhile, I was couch surfing my way through September, hanging out with family, friends and adorable babies who will look completely different in a year’s time.
As someone who has never been without a “home” – always moving from my parent’s house to a dorm room, or from one apartment to the next – I was a little worried about what it would be like to be sans home base for a month (followed by a year!). But the generosity of our community never ceases to amaze me. I had more offers for spare rooms and couches than I could possibly take advantage of and it made me realize that we’ll never really be homeless, no matter where we are. People are innately kind and genuinely want to help you, even when you barely know them. It was a timely reminder before heading out on our trip, during which we will likely need to rely on the kindness of strangers more than once.
Okay, enough with boring logistics and on to the fun stuff! Stay tuned for more photos and stories from our travels coming soon.
First stop: Seoul.
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