The last few weeks have been quite a whirlwind! We both finished our jobs on June 6. Della had her last day of school, which was a little bittersweet. It is obviously exciting to anticipate our trip, but she will miss her students greatly. Even going back next year, there will be a class of students who have left PBA who she will regret not seeing off. Eric also enjoyed a goodbye from work. He is excited that his job also offered him a general leave of absence. The leaves allow both of us to feel comfortable knowing that we have a job when we return home and helps to make some goodbyes easier!
We had originally thought that we would be able to leisurely get ready, pack the house, and prepare ourselves in the three weeks following June 6. We also had great plans of being able to do some of the great CO stuff that one should do if not working during the day: visions of hiking, spending days at the cabin, and laying by Cook Park pool danced in our heads. However, we quickly realized that there was way too much to do and not enough time to do it in! I won’t rehash our to-do list, but we will reiterate that it was extensive! The worst part however, was realizing each day that we not only had to cross stuff off, but we had to keep adding and adding! Luckily, we are proud to report that all things got done! We were able to hand off the keys to a clean and packed house to our renter on Sat the 28th, feeling pretty good. (Special thanks to Della’s parents for help with the final packing and for overseeing the house while we’re gone, to Regina with her mad vacuuming skills and awesome vacuum, to Chelsea for her attention to detail and attacking the massive cleaning job of the kitchen, and to Elizabeth for braving the spiders to help make the basement presentable!)
People kept asking how we were feeling, so we wanted to address that a bit. It is a hard one to answer though! We were stressed obviously, anticipating everything we had to do to prepare. We were nervous, knowing that we are about to leave everything familiar behind. We were anxious to just get started! It was hard to predict exactly what we would need until we were actually on the road. At the same time, we felt like we needed more time to get ready. When the time came to leave, we were grateful that we have a few days in NYC to help ease our minds and repack
the absolute essentials.
We are happy to say that as of 5:50 am on Sun the 29th of June, 2014 (another thanks to Della’s parents for the early morning airport ride) we are departed from Denver!!! Let the RTW begin!
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SPECIAL EDITION: Final Fast Forward Friday prior to our departure on our trip! ACK!
Another exciting stop in Greece is Delphi. We are looking forward to visiting the “Center of Grandmother Earth” and the home of the famous Oracle of Delphi!
So, the countdown on the side of this blog is counting down till the day we leave the country. But we feel like we should update it a bit. We now (finally) have our ticket from Denver to NYC. The departure date from Denver is 6/29 – a mere 5 days away. We are equal parts excited and nervous. I’m sure it will seem more real as we actually get on the plane.
We have a few days planned for NYC – and then off to Africa… and adventure!
So, we know the blog has been pretty quiet the last few weeks. When you take a look at our to-do list you’ll understand why! We have both been out of work since June 6th. We thought we would have a leisurely time packing up and knocking items off the checklist. Little did we know that we would be working all day every day to get everything done! If you look close at the list, you’ll notice a lot more things are marked DONE, but there are a lot more things on it too… things we didn’t know we had to do until now. ACK! But luckily, we are on schedule for our June 29th departure to NYC.
- Contact and plan our safari – DONE
- Make lodging arrangements for Johannesburg – DONE
- Explore Travel Insurance Options & select/purchase policy – DONE
- Add pages to both passports – NOT NEEDED TILL ASIA
- check visa/passport requirements for all countries – DONE
- Get passport photos taken for visas (have several printed) – DONE
- Scan all documents into digital format and save to both emails
- Gather all CC contact numbers, embassy numbers, etc. – download app? – DONE
- Get new international drivers licenses – DONE
- Get family and friends setup with Skype/Viber – HALF DONE
- set temporary change of address with post office
- Finalize packing lists
- Put together med kit – HALF DONE
- figure out how to unlock Eric’s phone – DONE
- Figure out what to do with Della’s phone – DONE
- decide on final packs – DONE
- decide on final plug options (give dad others to return) – DONE
- purchase plane ticket to NYC – DONE
- decide where to stay while in NYC – DONE
- purchase plane ticket to South Africa – DONE
- purchase plane ticket to Prague – DONE
- purchase train ticket Johannesburg to Capetown – DONE
- Collect travel planning documents (scanned/packed) – HALF DONE
- Contact insurance company related to cars – DONE
- fill out power of attorney documents (general and medical)
- Copies of Safari Info to parents
- Finalize Safari – DONE
- Book Air BnB Prague
- Rent our house – DONE
- write a lease for our house rental – DONE
- Donate stuff not worth selling – HALF DONE
- Make arrangements for storage of the amount we plan to keep – DONE
- Pack up the house
- Study – DONE
- Master Bedroom – HALF Done
- Guest Bedroom 1 – HALF DONE
- Guest Bedroom 2 – DONE
- Kitchen – HALF DONE
- Living Room – HALF Done
- Basement big room – Mostly Done
- Basement sound room – DONE
- bathroom 1 – DONE
- bathroom 2 – DONE
- master bathroom – HALF DONE
- utility room – HALF DONE
- Sell extra clothes on ebay – HALF DONE
- discontinue utility services – DONE
- Texi to vet – DONE
- Texi to TX – DONE
- Make a visit to our travel doc for meds/vaccines – DONE
- Dentist appointments – DONE
- Final doctors appointment – DONE
- Eye exams – new glasses (della) – DONE
- figure out when insurance ends – DONE July 1
- Della – get new orthodics – DONE
- Fill prescriptions – DONE
- Finish up credit card minimum spends – DONE
- Cancel unnecessary credit cards – HALF DONE
- decide which cards to continue gaining miles on – DONE
- notify all cards of international travel – HALF DONE
- set up venmo – DONE
- Get updated credit/debit cards – HALF DONE
- External Hard drives – DONE
- wire padlocks (TSA) – DONE
- space on the cloud for storage (decide what spaces we will use: dropbox, google drive, other??) – DONE
- rain covers/travel covers for packs – DONE
- drain plugs – DONE
- extra camera batteries (della) – DONE
- buy more camera memory cards – DONE
- Good walking/hiking/zumba shoes – DONE
- good sandals – DONE
- travel clothing – DONE
- New phone for Della – DONE
- VPN – DONE
- Get website up and running – DONE
- Photo website up and linked into our Blog – DONE
- Della – figure out how to pack/transition classroom – DONE
- Buy new washer – DONE
- Buy new dryer – DONE
- Install washer/dryer – DONE
- Have going away party – DONE
- Eric – learn/practice driving stick shift
- Eric – transition to shaving with bladed razor – DONE
- Eric- get LASIK – DONE
- Della – new driver’s license – DONE?
- Eric- New driver’s license – DONE?
- Della – renew license plates – DONE?
- Modify Netflix Subscription
- Clean house
- Clean cars
There are many places in Greece that we are excited about visiting. One of them is Meteora. Meteora is, of course, another UNESCO World Heritage site. There are 6 monasteries on the peaks of amazing natural sandstone pillars.
Butrint is an archaeological site located in southern Albania, near the Greek border. It was an ancient Greek and later Roman city and is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. A beautiful ruin located on the banks of Lake Butrint!
Montenegro is one of the newest countries in the world, only gaining its independence from Serbia in 2006. The Bay of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has many beautiful, medieval towns along it. Kotor itself is over 2000 years old!