Whew we made it!
We’re on the road making our dreams come true, but first I’d like to answer a few questions we’ve received from our readers.
Q1: What stress or emotions did you have before leaving?
The weeks before our departure were filled with stress – both good and bad. There was the excitement of the journey and the fear of the unknown. Additionally, we had countless things to do before we even left; sell our cars, prep the house for new tenants, pack, work on the website, etc. With so many things to worry about, it was hard for us to even relish the idea that we were headed to Brazil in just a few short days. Everything was bouncing around in our minds at 100 mph. One of the toughest times was during the day, where we had our 9-5’s, then worked on the site until we passed out at night. All of a sudden 40 hour work weeks turned into 100+ hour workweeks. The problem was when we laid our head down at night, all we could think about was our long list of “to do” items.
Besides the stress, we also had a rollercoaster of emotions. One day we were confident that we were making the right decision. The next day we feared we were making the mistake of a lifetime. One of the most emotional days was when I left work for the last time. Yes it was exciting, but there was a voice in the back of my head saying “This is wrong, go back to the security of your 9-5!” I literally screamed in my car with excitement and fear. I called everyone in my phone book because I couldn’t be alone with those thoughts. Fortunately, my dad picked up and without any coaxing said the perfect thing. He said, “I’m so glad you’re doing this. I want to support you in any way I can… We’ll be praying for you” and just like that I realized, Yes, we were making the right decision.
One to two weeks before departure – don’t be afraid to use something to help you sleep; benadril, melatonin, Zma, theanine, Gaba, or wine just to name a few. You don’t want to be exhausted or get sick before you leave.
You will have feelings of doubt. Cultural norms force unknown pressure on you and your decisions. Whenever you think, “this is wrong, I shouldn’t be doing this” Picture yourself with you bag on your back, stepping onto your first plane. Also, picture all the other travelers who have done this before you. We had to do this several times to settle our nerves and reconfirm our decision.
Q2: What problems did you have that you didn’t foresee?
One of the bigger problems we thought would be easy was selling our cars. Unfortunately, Collette was t-boned by another driver 2 years before. We didn’t think this would ever be an issue when selling our car since it was properly repaired. Well, the wreck was on file and when the dealerships inspected the car they noticed that there had been frame work. Once they noticed this they dropped their offers by $2-3k. Ouch! This was a major hit to our pre-takoff budget.
It also took much longer than expected. We visited 4-5 dealerships to get quotes some took 20 mins to give a quote and others took an hour and a half.
Dealerships shouldn’t take more than 30 mins to get you a quote – unless they’re very busy. Also, some will ask “what are you looking to for your car?” This is a standard sales tactic to set the first ‘ceiling’ for your car. Whenever we were asked this we responded “I just want to get a fair price for my car.” I normally had to restate this several times before the dealer gave me an offer. The better dealerships gave us an offer without asking us that question.
If you’re ever in a major accident and they have to repair the frame. You may want to pursue them for further damages since this lowers the value of your car substantially.
Q3: What was easier than expected?
Renting our place. Since we’re in a good rental market, Collette was able to rent our place in one day! This was one of our biggest fears in the beginning. We weren’t sure if we would be able to rent it out and cover our mortgage. Fortunately we covered the mortgage, plus a little extra and we had numerous offers so we could chose the perfect tenants!
If you own a home, don’t sell yourself short on the rental value. At first we thought we could only get the mortgage value of our home but Collette posted it on several sites (Air BnB and Craigslist) for above what we thought we could get and we received numerous offers. If you don’t get any offers, you can always repost it for a lower amount.
Q4: How was packing for this trip?
This was one of the most stressful parts before we left. The thought of living out of 2 bags for 7 months will stress out even the Dalai Lama. Both of us packed our bags several times before settling on the final inventory. One of the things that helped the most was Eagle Creek Compression Cubes. As much as we stressed about fitting every “important” item in our bag we both realized we didn’t need everything once we landed in Rio.
When packing – don’t stress too much about it. Simple and light is better than having more. Yes it’s very important, but things that are important at home hold no value on the road.