give or take as many weeks as it takes to find a tenant.
In order for everything to go perfectly as planned we need to have a firm tenant sorted by 20th January. Eek, that’s less than 3 weeks away. That allows both of us to hand our notice in at work and leave on the dates we planned, our Bye Then party to take place, a week in the van somewhere along the way between here and our first booked host from 7th March to fully leave one life behind before embarking on the next and everything to fall nicely into place finances wise.
Meanwhile I’m tying up lose ends on the little things, reducing mobile phone tariffs to bare minimums until contracts run out, checking notice periods on things like Sky TV, BT phoneline, internet provider and so on. My car will be put into storage while we’re gone so the insurance and tax needs to end on that. We need specialist landlord insurance for the house, permission from our mortgage company to let it out and we need to finely tune our finances for the year so that we balance between paying stuff in full in advance and keeping enough of a contingency fund to ensure we can cope if things go wrong along the way.
So we’re poised with phone numbers and addresses and websites all ready prepared for giving notice as soon as a tenant is found, I’ve changed my car insurance to a rolling monthly arrangement and we’ve pretty much made final decisions on what is coming with us, what is going into storage and what still needs to go. I’ve done another load of ebaying and we still have some runs to the tip and some further ebaying to go. An unfortunate side effect of creating spaces in the house has been that they tend to get filled back up again so we are thinking about starting to box stuff up and allocating one room in our house to a box room from now, if only to give us that feeling of being about to move on.
My car had a very costly bill for getting through it’s MOT and having work done to it which has set us back a month in terms of getting stuff done that costs money but will hopefully be worth the sacrifce now when we come back and have a roadworthy vehicle to use or sell depending on what we do at the end of our year. This means that stockpiling contact lenses, buying waterproof boots and clothes and a solar panel for the van are all on hold for now.
It is suddenly odd that we are no longer saying ‘next year….’ when talking about our adventure, it is now ‘in 8 weeks…’ which brings it all so much closer. We are having wobbles – at the enormity of what we’re doing, at the fresh realisation of saying goodbye to things, comforts, friends, a certain calendar whilst at the same time trembling with excitement that it really is happening, that we will have such an amazingly different year in 2011 to that we had in 2010 – all the adventures, learning and new stories ahead of us poised to happen.