With a winter storm making its way up through the front range and another part of the storm heading to Kansas/Missouri, Megan and I decided to head out Wednesday night to get ahead of it. All was going well, or as well as it could be with all the semi-trucks kicking up massive clouds of snow. Visibility was at its best 50 yards with typically only 20 yards. I-70 was covered in snow and the lanes were disappearing more and more frequently. We were only 20 miles out from Limon, CO when the truck completely cut out and died. Had a couple of people stop for us, and a state trooper let us sit in the back of his car until Sean and Ryan G. got there. Hoping that is the first and last time to sit in the back of a state troopers car, as they are super cramped! 🙂 Sean and Ryan saved us for sure! They got us jump started but that didn’t last long, so we had to be towed while being accompanied by the state trooper. Later the next morning we had a mechanic working on the truck expecting to get it done the next day. Spending a day and a half in Limon is not very glorious. The people there are very nice, and remind you that Limon is not very great. They need a bit of a moral boost there. We made it to Columbia at 2 am Saturday morning. It turns out that being stuck in Limon was probably a very good thing since I-70 was so bad. So far spending time with family has been great, and we are greatly appreciative of the help from Sean and Ryan G.
Allison, Ryan K., Sean, Kim, Megan, and I at the Cherry Cricket before heading out.
Yesterday was a very eventful day. I spent most of the morning and afternoon at a coffee shop looking up the most updated of flight prices and schedules, while Bryan came and went between errands and long phone calls to end services at the house. Once Bryan was caught up, we contemplated over the options and settled on a flight out of Kansas City on Wednesday, March 6th to Seattle, and a flight from Seattle to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam with a layover in Taiwan. What’s really nice is that we’ll have about 5 hours or so in Seattle, so we think we can catch some dinner with Bryan’s cousin and maybe some friends.
We also purchased travel insurance at the same time. We chose the more expensive package so SCUBA, snorkeling, and rock climbing would be covered. If we choose to get really crazy, like bungee or sky diving (not likely, I can see Bryan hugging the ground now), that will be covered too. Our Visas for Vietnam are reserved and will be waiting for us at the airport.
While still experiencing the euphoric high (Sybil, NOW I’m really excited), we headed in to sign the closing papers on our house. Everything went smoothly and we are happily homeless!
After some celebratory drinks with our realtor, the two of us headed to a very nice dinner at Linger thanks to a gift card from some of Bryan’s friends at work.
Picnic with Eliza! Thanks for all your help with packing, Eliza!
Our bags are packed! Thanks for helping with this, Eliza! We will probably still eliminate some items from this photo because it turned out to be more than we would like to bring. Here is a summarized list of what we are bringing: three pairs of shoes each (sandals, hiking, running), a few changes of clothes, rain coats, minimal toiletries, minimal first aid and medicines, SE Asia travel guide, South America travel guide, a couple books, a DSLR, a small camera, and a small tablet computer.
Congratulations to me – I have had my last day of work and I can now put all of my energy into the final things we need to do in preparation for leaving, research where we are going, and think about what the next chapter of life will be like.Bryan’s last day of work is February 20th, but he took today (Friday) off to use up personal time. We’re going to pack up the kitchen and list the remaining things for sale on Craigslist, and later today we’re going to celebrate with his friends from work.
I’ve been so good at mentally blocking all the changes to focus on the end goal that I really haven’t felt any of the changes. The void spaces in the house where furniture used to be don’t even phase me, I still feel like I should be going to work Monday, and the only thing that feels really different is that we’re eating out more instead of cooking at home. Someone asked me how I can stand to sell so much of our belongings and not get emotional seeing these things go. Honestly, I just don’t think about it because I’m so focused. None of that stuff is worth an unsatisfied goal. Material items can be replaced. The things that can’t be replaced, like old pictures, will be safely stored. The memories attached to all of that stuff will follow us wherever we go. Most importantly, we’ll be together, making new memories and developing in ways we could never imagine.
I’m all in.
Most everything is falling in order and going smoothly. We close on our house on the 19th, we have given our notices at work, and Craigslist is coming through for us with buyers for the things we are selling. Bryan has been so focused at one big house project at a time while I’ve done the majority of the research that last weekend it all hit him at once. It was fun to finally see how excited he is now that he gets to focus on the fun part!
We have been down to one car and have been sleeping on an air mattress for the past week, again thanks to Craigslist! We have most everything we our taking on our adventure set aside, and let me tell you, it doesn’t look like a lot but it is everything we need. We will try to pack everything, including my pack, into Bryan’s pack for the flights there. We’ll have daypacks that we will carry on. We will post a picture of what we are packing soon.
Everyone wants to know where our first destination is, but we don’t have a solid answer yet. We will buy our one-way tickets the day we close on the house because there is still a tiny chance the closing could be delayed. We plan to time it so that we have some time in Missouri to visit family and friends before we fly out. At this point we are lookong mostly at Vietnam first, but the flight prices could determine that. Beijing is another possibility, it’s cheap to fly in and we have a friend there so it would make for an easy transition. We haven’t yet decided if we want to venture into China yet because it is so large and tempting to try to see it all. It is also more expensive overall.
If you know of any must-sees in Southeast Asia, we’d love to hear about them. We have a travel book and are doing internet research, but personal suggestions are sometimes the best!