Chris was determined to leave January 20th, no matter what my plan was.
For me, it was more of an idea at the time. I had done some travelling and desperately wanted to travel more. I wanted to experience and see new things.
I had a full-time job as a Rehab Assistant at a physiotherapy clinic, and an apartment to pay for. The limiting beliefs and restricted ideologies were endless. My job was based in Ottawa. I had bills to pay. (Sidenote: so did Chris, but he can work from anywhere). I couldn’t just up and leave for three months… Could I?
It took about four weeks for me to actually set in motion any sort of action towards embarking on a three month road trip.
Step 1: Lose my job?
Clarification: I didn’t lose my job.
I needed an income when we returned home. I had been employed at the clinic for over two years and enjoyed it.
I spent weeks mulling over how to ask or initiate conversation pertaining to my three month departure. Unbeknownst to what exact options I had, my boss suggested a three month leave of absence. My leave was approved from January 20th to April 20th and I worked up until the day before we left Ottawa.
Step 2: Getting rid of my apartment and bills
As soon as I realized I would not have a definite income for three months, I had to deal with paying my apartment rent. I could in no way afford rent and everything that comes with, and undertake a lengthy road trip at the same time. Surprisingly, a Kijiji Ad, with amateur photos of my small but comfortable bachelor apartment, generated way more response than I had anticipated. I had various viewings set up and eventually found someone who was willing to take the rent, internet bills, and hydro bills off my hands for the three months. A credit check, police records check, and proof of income via the rental manager gave me the assurance I needed to leave my furnished apartment in someone else’s possession.
Next began the process of packing up personal items, moving them to storage, and shuffling through my things, deciding what to bring.
Chris prepped his apartment for Airbnb, the riskier, but (hopefully) profitable option to help afford three months travelling.
Collectively, we both threw out A LOT. 3-4 garbage bags of stuff I never used were tossed. 2-3 garbage bags of clothes were donated.
A roof rack was added to Chris’s Ford Focus days prior to departure which allotted for less cramped sleeping quarters.
We had made a rough route plan however, we had no printed itinerary when we set off. A tad naive, maybe, as this would pose problems in the near future…
The morning of January 20th, I went to breakfast with my mom. Afterward, Chris and I spent hours perfecting his apartment for his first Airbnb guest. Initial positive reviews were critical for attracting subsequent guests. A few quick adjustments to our set-up in Chris’s Ford Focus (which has made our lives a million times easier when setting up and disassembling the bed, compared to our test run out east), and we took the leap and left Ottawa on schedule around 4pm on Friday January 20th.