For those new to this blog: we are a couple of young ish (closer to 30 than 40 still…) travel enthusiasts, who decided to see what happens if we gave up our jobs, sold our stuff and headed to Taiwan. I, the nurse, create most of the content in our social media, and the engineer is in charge of practical implement of our plans. This blog is our attempt to share the adventure with you.
To be honest, it’s not always the most exciting thing to read how other people travel, explore and find new things about the world and themselves, which is why we encourage you to do the same, creating your own story! One of our goals is to share our experience with you so that you can consider doing the same, weighing between the pros and cons, and looking at your personal adventure as a process you can finish in smaller bits. You can browse back our blog posts to find practical tips on how to do it, from buying tickets to saving money and surviving with a chronic illness as a travel buddy (mine is asthma, the enginerd gets pile stone attacks, a close person to us who travels a lot, has Parkinson’s disease and my dear dear friend travels all over the world with a pace maker, so yeah, it’s doable!).
We publish a new blog post every Friday, and share photos on Instagram and quick updates on Facebook and Twitter. We also have a very dry YouTube channel, which will, however, bloom once we hit the road. This week we’d like to share with you a quick read list on 50 of the things we’ve done in order to get this close to the take-off.
The 50 things that happened so far to make this happen:
- We both found a partner to do it with ♥.
- We practiced traveling together and alone. We traveled around the world in 6 months three years ago, and have before and after traveled to pretty much everywhere.
- We got restless, we wanted more, we could no longer stay still; we got the travel bug.
- As we don’t make much money, we started saving a couple of years ago, right after returning from our round the world trip. Getting married bit a huge chunk out of our funds, but we did in return get a nice stack of cash as presents.
The decision to go was made way before choosing the actual destination.
- We waited for the right moment, which was only discovered after my ♥grandma♥ died. As my family took care of her her past years, it would had been inconsiderate and impossible to leave any sooner.
- We had to consider life’s great questions like buying a house, having children, living close to our parents and sustaining stable life style in an exchange to exploring, learning new things, seeing new places and discovering wonders. We still have not said no to anything, but right now it’s adventure we want.
- All our furniture had to be relocated to new, loving forever homes. It meant selling them online and through the grapevine and for very low prices. Some of them get to stay with our parents and family, like our bed, bookshelf and lazy chair, but the rest is gone or almost gone. We’re now living without a couch, kitchen table and TV. (Next week will see the terrifying era of living without the lazy chair, desk or a big mirror in our living room 😦 )
- We got rid of most of our clothes.
- Our books, at least most of them, are gone. They were taken to the local public library book swapping cabinet, given as presents or secretly stacked in my mom’s bookshelf…
- We haven’t really bought new shampoos or soaps in a while, just finished all the half used ones.
- I’ve got a stash of prescription medicine and facial cream prepared. We have OTC drugs such as paracetamol, antihistamine and wound dressings waiting for an accident to happen.
Explaining people what we’re doing has been somewhat a task. I tried to answer the most common questions we get asked in a post few weeks ago.
- I took a ton of stuff for my coworkers to choose from and to take for free in our staff coffee room. That’s where I’ve been selling my dear clothes for 50 Euro cent each, too.
- A lot of our stuff has gone to charity.
- We try to recycle as much as possible. In the downsizing process we have thrown away maybe one bag of trash, while all glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, fabric etc gets sorted and recycled.
- I haven’t slept in weeks more than a stressful few hours per night. I still work three shifts, and the free time is spent either at the gym, cleaning or studying Chinese.
- We consider ourselves quite sporty, and have been actively trying to obtain even better health for traveling. I’ve been concentrating on getting my arms and core stronger. After six months of specific training, my back problems are for the first time in years almost gone.
I have a tendency to get super sick right before any longer trip starts, so I’m worried and just waiting for it to happen. Every sneeze means I’ll be bedridden for weeks. Like, totally…
- Visiting all our friends and relatives before we go is important.
- I turned down the offer for a permanent job, and the enginerd quit his.
- We are leaving a ton of super great people behind.
- Our travel insurance was easy to take care of but required me sitting in an office while extra hungover. It covers things such as canceling the trip or getting permanently injured on the road.
- The enginerd has been busy learning new skills he might need in the future.
- I have been trying to study Chinese with the little free time I have left. I have mostly concentrated on expanding my vocabulary with Pleco and the list of 1000 most common words in Chinese.
