Yesterday, riding the 9km to work on my borrowed (read: mildly stolen but will return – thanks Chris) bicycle, not having ridden a bike for 8 years, squinting the whole way against bugs and dirt and the Melbourne wind (who knew you needed to wear glasses to ride a bike?), and being overtaken by a grandpa who glanced at my sweaty, anxious face with sympathy, I couldn’t help laughing at what I was doing. I also had to reprimand myself for not getting into action and starting this blog sooner. Because my life is too bizarre right now to not write about it.
This is essentially a travel blog – or will be once I finally get on the plane. But I feel like some people might find it just as interesting to hear about how I’m getting ready for my trip.
First, a little info about the upcoming adventure: Nepal/Thailand for 7 weeks January – March, back in Melbourne for 2 weeks, then Europe for a year (travel 6 months, work 6 months), then the same in Asia for a year. More details about this in later posts. For now I want to talk about what I’ve done to prepare for leaving my everyday life behind for such a long time.
Besides always saving as much money as possible for my next trip, a habit I’ve been in for many years, the biggest step I took to save money was break the lease on the apartment I was renting by myself after a breakup. I had to keep paying rent until someone else moved in, however, which gave me plenty of time to pack my full household of belongings, do many trips to the salvos, and fill my bin with my useless crap every week. I also slowly sold all my furniture. Including my bed, which I sold to a young Eastern European couple who came for the bed and ending up buying my washing machine, dressing table and tv stand as well.
Since then I’ve been crashing with friends. The first 2 weeks at one house, the next month at another, and now I’m in the third place where I actually have a bedroom to myself for a whole month! All rent free, which is great, but it doesn’t come without a certain sense of being a leech towards the people who mean the most to you. I really do appreciate all the people who have put up with me being in their space over the last few months, thanks guys. Come stay with me for free any time when I’m living in Europe.
Which brings me to this week. The last big thing left to do to add cash to my travel funds was my car. My beloved car. I drove it nearly every day over the last 5 years, to work, to school, to uni, shopping, to Bendigo to visit my parents, but I have nowhere to store it while I’m overseas, I don’t want to be paying rego for an unused car for multiple years, and it’s already 10 years old, may as well get a newer one when (if) I come back.
And that was a serious ordeal in itself. I wanted $3000 minimum, sounded reasonable. And I found a buyer! I just had to get a roadworthy certificate. Ha. Ha. Ha. My mechanic didn’t even really start the check. He found so many thing wrong with it in the first glance that he advised me to drop the price and sell without a roadworthy. So that’s what I did. Sold it for $950, which I honestly think was probably more than what it’s worth. So sad.
And then I let myself into my friends’ place while no one was home, took the bike from the shed and fished the helmet out from the deep dark recesses under Chris’ bed (he doesn’t need them, he’s in India for a month), and rode to work. My bike now, for the next month. Cycling is awful, but I just keep reminding myself that it’s good preparation for when I trek to Everest Base Camp in February. And I definitely need all the preparation I can get for that one!