Our big travel challenge starts to take shape!

We’ve had a week for our decision to go to New Zealand and Thailand to sink in, and we now realise the mahoosive task ahead of us – it is really quite daunting and yet just a tad god damn buzztastic!

We have spent much of this week running through the financial side of things to make sure that we will be able to raise the amount of funds we’ll need to get us to and into New Zealand (seeing as though on a working holiday visa you need proof of funds when you apply for the visa and for entry to NZ)


We’ve now got the finances sorted out, and we have our final figure that we need – well, I say need, it’s only a need because we want to give ourselves the best chance of getting to Thailand after NZ: which means arriving in NZ with as much money as we can from the UK – which then means that we have to earn less in NZ over the 12-15 months or so we’ll be there.

Along with the financial target done, we’ve also started to make a list of the tasks we need to accomplish to reach that financial goal.

The first one being to sell as many of our possessions as possible.

This means going through everything we own, and only keeping things which have a meaning behind them.

This is one of the hardest things we’ll have to do over the next few months – simply because we’ve attached so many emotions to our possessions.

I think this is one of the hardest things for a lot of people, not just us – when we attach emotions to our possessions.

If we really think about it, where do these emotions come from and what are they trying to replace??

For me personally, most of the possessions I have are replacing my lack of ability to actually go do something.

For instance: I have a fair amount of books on land based skills, living off the land etc – and these books have replaced my desire to actually go do a lot of land based things simply because I have read so much about them, I no longer have the desire to go DO them – does that make sense??

It’s taken me a few years to realise this – as and when I would get a book on something I would read it, read it again straight away, and then probably read it again a few more times over the space of a month.

Over time I began to realise that by me doing this it seemed to squash the desire in me to actually go outside and do these things I was reading about – it was as if the simple act of reading about these things over and over again had an immense power to rid me internally of the need to actually go do them.

Thankfully, as I said I realised this (albeit not until recently) and I have now stopped reading these kind of books.

And you know what?

Yep, I’m actually out doing more of the same things I have read about time and time again, and funnily enough I am actually enjoying doing those things more than I did reading about them … funny that, huh?!

And it’s not just books, I feel that anything that we possess can end up replacing the need emotionally to go do something physically – and that cannot be a good thing, well, of course it’s NOT a good thing simply because what happens is we of course end up owning more and more pointless possessions which clog up our lives and eventually our minds!

Anyway, I digress.

The majority of things in storage can be sold simply because we’re thinking along the lines that if the items are not in the caravan being used on a daily basis, then we don’t really need them.

A lot of the things are just ornaments and silly things we have collected along our travels over the last 5 or so years since leaving the city, and they’ve been in boxes for so long anyway, that we probably don’t know half the things we have still got!

So we’ve got the bonus of added money from selling all these possessions we don’t need, but also the money we’ll gain each month from not having to pay for the storage container.

The aim is to be as brutal as possible and end up with things from storage and things from the caravan that we want to keep all being stored somewhere only a quarter of the size of the container we have now – which I think is 24ft by 12ft at the moment.

We may even be completely brutal and get rid of everything bar what we take to NZ, but the thought would still linger that we may end up coming back to the UK and need some of the things we’ve currently got.

Dena has got a fair bit of craft stuff that she uses to make things for her belly dancing, and she likes to patch up clothes etc so she has various sewing accessories too.

The only things I have that might not be sold are some old books on land based skills etc, one’s that are no longer in print and are hard to find, plus a couple of tech bits, which will probably come with me to NZ anyway.

So we’ll see how it goes and make decisions when the need arises – but there’s no hiding from these decisions, they HAVE to be made!

Other than our possessions the next big thing to plan is how we’re going to get the money we’ll need outside of the savings we get from our wage here at the orchard.

As I’ve mentioned before we’ll get about 50% of the total funds we’re taking with us from the saving of some of our monthly wage (which is only 5% above minimum wage btw) – although this is the easiest part of the fund as we’ve always been good at being able to save some of our monthly wage.

We’ll then get about another 10-15% from selling our possessions, which then leaves 35-40% of the remainder having to come from somewhere else – this being a 2nd job.

We’ve been looking around briefly this week, and there seems to be a few evening/weekend jobs going, but they don’t fit around the job here at the orchard.

In terms of money, realistically the 2nd job needs to be about 12hrs per week, spread out over 3 days or more – meaning that we have time to finish at the orchard at 5pm, get home, eat and change, and then go to the 2nd job for 3/4hrs over 3/4 days per week.