- We put together money and got the American Express Platinum card, and signed up for all the discount and VIP programs you get as a freebie with it (like Priority Pass).
- I’ve put on weight the past weeks due to lack of sleep which has lead to an uncontrollable eating of sugar (writing this, I’m feeling sick form last night’s candy and ice cream, and am going to an indoors cycling class in an hour). Luckily I have also been exercising quite a bit, and still walk to work, so it’s not THAT bad 😀
- We got dental check ups.
- I have been cleaning and washing a ton of things in order to make them nicer looking so we can either sell or give them away.
- While giving away such things as desks and tables, a big chest and smaller containers, our remaining possessions are laying all over the place, making the flat look messier than ever, with a fracture of things we used to have.
- I have signed us up for a ton of social media accounts, to share our story and help people follow our journey. Different platforms allow different people to join us.
From the positive and excited atmosphere we had last January when we finally set the date for this, we have turned into tired, nervous and way too busy couple of human wrecks. However, we predicted this, thus the 19 days of yoga and sleep in Goa in December 🙂
- We are trying to figure out what we actually need to bring with us.
- I booked a hairdresser for both of us.
- The past six months, all our purchases have been based on the idea if we’ll need them later or not. However, I spent 150€ on a pair of grip sole winter boots, don’t wanna fall over and hurt myself now that it’s almost time to go. A broken wrist takes months to heal, although it might be a great way to get the enginerd carry my stuff.
- I went and got myself a tattoo I’ve wanted for years. It was the time!
- We gave away our spices, a load of food and all the extra dishes. There’s still some left, though, like a stack of canned food we got on sale. Living on noodles, pineapple and white beans in tomato sauce…
- We have not decided if and when we’ll come back. But we do have several plans made, and we have considered different options from returning next year to finding jobs and living abroad for a longer period. As this whole thing started as an attempt to live a location independent life, it’s not for sure we’ll stay in a same place for too long anytime soon.
- I have published posts on all of our social media accounts to show people how our preparations are going. We also joined a couple of blog sharing groups to let more people read our stories.
- There’s an ongoing process to learn how to use WordPress, video editing tools and photo editors. The latter one has been made really easy with Instagram, Google Photos and Snapchat quick add filters, cropping tools and sharing options.
- I have studied SEO and social media in general. It’s exciting, complex and has limitless possibilities.
- I found a stack of old USB memory cards, so I had to go through them and copy all the content we wanted to save. Next, the memory cards will go to the junkyard, except for the 8GB one.
The enginerd has spent hours and hours online trying to buy us flight tickets on the exact right moment when they’re at their cheapest.
- We saved an amount of money to use later, once we decide to settle down somewhere. That money will not be touched before that.
- It has finally been decided that we’ll go visit Vietnam in February. We also convinced our friend to come and join us there ♥
- The engineer figured out where I could study Chinese in Taipei.
- He also found out about different visa options for the countries we’d like to visit soon.
- We got our eTV (electronic tourist visas) to India.
- The engineer got himself a new passport, as the old one was getting short on plank pages.
- We had an amazing farewell party.
Things still to be done:
- Getting rid of the last pieces of furniture we still have left. (I wish it wasn’t pitch black and raining 24/7 outside, no chance for a yard sale. Plus the fact we live in an apartment block, the neighbors might not like us blocking the front door with an ugly ass TV station.)
- My dad and the engineer’s parents will come get most of our remaining stuff next week. That means carrying, cleaning, sorting the rest of the things, which I still believe should not go to trash. (Honestly, if we hadn’t been so stubborn about not throwing away anything, we might have got it much easier. But we are little urban hippies, so… 😀 )
- Flight tickets to Vietnam.
- Deciding what to actually bring with us.
- Changing our address.
- Publishing our first video on YouTube.
- One more time getting drunk with our friends.
- Buying presents for the friends we know we’ll meet in Taiwan (the old and the ones we are yet to meet 😉 )
- Finding a way to visit my Dad’s birthday party next year (airlines, any special offers on Taiwan to Finland tickets coming up?)
- Packing our things, getting out of the door and hitting the road.
PS: This list is incomplete. If I had listed everything, I’d still be writing this instead of publishing. Though listing every single item we’ve cleaned and where it went might actually be a great way to finish a couple of posts…
PPS: What would you like know about how we’ve been preparing? Do you have your own list to share with us? Let us know 🙂