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To Store, or Not to Store

Even though our travel dates are still seven months away, MegaMommy and I are gripped with excitement. We want to travel now. Of course, we can’t for many reasons, one of which is the fact that we need to do something about our house (the other being I don’t want to get fired for not showing up to work!). At this point, we’re assuming we’ll need to rent our house unfurnished, which basically means we need to pack and store everything. Again. Then in a year, move and unpack everything. Again. Didn’t we just move less than two years ago?

So the question that comes to my mind is, what should we store? Is it worth storing T-Rex’s stuffies? G-Man’s Legos? My (now ancient) gaming computer? Although it would be fun to just “leave everything behind” and travel, it would be nice — especially for the kids — to come home to familiar things. (And there’s no way MegaMommy would ditch her record collection.)

There’s obviously no perfect solution to this problem, but I’m leaning towards the following rules:

  • Anything that costs more to store than it would be to (easily) replace should go. This means, if we’re talking about a 10×20 storage unit that’s CDN$275 a month (for example), any 2 cu. ft. box worth of stuff that’s less than $20 needs to be culled. I’m rounding up quite a bit since I’m factoring in oddly shaped items (e.g., furniture) and the fact that temperature controlled storage units need extra space to breathe.
  • Anything that’s old and worn (and has no sentimental value) should go. It’s probably time I replace those winter gloves with a big tear in it (the tear that’s been there for three years now). This 9 year old laptop I’m currently typing on, partially held together by duct tape, might also be a contender.
  • Old clothes need to go. I have a feeling it would be nice to get back to our daily lives (and school and work) with fresh styles.
  • Things we haven’t used since we moved 1.5 years ago are gone. If we haven’t touched them for that long, why pay money to store them for another year? Certain sentimental things excluded, of course.
  • Things that could be useful to friends or family should go to them temporarily or even permanently (e.g., our trampoline). Same goes with donations. If that item could go to a family in need, why have it waste away in a storage unit?
  • Foods and liquids are obvious no-gos for storage.

Considering, as I said, we recently moved, there shouldn’t be too much to sell/donate/throw out but it’s still a process we need to follow. Next question: Is it too early to start packing?

Which countries drive on “the wrong side” of the road?

Our to-do list is getting tackled this week! We have an appointment with a travel clinic to begin the vaccinations we’ll need, we have a possible property manager coming to the house for an assessment, and we have an appointment with AirTreks in order to compare their price for our itinerary. The kids just got their new passports… It’s getting real!

One small item on the list was to take a class for driving a car with manual transmission, or “learn how to drive stick.” ProShift looks like one of the best local options here in Ottawa. I don’t know how much this will be needed to be honest. Will we be renting a car in Europe? We’ll most likely just get a Eurorail pass. And lots of Southeast Asian countries will most likely see us renting a scooter rather than a manual car.

Supposedly, it only takes a few lessons to get the hang of stick shift. But you know what really scares me? The countries that drive on the “wrong” side of the road!!

Source

Looking at you Australia, New Zealand, UK, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Malaysia!

Travel Locations: China

dragon_lantern_night_lighting-1404859.jpg!d

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

In China, this holiday is second to New Year’s in popularity. It has its origins in an ancient legend about a hero shooting nine extra suns with his arrow and being rewarded with an elixir of eternal life by the Queen of Heaven. He refuses to drink it because he loves his wife so much, an evil guy tries to steal it, and the wife drinks the elixir to keep it from the evil guy. The wife, Change E, then flies to the moon and lives the rest of her eternal life there. The holiday begins with the husband leaving special offerings to her, such as holiday favourite “moon cake.”  This holiday is similar to our Canadian Thanksgiving, in that it is a celebration of the harvest, there is a break from work and school, and many people travel to visit family. In fact, this is why I wanted to blog about it! So many people travel at this time that there is a saying to describe it –  人海,人山 – which translates to a literal “sea of people, mountain of people.” Maybe not the best time to travel to China!

sea of people

However, I am interested in trying the special “moon cakes” that are eaten during this holiday. They look delicious! Also, 2017 has a longer holiday as it coincides with the National Day, or the celebration of the founding of the PRC in 1949, as well.

I also wanted to mention that our 11 year-old has stared taking Mandarin lessons online via Lingo Bus. He tried a demo class for free because I work for the sister company VIPKID. He enjoyed the first class so much that we agreed to sign him up for more! I think it will be great as the whole family can begin to learn some Mandarin in preparation for our big trip.

Travel Books & Games

Who would have guessed it? Tell your family and friends that you will be traveling around the world and they will gift you with some great travel-themed stuff over the Christmas holidays! Here is a round-up of our lovely new books and games:

The Rough Guide to First-Time Around the World (2016)

rough-guides-first-time-around-world-cover-320x491

Crocodile Creek Discover World Animals Puzzle

crocodile-creek

Atlas of Adventures: A Collection of Natural Wonders, Exciting Experiences and Fun Festivities From the Four Corners of the Globe

atlas-of-adventures

The Great Journey by Agathe Demois

great-journey

 

Just Sitting Here

It’s always amazing to see what others have accomplished in their lives.  Their amazing victories are out there for all to see – be it world travel, winning a gold medal or writing a book.  What we don’t see is all of their hard work, self-doubt and outright failures along their road to success.  This little comic from owlturd.com ends with a similar note – don’t just sit their and imagine, do it.  (Great, now I have Shia LeBeouf in my head).

Life From Above and Beyond

Travel photographer Trey Ratcliffe created a beautiful short film titled “Life From Above and Beyond.”  In it, he uses three years worth of beautiful drone footage he’d taken from his amazing trip around the world.  The video is set it to Alan Watts quotes from the book Tao of Philosophy and to music by the always-wonderful Hans Zimmer.  An absolutely amazing inspiration for the sort of film I’d love to make after our family world trip!

https://youtu.be/0pokPdMxfWg

Animaniacs – Nations of the World

G-Man can home from school today excited to tell us that they used this clip in his Social Studies class!

We had showed it to him a few months ago when we came across this one on the internet.

Updated!!

New countries and territories!

Sing along! Ha!

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