74 Sleeps to Go:Steff Preps to See the World

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There is a lot to do when one is doing away with their whole life so they can travel the world for five years.

I’ve been very, very tied up and, for a while there, had been deluding myself that I was “near the end” so I could just chill and enjoy life some. But I’m so very wrong about that.

I guess that’s why I’m finding it impossible to get dressed and go out, after my Very Very Long Week. It’s 7:06 on a Friday night and the prospects of seeing daylight today are dwindling oh so very fast. But an early bedtime? Good odds on that.

But let’s tell you, dear reader, just where all my sanity is going, and why. Here’s a short list of all the things remaining for me to do in my 73 days left in town.

  • Unlock my phones
  • Pick/buy travel insurance
  • Get theft/damage insurance for gear (tricky)
  • Finish/launch my crowdfunder (days away)
  • Receive all ordered gear, go through what I own, and make final purchases for things missing
  • Have a Power of Attorney written up
  • Deal with banks — get overdraft, credit cards, et cetera
  • Compile all receipts up till September to give to my accountant before I leave, so I just have to send October-December receipts to him via digital files on the road
  • Begin process for turning my blog into a legal company for tax advantages in 2016
  • Sell everything I own
  • Go through all my paperwork/boxes to keep only essentials, since I wanna be under 10 boxes to my name before I leave
  • Install a paywall on my blog for use after I’m abroad (for premium content)
  • Set up my new Surface Pro 3 for my creative life, backup all my old computers for donating/sale
  • Install work programs on my new computer pronto and ensure they work with it
  • Test-run all my gear to make sure it’ll work when I need to start back at my day job when abroad
  • Spend a weekend in Vancouver
  • Spend a weekend saying goodbye to my brother up-island
  • Get an international driver’s license (required in Croatia)
  • Buy the new camera gear I’ve got designs on
  • Get a family (fire/flood victims) to whom I can deliver my bed on my last day in town
  • Cancel all utilities
  • Get a two-year leave from Canada approved by the Medical Services Plan

…And more niggling crap I really don’t savour. Seeing doctors, getting more shots, all kinds of routine things that are time-suckage to the max.

I thought I was rocking things, but the list is never-ending. And it’s expensive, too. I’m already about $7,500 in the hole for tickets, lodgings, and lots more, and I think there’s $5,000 to go. Lucky I’m selling everything I own, eh?

But come September 25th, I’ll have 24 days off. I’ll have 4 days to finish off Victoria, 6 days to bid farewell to Vancouver, 3 to hang out in London, but when I hit Zagreb and I’m THERE and there’s NOWHERE TO GO and NO WORK TO DO for a whole 11 days and I can sleep, wander streets, eat wonderful food, enjoy life… well, gosh, it’s gonna feel like an elevator found its brakes after a freefall.

Shot by me. One of the rare sunsets I've seen of late, on Victoria's Dallas Road. Note to self: At least see more sunsets.

Shot by me. One of the rare sunsets I’ve seen of late, on Victoria’s Dallas Road. Note to self: At least see more sunsets.

Recent Accomplishments

Until I leave, my blog check-ins will be sporadic to let you know what’s going on. Rest assured, there’s a lot happening. It’s just all in the “finding crap out” stage and there’s little of the dotting-i’s and crossing-t’s thing right now. What’ll happen, though, is that I’ll get a lot all finalized in one span of a couple weeks and it’ll blow yer hair back.

I did a lot of research on places and gear and I now have a good idea of what my first six months of travel MIGHT be. I’ve also ordered about 80% of my gear. All of that was extremely time-consuming because I’ve had to research for everything from the best Bluetooth speaker (including size/weight) to travel yoga mats, cable organizers, and much more. Every single item, I didn’t just find one and go “Yup, I’ll take that.” I compared things, looked up reviews.

A recent freaky day in the rainforests when smoke from up-island and the Mainland was blotting out the sun. But... pretty.

A recent freaky day in the rainforests when smoke from up-island and the Mainland was blotting out the sun. But… pretty. Botany Bay, Port Renfrew, BC.

I know I’m not parachuting into Borneo or anything, there ARE stores in Zagreb, so if I miss out, hey. But do I really wanna be chasing after stuff when I have jet-lag and my first 10-day REAL VACATION in over a half-decade?

Plus, I’m fussy, and I can buy better stuff online than I can in some store that offers me very little choice. Weight, size, design, reviews for hardiness — these seem critical to me when it’s all in one bag. I might have a huge duffel bag now, but a part of me dreams of being able to downsize once I find my groove, and buying the right gear NOW makes that more likely later.

Later, I’ll share my gear purchases with you and why I’m choosing them. But there’s plenty of time for that yet.

A plus to our insanely dry summer is more random encounters with deer in search of less-dry grass in populated areas. My shot in Victoria's Ross Bay Cemetery.

A plus to our insanely dry summer is more random encounters with deer in search of less-dry grass in populated areas. My shot in Victoria’s Ross Bay Cemetery.

The Evolving Plan Evolves

Along with gear bought, places are booked. And as I booked my first two places in Croatia, I switched it up and decided I’d leave a month earlier than originally planned, and go to Spain. I’ll get back to Croatia another time, see the south during warmer months, when I’m less likely to be bowled over via 200-kilometre-per-hour blasts of the dreaded Bura wind.

But Spain, ahh… Go there, enjoy the sun, get my “Catholic Christmas” fix there. Maybe go inland to the mountains for a snowy Christmas someplace like Segovia before I get the sun down on the South Coast.

All this means I get to head to Morocco earlier too, and I can stay there longer while getting out by, say, May, just as the scorching weather sets in.

See? Research. Gotta know the climate, gotta know the seasons. There’s a perfect window of temperature, and for me that means under 30 degrees.

My moment of bliss. Shot on a bike ride home along Victoria's Dallas Road beaches.

My moment of bliss. Shot on a bike ride home along Victoria’s Dallas Road beaches.

I’d like to write about that process at much greater length — the research process — and I will, but at a later date. There’s so much going on right now that if I don’t stop and tell you what’s happening NOW, you’ll never hear about this particular window in my preparations.

I’m stressed, I’m tired, I’m anxious, but deep down inside, there’s one other thing I am: Confident I’ll get it all done. Somehow, some way, I will. Because I always do.

Stay tuned for more exciting news from The Adventures from Steff’s Pre-Adventure!

If you want to support my travels in exchange for cool stuff, please check out my Indiegogo campaign here.
Follow my adventure on Facebook here: The Full Nomad.
Follow me on Twitter here: @SnarkySteff.
Follow my Instagram feed here: @SnarkySteff.

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