Shaun and I have been "dreaming" and planning for a "year of travel" for over 12 months now, and it's hard to believe that this dream is becoming a reality.
Taking a year "off" is no small undertaking, and has pushed us beyond our comfort zone on many fronts. I was granted a rare one-year Unpaid Leave of Absence from my job (which I love), but was prepared to lose my job to go on this adventure. Shaun had to quit his full-time line and go to a Casual position. Even now, it is the first week of January, and we still have not found tennants to rent our townhouse for this year while we are away.
Our cars are going into storage, our cat Diggs is staying with Papa Patterson, our house is half-packed - all our posessions going into the crawlspace of our townhouse - and things are stressful right now. We are packing for several stints of our journey now, before everything is packed and locked away in storage:
a) Nunavut - preparing for -40* weather (bought parkas, boots, thermal layers, Nursing books, and food/ supplies for the rural North, etc)
b) Africa - anticipating travel needs/ gear, and a 3-month volunteer stint in Zambia.
c) Wherever else we go! We only have our itinerary set for 7 months of the 12 - and haven't decided exactly where all we want to go! We need to prepare for hot, cold, humid, dry, and consider culturally-appropriate clothing. Also anticipating what travel documents, visas, and vaccinations we will need.
We will be flying to Nunavut in one week, where we plan to work at Outpost Nursing stations for the first four months (to make some money to fund our trip), and then travel the rest of the year...or until the money runs out!
It will be exciting to see where this year takes us, how it unfolds, and where we decide to go in the world. Yes, it is a big (yet small) world, and there are so many places we would love to experience. We will keep you posted as the journey unfolds...