More Alignment on the European Route – 864 Days to go

We just wrapped up the Family Day holiday here in Canada. We had some free time so we wanted to share some initial alignment as it pertains to locations we aim to visit on our trip. As a reminder, we are developing a loose itinerary but each member of the family gets to vote for one place that we all must attend (even if it adds complications to the journey).

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How to Pay for the Trip – 906 days to go

With the new year upon us I have decided to share the ways we are going to save money for the upcoming trip. We have not yet decided the amount we need yet but we have aligned on where some of the $ will come from. The overall idea is that the trip will be funded through income from different sources and also from us making slight adjustments to our current lifestyle. One final caveat is the dollars will all be after tax dollars *i.e. real money, not paper money”

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Decide the Route Part 1 – 948 days to go

My wife and I have spent countless hours dreaming about our trip. So far the topic we’ve spent the most part talking about is the route we plan on taking. I wanted to go ahead and share what we hope to do in our first 3 months of the trip. I expect much to change over the next 900+ days but this is the current view we are working with.

We would begin our trip just after Canada Day 2022 (which is July 1st for everyone outside of Canada) and would spend the next 3 months driving across Canada and potentially the United States. We live in Toronto and would take a route along the north shore of the great lakes. From there we would cross the Canadian Prairies and then the Rocky Mountains. Paige’s childhood cottage was on the gulf islands in the Pacific off the coast of Vancouver so we would spend some time there. After reaching the Canadian west, we would then drive back but have not made a decision on the route.

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Tips and Tricks Part 2 – 956 days to go

Just wanted to share a couple more tips that we incorporate into our family travels.

Sleeping on the floor is a possibility
Sometimes you just miscalculate and think you have enough room for the family. We have found ourselves in this situation when camping and instead of everyone having an uncomfortable sleep on a twin air mattress, I have just slept on the floor. Same thing in a couple european hotels. To give everyone (myself included) a better sleep, just throw a blanket down and sleep on the floor.

Return from your trip a day early
We used to maximize every day of our vacation. We would come back late Sunday night and be at work first thing Monday morning. Now we always give ourselves a day at home before we begin our normal lives. It gets the kids settled into things and ensures you won’t spend an entire week playing catch up with laundry, school work or adult work

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A different perspective of our trip to Grenada – snapshots from Isabella and Julie – 964 days to go

This is just a quick post. In our tips and tricks section we mentioned that we gave our daughters an old digital camera. It is fun to watch them walking around with the camera dangling mere inches from the ground or ocean. Each night when the kids are asleep we quickly scroll through and see what they took pictures of that day. Most bring a smile to our faces.

Don’t get me wrong, more than half of the photos are blurred shots of tables and hands but sometimes you get a gem. Plus, the excitement they get when they want to show you a picture of something only they have seen is memorable.

Family Travel Tips and Tricks – 965 days to go

We wanted to go ahead and share some travel learnings we have acquired the last couple years with our kids. We had scribbled these as reminders to ourselves for future travels. We still have some more to pull together but this is a good starting point.

Plan ahead
Last minute can be done but your margin of error is smaller. Planning does make it go smoother .

Schedule a bathroom visit before boarding the plane
It can be a long time from the boarding queue to when the pilot turns off the seat belt sign.

Keep an extra pair of clothes close by for EVERYONE who is traveling
Whether it be a plane, bus or ferry, children can get sick or have accidents. In such tight confines your clothes are bound to get something on them.

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Things we already know we will have to sort out – 968 Days to go

A major driving force behind this blog is that it will help us keep track of just all the things we are going to have to do. I imagine we will uncover more things as we get closer to the date. For now we thought it would be fun to document what we think we are getting into. Later on we can laugh about how naive we were. We hope to tackle these elements in future blogs in detail as we work to knock them off our list

  1. Decide the route
  2. Establish a budget
  3. Determine transportation
  4. Align on accommodation & travel style
  5. Figure out home schooling
  6. Save the necessary money
  7. Manage our transition out of the workforce
  8. Assemble the gear
  9. Piece together the required documentation – passports, visas, driver licenses
  10. Ensure the medical necessities are covered – from insurance to vaccinations
  11. Figure out how to put current life “on hold”
  12. Try not to obsess over what we’ll do when we come back
  13. Identify ways to cut costs for the trip

Think of the below as things that are not critical to the trip but are things we are going to plan to pursue. Tackling them should make things more enjoyable.

  1. Get in better physical shape
  2. Learn how to blog
  3. Better understand photography and videography
  4. Improve language skills
  5. Expand our network of friends

Ciao for now

Mike and Paige

A rough sketch of our plans – 969 days to go

I am still trying to get my head around how all these interfaces work so bear with me in the short term.

Today I wanted to go ahead and share a rough sketch of our ambition. My wife and I have been thinking about this for the last few years and it will be interesting to see how things will change over time.

In the summer of 2022 we plan to put our careers on hold and take our children on a year long trip around the world. Isabella and Julie will be pulled out of school and we will have to figure out how to school them on the road.

We aim to have 4 major components of our trip that will sort of correspond to the seasons. The first would be a 3 month road trip across Canada. We would follow that with 3 months in Europe along the Mediterranean. We would start 2023 in southeast asia and end the trip with the some islands in the pacific.

We have agreed on one additional caveat. Each member of the family is allowed to pick one destination that we have to see regardless of its impact on the overall trip. So if Paige really wants to see the world cup in Qatar, then we will have to make it work.

Ciao for now

Mike and Paige