JANUARY Reflections: The Last Month Before Starting Our “World Tour”

As our departure date for our 9-month Round The World trip creeps closer, Steve and I have been asked about our RTW trip preparation and how we are feeling about our upcoming travels.  Excited? Nervous? Stressed? All of the above?

Steve and I trying out our new selfie stick over the holidays

Steve is concentrating on finishing up a stressful and busy last few weeks of work.  I don’t think he’s had much of a chance to think beyond his day job until he finishes his last day…which is today!   I, on the other hand, am feeling the full range of emotions (for both of us!) as we prepare for departure.  I’ve been excited about our World Tour for many months now and I think I’ve moved beyond the feeling of excitement, to feeling impatient and ready to leave, with a dose of last-minute stress as we scramble to get everything together.

Here’s my January in review and all the travel-related preparations I’ve made this month.  As we begin our trip, I hope to share a reflection blog post at the end of every month.

Wrapped up My Contract with DALINA

For the past eight months, I’ve been fortunate to play a role in shaping the online presence of DALINA Cafe as their social media contractor; the voice and photographer behind their Instagram, Facebook and blog.  This beautiful cafe/kitchen/grocery store (who just celebrated their one-year anniversary) has been a joy to work with, and I loved trying new menu items and discovering local products when I visited the store for “social photography”.  Sadly, given our world tour plans, there’s no way for me to be physically present at the cafe snapping their photos and working with their amazing team from abroad. So, my last official month of work  ends with them in January as we depart on our Round the World trip.

One of my favourite photos that I took at DALINA

Goodbyes to Our Family and Friends 

Although we didn’t have an official goodbye party, Steve and I were able to meet up individually with many of our friends for an unofficial ‘see you in 9 months’ kind of thing.  Thanks to everyone who made time to see us over the past few weeks!!  Steve had THREE goodbyes with the same coworker at various social events, to the point where his coworker’s young daughter asked: “Dad, I only see my best friend twice a year. How come you’ve seen this Steve guy THREE TIMES in a week?”

Some of my coworkers who made the time to see me outside of work!

Publicly Announced Our “World Tour”

As someone who has been a local presence in the social media world for the past ten years through Modern Mix Vancouver, I wanted to craft up a coherent and concise story on the what, where, and why behind our Round the World trip.  If you haven’t already seen, this is our official ‘announcement’: Surprise! We’re Going on a Round The World Trip.  I also did a little VLOG (something I am very new at) on the same topic.  With this, also came the changing of my social media handles to @ModernMixTravel_ and @ModernMixTravel, and letting my PR and industry contacts know about my temporary shift to travel blogging.

Tenant Inspection

We are renting out our furnished apartment while we are away, so we finalized the paperwork with our tenants this month. I’m happy that we’ll be able to make a little bit of rental income on our apartment as we travel, but I also already feel a bit nostalgic that someone else will be calling our home their home too.  We’re leaving our tenants all our awesome (and expensive) small appliances like our Vitamix, Dyson Vacuum Cleaner, Dyson Fan, etc. so we can only hope that these will be taken care of by our new tenants with the same care as us.

Practised Packing (and Real Packing)

I’m bringing a 50L backpack with me for our travels, which I’ve already practise-packed, and real-packed.  At first I wasn’t sure if it was big enough, but given my discovery of packing cubes, everything seems to fit nicely and there’s no need to purchase a bigger bag.  Here’s a blog post sharing my full packing list.

My Round The World Travel Packing List

Renewed Our Drivers Licence

Both Steve and I have drivers licences which are set to expire while we are travelling, and we wanted to get them renewed in case we plan on renting a car for our travels.  After getting them renewed, we both now only have temporary drivers licences (flimsy yellow pieces of paper) to bring with us on our travels.   By the time our new licences are mailed to us, we’ll already be out of the country.  It’s going to be a pain, but we are going to have to coordinate with our families to mail us our new drivers licences while we are abroad.  I’m kind of kicking myself for not doing this sooner and save the hassle, but oh well – too late to think about that now!

Canceled my Fitness Membership

I ended my monthly The Bar Method membership in December (which was $160/month!) to begin a more flexible month of fitness with Class Pass.  Between invites for Modern Mix Vancouver (like to my first OrangeTheory Fitness class) and the flexibility of Class Pass, I had a lot of fun trying new workouts throughout the month of January.

With Trevor Linden at OrangeTheory Fitness.
Steve and I with Hockey Legend Trevor Linden at OrangeTheory Fitness.

Bought Last Minute Supplies 

For the most part, we didn’t have to buy too many new items for our travels, but there were a couple of last-minute random items that I needed to pick up like:  Motion Sickness Tablets, after-bite, a new pair of leggings, etc.  Oh, I also bought myself a new Macbook Air for blogging while abroad.

Last Minute Beauty Services

I’ll be getting a manicure and pedicure with my mom this weekend, as well as my eyebrows threaded.  I know these things will matter a lot less when we begin our travels in Central America and are not confined to the superficial expectations of a North American society, but I wanted to keep up with my regular beauty routine and habits until we depart.

Took Dukerol

A week before our departure I took a dose of Dukerol which is an oral vaccine to help prevent travellers diarrhea (E.Coli and Cholera).  I bought the vaccine while I still had my work benefits, so instead of paying $60 it was only $15!  I kept the product in the fridge for three months and took the booster dose a week before departure.

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Overall, I am more than ready to get going on our trip.  I think this will be my last blog post before we take off from Vancouver.  Next time I’ll be blogging will be from Nicaragua, the first stop on travels! See you soon.

Don’t forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and TWITTER.

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