Seeing as though we’re sometimes quite tired after working at the orchard all day, an evening job isn’t ideal, however, if we then think about a weekend job it seems even less ideal again.

Working a weekend job would mean having to do Sat and Sun for 6hrs each day, meaning we would be working 7 days week.

This isn’t a problem for us, we’ve worked 7 days a week before, for a month at a time at the most though, but for 9 months!?!

On top of the physical side of the orchard job, well, it’s a lot to be asking – even with the motivation of going to NZ.

So – as you can see we’ve got some thinking to be doing on the 2nd job front, and it’s got to be done and decided by the end of this month, which does at least give us some brain storming time.

Anyway, that’s enough for this post, I’ve outlined the beginning of our travel plan to get to NZ on 1st Dec this year – and as you can see it’s certainly going to be a challenge.

But then we’d not have it any other way – we haven’t had a challenge like this since being at the orchard, and that’s not being horrible to the orchard, it’s certainly a challenge working at physical tasks all day all week, but this is a different challenge.

We left the city 5 years ago to move to the country, that was a big challenge.

We then left the comfy country lifestyle we had with a bit of city thrown in to go volunteering for 9 months, that was a big challenge too.

And here we are, with another big challenge in front of us – and you know what….

We are so god damn excited!

All this planning, thinking, coming up with new ideas – it’s so bloody exciting.

I don’t think I’ve been so alive mentally over the last 2 years than I have this last week since we made the decision to set ourselves this challenge to get to NZ.

OK, enoughs enough for today – stay tuned for the next stage in our plan, where I’ll put up the details broken down step by step on what we need to do, and how we’re going to do it, which will include the organisation we’re using to get the visas, their process etc, finding flights and work etc, and finally what we’ll be taking with us.

The aim is for it to be by the end of this week – egad, another challenge, heh!

Until next time…

WeeMike

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2 thoughts on “Our big travel challenge starts to take shape!

  1. Dreamer 10/02/2011 / 3:36 pm

    Lots to plan, I love a project too, it gives you something to aim for.
    When we sold our house and escaped from the city and went to Mallorca we threw lots away, bed, fridge cooker and then when we moved here we had to buy them all over! If you can at all store any expensive items so that you dont need to replace them, I know you may not come back to UK though.

    Can I ask why it was that you left NZ last time? What is NZ like?

    • WeeMike 10/02/2011 / 9:17 pm

      I wish we had some expensive items left – unfortunately we sold them all last year when we moved out of a house and into the caravan permanently, most of the things left are car boot type items, and lots of books which we can get again if we want them.

      I think we could probably start a small shop with the amount of white goods etc we have sold over the years, having moved so many times!

      Last time we went to NZ we came back mainly because of our naivety I think.

      We didn’t research all the opportunities that we now know of – and because we didn’t have as much life experience as we now do, we gave up too quickly.

      We actually had an opportunity to manage a backpackers full-time and possibly gain residency from it, but a planning application the backpackers were doing stalled, and we didn’t want to hang around for it to sort itself out.

      3 months after being back in the UK the application was approved and we would have had a permanent job and been working towards residency had we not left!

      We kicked ourselves for a few months, but these things happen.

      And this time although we want to go to Thailand after NZ, we’d definitely forgo that if a permanent job came up whilst we were in NZ – but we’ll see what happens, we’re not going out with our hopes pinned on it, if it happens it happens, if not we’ll have a fantastic time in Thailand I’m sure.

      NZ really is an amazing place, lots of countryside, mountains, forests, beaches etc and far far less people than the UK.

      Obviously its a similar size to the UK, but it’s only got something like 6 million people, so there is a lot more space for everyone.

      I’m not sure living wise if the wages allow a decent standard of living, but from what I can remember when we were over there last everyone we met seemed to be happy with their lot – but then nearly all of them used the outdoors a lot more than people do here in the UK, which I think would have had something to do with it.

      There were plenty of organic and free range farms selling produce at the end of the farm road, which was nice, instead of a farm shop or supermarket you could get your produce straight from the farm.

      I think the best thing is that NZ’ers don’t seem to want to industrialise for the sake of it, no destroying countryside in the name of progression etc, which leaves plenty of beautiful countryside to enjoy!

      One thing that is niggling with us is that we hope that it is as amazing this time as it was 8 years ago – like I said above, we were quite naive last time, and probably saw most things through rose tinted glasses, but we’ll just have to see!

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