We’ve retreated indoors a bit with our Trip preparation on account of it being winter and all. But over the last couple of weeks, things have really kicked into action in an odd sort of way.
I made a vague comment to the Husband about a new app that I’d been using to make my lists – I’m a ‘list’ person and don’t feel completely fulfilled unless I’m crossing things off a list. As true ‘list’ people will know, sometimes the addiction is so great that you add things that you have already done to a list just so you can cross them off! Well it turns out that recently he, and quite a few other middle aged business men, have discovered lists. Apparently, it’s the new thing and they call them ‘Can Bans’. There appears to be quite a bit of money in it – you can actually ‘consult’ on helping middle aged business men write lists … sorry, Can Bans. Who knew!!
The Daughters and I cracked up laughing at this and challenged the Husband to visit any Women’s Institute or mother’s coffee group and tell them about this radical new Can Ban idea! Both Daughter No.1 & 2 are apprentice list writers and I have schooled them in this art since they were young. Daughter No.1 is now highly accomplished and has reached an advanced level of complexity in her list making. I believe she will soon be ready to pass on the Knowledge to her own padawan. Daughter No.2 has some way to go but shows promise.
Anyway, the upshot of this is that in a surreal otherworldly out-of-body kind of way, we now have a joint Trip list … sorry, Can Ban … and have even created a timeline for preparation. This has really brought home the ‘OMG! there are only 34 weeks left (give or take a week)’ reality of the thing.
This has kicked all sorts of things into action – the Husband promptly bought a Fitbit and has been working hard on achieving the level of fitness and physical proportions he committed to some months back for the ‘off’. After a week of watching this great little device in action, I also bought one – primarily because the husband is very competitive and the online app provides the opportunity to compete against your ‘friends’. He is beating me hands down … as planned.
We also signed up for French classes. The Husband was not very keen on the language school I had tracked down (harder than you think in NZ as not many people want to learn French and those that do are beginners), but it turned out brilliantly. He begrudgingly agreed to give it a go and we arrived to a class with only two pupils – the Husband and I, so essentially we are getting private lessons with a very lovely native French lady. It’s great fun and does bend the old grey matter somewhat, but slowly the connections are forming and the dust is being blown off the stuff we knew 20 years ago. We also have a French friend that comes round for dinner every week and we have agreed to spend half the evening talking English and half French, so that also helps to clarify things and to get in some practice.
We have started to think about flights and the route and stops we should take. In the spirit of this being a true adventure, we didn’t want to fly straight to London on a long haul flight as we’ve done that several times over the years. Then of course there is the total horror of 24 hours in ‘cattle class’, which is to be avoided if at all possible. Looking at the world map, we both agreed that flying left was out, as there was nowhere we wanted to stop over in that direction. So turning right out of NZ was agreed. Once that big decision was made, it was really down to where to stop.
I’ve always fancied visiting Vancouver and given that we won’t have our bicycles by then, I can overlook the helmet law Vancouver has. Then we thought about an overland train trip down to Portland, a bit of a cycling Mecca (and of course no helmet law) then a train trip back up to Seattle (‘sleepless in Seattle’ makes it look so nice). A ferry over to Vancouver Island and then a float plane back to Vancouver city finishes of a very nice little stop over we think. Then on to London. In the last couple of days we have also been thinking about adding on Hawaii. If anyone has any thoughts or knowledge on this plan, please leave a comment.
I popped into the Flight Centre across the road today and the nice young man I spoke to is going to put together our options. It was a useful information gathering exercise – take home messages so far are: one way is going to be best as we don’t know when we are coming back, returns are only valid for 12 months, and the price difference between one way and return is only a couple of hundred dollars; round the world tickets are not as popular as they were 25 years ago as things have moved on now we have the interwebby thing; we could perhaps use our frequent flyer points for some of the legs but we will have to look into this ourselves.
The next step is to look at costs and work out what we can do within a reasonable budget.
We have also started to think about more detailed stuff like what we should take with us. The camping equipment is pretty much there as we have been slowly accumulating the things we need through various sales. But the question of what we should take to wear for our year cyclopolitan expedition has not yet been addressed. It obviously needs to be the ultimate capsule wardrobe.
To kick start this conversation, I asked the Husband what sort of ‘look’ he was going for …. Jason Borne, was the reply We may need more help that just a Fitbit for that one! However, once I had the giggles under control, he managed to explain his reasoning:
- Jason only ever carries a small bag with him when he’s on the run
- his clothes never get dirty and even blood stains disappear miraculously
- he can climb buildings, fight badies and sleep in his clothes and he always looks ruggedly cool
Of course there is the whole ‘he’s not real’, and not to mention the wardrobe department that’s the elephant in the room, but it’s a start … if we can get half way to Jason Bourne, I’ll be a very happy cyclopolitan!
Another thing I learnt this week is that you can’t ‘break your journey’ in French – French people just look at you strangely if you say that.