It’s just over five weeks until I unplug myself from the matrix and begin my adventure through Latin America. To be honest I’m not feeling the level of excitement that I should be but I’m plugging away in an attempt to best prepare for the impending departure. Leaving for an indefinite period of time requires that all my loose ends need to be tied up and it’s stressing the crap out of me.
Despite resigning from work and giving plenty of notice, I’m finding it difficult to switch off and find it just as stressful. The same stress still plucks me out of deep sleep at 5am each morning and at nights I find myself tuning into meditation music on Spotify in order to chill the f$ck out and doze off.
One of the unexpected stresses I’ve encountered the past few weeks has been ridding myself of the ten years of possession that I’ve accumulated. It’s ironic that I’ve found myself over the years spending time working and saving in order to own these things and now my goal in five weeks is to leave Sydney with fewer possessions in my name than the day moved here 12 years ago. With a backpack and open mind and a sense of adventure to discover new countries,food and people. You would think this prospect would be enough to keep excitement levels at an all time high but here I find myself stressing over the fact that somebody hasn’t confirmed interest in a mortar and pestle (A food preparation utensil).
I ended set up a Facebook event selling off the more expensive items (including a much talked about pimp stick) which went well and managed to offload a few higher priced items but decided to have an old fashioned garage sale on the weekend.
Two key learnings from the garage sale were:
1 – People actually do read telegraph pole advertising
Although it may be a more effective advertising medium for the elderly, it’s still free and effective and luckily I used extra large fonts on the poster.
2 – People actively travel across suburbs to find garage sales
I had people come as far as Surry Hills to check out the Rozelle Markets and surrounding suburbs in search of a steal.
Drink all the booze
I don’t drink much at home but I always feel compelled to buy duty free alcohol everytime I pass through airports. Last month was Vodka month. This month is tequila month. April is Gin month.
Load up on the Asian food
I can’t see there being many Ramen, Pho or Laksa houses in Mexico so in an attempt to not miss it too much I’m trying to fit in my fair share of noodle and roast pork dishes before I exchange them for rice, beans and avocados.
Adjust to basic living and budgeting
Despite being disciplined and fortunate enough to save and travel multiple times each year, I’ve always had a reckless approach to sticking to budget. Each time I would rationalise my unnecessary purchases spending by telling myself “It’s ok, I get paid next week” or “I can pay it off over the next couple of months. From now on, I’ve got to be extra vigilant on sticking to a daily budget. Recently I’ve been using iXspenseit to track my daily expenses. I’ve moved the app to the front page of my iPhone app menu so it is now a matter of making it a daily habit making record of all expenses. Once April 12 comes around, every dollar i spend is a dollar coming out of my savings.
I still have quite a few items that I need to get rid of. The item of most value is the car. It’s the first car that I’ve owned so selling it will be a new experience. Most other things I have left over now I will donate to charity. I’m hoping that by the time I set off, my only possessions that I leave will be able to fit into a suitcase and a box and be stored at my mothers place.
Sort out the finances
Something I’ve never thought about but with no income for the foreseeable future, I need to ensure that my money is with the lesser of the evil financial institutions to minimise any fees incurred and also have the best account to withdraw money overseas. Also, after years of neglect, I’m finally thinking about my superannuation and consolidating the multiple funds I have out there with previous employers.
Tip: Don’t rely on Facebook friends when it comes to this. Seek expert advice
I’ll be moving out of my place in two weeks and if my math is correct, means that I’ll be homeless for three weeks. Luckily have friends with a spare room which means that I will have to wait a bit longer to experience couchsurfing.org
I’m pretty sure there are other priorities up there that I’ve overlooked but no doubt I’ll wake up in a 5am cold sweat remembering what they are.
Looking back at my ramblings in this post, I might have come off as somebody who is unappreciative about what he’s about to experience but deep down I do know that despite the awesome journey ahead of me, I’ll still keep plugging away to the best of my abilities with what the priority is at the time which is work still. I hope to see this blog become central to that in the very near future.
How about yourself? Do you find it hard to stay focused with a trip fast approaching, no matter how large or small? The weekends even?