The big day is getting closer… the day we will pick up our bags and head out to the airport for a 10 hour flight to Vancouver.
Ever since we decided to make this trip (officially decided on 11 February 2013 at around 10pm), we have spent time collecting resources to make the big jump.
Some of the most useful online resources (www.liferemotely.com and www.drivetheamericas.com) have helped us to shape this trip based on other people’s experiences. Add to that the countless tips we have received from friends, families and colleagues… it seems like 6 months will be too short!
What did we actually have to arrange before we could start this journey?
1) Apply for international driving licences. (Strange to notice that an international driving licence issued in Belgium does not mention the words ‘international’, ‘driving’ or ‘licence’ in English anywhere on the document. Looking forward to explaining that to customs officers…)
2) Get some shots. We each had 5 shots in total for yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, typhus and rabies. Additionally we have tested our malaria pills (no nightmares or hallucinations detected). We also needed to get prescriptions for altitude sickness and acute diarrhoea (sounds like something you don’t want to have to use…)
3) Buy maps and figure out a route. Buy and/or borrow books with information on camping sites, hikes, drives, …
4) Shop for all the stuff we did not have (such as GPS, backpacks, walking shoes and swimming gear)
5) Get time off work – which also involves a lot of paperwork!
6) Buy a one-way ticket to Vancouver
7) Buy a roof top tent for the car
8) Arrange for Marijke’s sister to move into our house
9) Figure out how to buy, register, licence and insure a car in British Columbia
10) Drop off our rabbit at Marijke’s parents
and a lot of other stuff as well…
All that is left now is to prepare mentally…
- Can I join? I mean, really, I want to come too!
- How did you come up with such a crazy idea?
- Do you need somebody to carry your bags because I can make myself available?
- It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity!
- How can you afford this?
- Is Patrick making you do this?
- Will you return together? Are you going to sit in a car together for 6 months?
- I think you will last only 4 weeks.
- Are you going to come back?
- It’s now or never!*
- Will you keep a travel blog?
- What do you parents say about this?
- You must be crazy. This is so not like you!