August 8, 2012

Road Trip: The Drive

Hey Bloggy Friends,

{I hope all my Canadian Blog Friends had a great long weekend!}

Remember that time I said we were going on a road trip? And then I told you we sold our house while on a road trip? Except I never really told you anything ABOUT the road trip? Yup, it's because I'm a crappy blogger. As it turns out, keeping a travel blog about preparing to travel comes a lot easier to me than a blogging about actually traveling. Strange.

Anyways...We did it. We went on a road trip! The first leg of our journey was from Calgary down to Sandpoint, ID for one night. It was a gorgeous drive through the foothills and into Rocky Mountains. Turns out I might not hate road trips as much as I was expecting to... {so cynical, Dana}. Here are some fun facts about our trip:

3350 Km driven

6 Face tattoos spotted

5 Nights in AirBnB homes

3 Nights with friends

2 Professional sports games attended

1 Sorta hitchhiker

Waaay too much beer sampled...

On the way there...
USA border security confiscated a bag of oranges we had in the car. Sad, because I was hungry later. The cheap motel we rolled into late that night was 50s themed. It was hilariously amazing.

On the way home...
TMI: I'm a horrible road trip partner because I probably have to stop for a pee every 2 hours or so. On the way home, while enjoying the gorgeous drive down the Coquihalla Highway, I forced Juliano to pull over at a rest stop for a 'break'. While slowing down to pull over - we passed a speed trap {moral of that story: my tiny bladder saved us a massive ticket!}. At the rest stop, a teenaged guy approached us and this happened:

Guy: Umm... excuse me? Are you guys by any chance driving to Calgary?

Me: Yep. Why? Is that your car over there getting towed?

Guy: Yeah, well... technically it's my mom's car getting towed. I was driving my girlfriend home to Kelowna.

Me: Ah ha ha.... that sucks. Hey - did you know that today is Mother's day?

Guy: Really? Shit. I don't have any cell reception here.

Me: You should call her.

Guy: Yeah, I know. Can I please get a ride with you? I can pay for gas or whatever.

Me: ha ha ha...I don't need your gas money. But I feel like this will be hilarious, so hop on in!

And that is how we picked up a sorta-hitch-hiker in BC and brought him all the way home. Turns out getting your mom's car towed on Mother's day is not really appreciated by your family - his dad was pissed. It was hilarious. Also he was quite polite and friendly {Canadians...} and complimented my taste in music {which made me feel young and trendy} - overall success on our part.

Some random notes about road tripping...

- I know the words to A LOT of songs. What a waste of brain space, I should be fluent in Portuguese by now.

- Trains are cool, bridges are awesome. Train bridges = super awesome

- Road side {and river-side!} picnics are the best

- I don't know anything about geography. Seriously, I'm lost about 90% of the time.

- Farmers Markets are cool in every city. And the food is always the best there.

- There is no chance in hell that I'll ever be able to translate USD-per-Gallon to Canadian-Cents-per-Liter for gas comparisons. You literally need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. I give up. But still:

Most expensive gas: 1.47/Liter in Vancouver, BC
Cheapest gas: 3.71/Gallon in Sandpoint, ID

- Cheap motels always have free breakfast and wifi. Fancy hotels make you pay for both. Why?

I know this post was a bit scattered, but I'll be back with more about Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and Kelowna soon!


August 3, 2012


Holy Shit Friends. We've done it. We Booked a DATE.

Pause.  Rewind.  Review.

It was almost a year ago (Nov 2011) that we first had the discussion. We talked and talked and decided that maybe this Calgary life wasn't exactly what we were looking for right now. Maybe, we should take this double-income-no-kids moment in our life as an opportunity for something crazy instead of a stepping stone to the next inevitable 'phase' in life. We asked each other what our goals were if we were to give up the fairly awesome and successful existence that we had earned ourselves... these were our answers:

Dana: Adventure. I want to travel and see the world. 

Juliano: I want to be financial independent, debt free and ahead of the game. 

Those goals are not usually compatible. But we got some inspiration together, and we threw around a few ideas that might work. The Big Idea came up, and both of us thought "noo... that's crazy!". But soon, 'no...that's crazy' starts to turn into... 'what if...'  which turns into 'could we really?'

Friends, let me tell you - What Ifs can take over your life. Literally. What if we made money while we were traveling? What if we could travel indefinitely? Eventually... What Ifs turn into Could We Really?s. Could we really sell our house? Could we really move away from family? Could we really quit our jobs?

We just started answering YES to every question. YES, we could make money and travel at the same time. YES we could sell our house. YES we could move away. YES is a very powerful word, so it seems.

We began to secretly put a plan into place to move us closer to this goal. We saved money, and sold our stuff. We didn't buy or receive any Christmas gifts that year. We only told a few people about our 'crazy' plan.... and then we listed the house. And sold more stuff. And moved. And saved. And waited.

What started out as a silly idea between two people turned into and HUGE project that we felt was taking all of our time and effort. Now that we're close to the finish line, this plan has taken on momentum of it's own and is snowballing ahead of us, dragging us along for the adventure of lifetime.

We're excited, anxious, busy with so many details and a touch overwhelmed. But we really wanted to solidify the plan and make it a 'Real Thing' in our minds. So we bought our plane tickets! Yep.

We are now the proud (VERY PROUD!) owners of two one way tickets from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to the yachting capital of North America - Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. We leave...

September 22, 2012

Holy Shit. It's less than seven weeks away. We're moving this weekend to live in a condo with some friends, and we'll stay there until we leave. I still have to give notice at my work, decide on a packing list (yikes!), register for some courses, book a place to stay, organize our finances here (will share that with you!), finish a million detail of our lives here and about eleventy-million other things.

Let's get this party started!

Cheers, D & J

August 1, 2012

Storage and Stuff and Squirrels, Oh My!

  Despite getting rid of all of our stuff, we keep stashing it away into smaller and smaller compartments as we move locations. It's getting culled down, but we keep mini-hoarding without realizing it. Just one closet full of stuff --> Just one suitcase full of stuff --> Just one box full of stuff....  People are crazy, us included.

Selling all of our furniture was on the Champagne List. Well, we did that. Actually most of it went to a friend from my work who is setting up a new home (What's up, Jess!). But some things, and some furniture are too sentimental to leave behind or sell (family heirlooms, etc). So we got a storage locker. It's the smallest one we could find 5x8, and it's a bit out of town (cheaper!) - but it's still an expense we're carrying with us.

Money Disclosure: Our storage locker is costing us $92/month to keep while we're gone. We auto-pay it monthly and can manage it remotely while we're gone. After traveling for a while it may seem like a large expense, but for now it's worth it to us to keep the heirlooms and such safe.

And I think this brings us to the end of the story of our Stuff! Yeay!
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