The Plan and The Panic

It was all exciting plans in our heads for the first two months of having this idea… We signed up to a volunteering programme called Workaway where one could spend hours on planning their travels all over the world…why not make a quick pit stop to Tonga, in the middle of the Pacific, to help out on someone’s vegetable plot and lie on the beach?  Our flight bills would be HUGE if we could go and help out all these places in our Saved Hosts List!  As an aside, I should note that there are several of these volunteering programmes and I’m not endorsing Workaway specifically!  There are also Wwoofing and plenty of other schemes – I just mention Workaway as that’s the one we have been working with and my friend has had great experiences with them.

Anyway, back to the subject….We were flitting between different hosts all over the place in North America..and a brilliant looking ranch in Argentina. And maybe a place in Belize. One day we would be looking at a cattle ranch in Nebraska where there would be plenty of rodeo, horses and…you’ve guessed it..cattle! The next day we were looking at a completely self-sufficient, off-grid home in southern BC (British Columbia).  We eventually narrowed it down to a list of five based on what would be useful for our future small holding…and what would be the most fun! The list got smaller and smaller after reading and re-reading each profile and staring at the photos, trying to imagine ourselves in these beautiful places! It is a seriously addictive website! After that, I Google Mapped Alberta and BC (the places we are focusing on) and realised that the places we had narrowed down were in totally nonsensical geographical locations and I had to keep reminding myself the distances of travelling around Canada in comparison to the distances of travelling around the UK! Yes, it’s a no-brainer but there are SO many places to go….

We’ve only got three months and we thought it best to keep our options open and just set up a couple of hosts and then we can see which way the wind blows us closer to the time.  I think I should probably keep the host anonymous but I’ll go as far as saying it’s a farm in Northern Alberta with plenty of animals to keep us busy….I’m fairly sure their anonymity is intact from that! They’ve confirmed they are happy for us to stay and are going to pick us up from the local bus stop on the Saturday evening.  Eek! I’ve actually only just contacted the second which is a cattle ranch in BC and am currently waiting for their response with baited breath…

On 23 December we (or rather I) booked our flights.  I tried using internet comparison sites but got very frustrated and confused with the actual booking so have resorted to good old Real communication with a Real Person on a Real Phone.  Anyway, flights are booked to Calgary on 4 May and returning us from San Francisco on 3 August.  No going back now!

As you know (if you’ve found your way to our “About” page), we’ve got a house, mortgage and pooch to sort out before we leave and so that practical stuff is chugging away in the background (or rather foreground) with me having minor meltdowns every now and again not quite understanding HOW THE HELL WE ARE GOING TO ACTUALLY DO THIS!!!!!  Certain points are: a) Why on Earth am I giving up a great job with lovely people with (let’s face it, most importantly) a regular wage; b) Surely this is something we should have got out of our system 8 years ago when we first got together? c) Why do I get on with my boss so well that I confided that I was planning on doing this and NOT kept schtum so I could apply to take a career break instead so I knew I’d be coming back to a job? Himself has done this (partly because of complications with the Royal Mail) and seems much more relaxed about the whole thing; d) What if we don’t get enough rent to cover the mortgage because we haven’t re-painted all the rooms and had new windows fitted; e) What if the van I buy (to drive around in/live in when we are back in the UK) breaks down as soon as we set off when we are back from Canada; f) What if the list of people (which is getting longer…phew) to look after the pooch all get phobias of dogs/break both legs so they can’t walk him/go on last-minute holidays/decide that they don’t see why they should be looking after a dog who has been thoughtlessly abandoned by his selfish owners whilst they go on an adventure/all of the above.

Anyway, the list goes on and on about the things I should worry about but as Himself is always telling me, there’s no damn point in worrying about things that haven’t yet come to be worried about. Or something like that. Generally when he imparts his wisdom I have my head in my hands and am trying to imagine the calm sea rather than listen to his advice….Don’t tell him that…



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