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China – North to South

We’ve taking a one-way flight to Beijing where we’ll be starting our China adventure.  The sheer size of China and all the amazing sites to see and things to do and experience is going to be a big challenge for us.  We only have a 30 day tourist visa to try and cram in as much as we can. The route we’ve mapped out is nothing short of 4,495 km.   Wish us luck!

Oh yes, of course there has to be a budget….sigh.

 

 

This trip to Belize and Guatemala was dubbed as our “practise” trekking trip.  It was mainly coined that because we wanted to see how our kids did with lugging backpacks, taking lengthy bus rides on not so comfy buses (12 hours on a chicken bus, anyone?), testing endurance and everyone’s patience.  That’s a whole lot for a kid to experience in a three week time frame and 10 cities/districts.  

To be fair and really make this a “practise” trek, I’ve decided that I’m going to go out on a limb as well and put my planning and numbers to work – publicly.

In order for us to budget our RTW trip properly, I’ve been working hard at figuring out what our cost per person/per country is going to be. I soon realized that in all fairness I should do the same for our Belize and Guatemala trip.  Mind you, I’m not doing this much detail for our big trip, but I thought it would be a good excercise to see where the money goes and how close I can get to estimating our costs and expenses. Practise makes perfect, right? Well, maybe not, but hopefully you get a little better (aka-faster and more accurate in this case).

Here’s what I’ve got so far.  Hopefully I haven’t missed any major expenses.  For anyone that truly knows me, this will come as a shocker to you…I’m actually looking forward to plugging in the actual numbers as we go along and seeing what the final outcome is.

I’m sharing it publicly, not only to keep myself dedicated to doing it but also to help anyone who’s planning on heading to Belize and Guatemala.  Keep in mind that we’re going at the most expensive time – Semana Santa (Easter) in Guatemala is their biggest festivity of the year. It also raises the price of accomodation by a good 30-40%.  Tip: book early! Image

 

Zoom in and take a look.  Am I missing anything?

 

House for Rent

Front of house

Fully Furnished, 3 Bedroom & 2 Bathroom House – $2300/Month –

Main Street & East 46th Avenue (Langara area) Vancouver, BC

1 year rental available starting as early as July (or August/September). Fully furnished home (approx 1300 sqft) with 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths located in a wonderful residential area (http://goo.gl/maps/Uyt72). Mere steps from major bus routes, walking distance to shops, trendy Mount Pleasant restaurants, pubs and artisans, community centres (Sunset, Hillcrest & YMCA), library, parks (Queen Elizabeth) and 2 elementary schools. 


Close to: 
– Langara College (9 min walk/800 meters) 
– UBC (20 min drive) 
– BCIT (18 min drive) 
– Simon Fraser University 
– Douglas College 
– Emily Carr University of Art + Design 
– Vancouver Film School 
– Sauder School of Business 

– Downtown (9 min drive) 
– Grouse Mountain 
– Kitsilano (9 KM) & Jericho Beach (10 km) 
– Granville Island (8km) 

The home is about 14 years old with a mature garden with patio in the front & backyard, gas bbq, wifi, gas fireplace, gas stove, dishwasher, alarm system, large flat screen tv, 10ft high ceilings, 3 skylights, cozy radiant floor heating, oversized washer/dryer, hardwood floors, open concept dining room/livingroom, eat-in tiled kitchen, fenced backyard. 

Best suited for expats, mature adults/couple on sabbatical, or families.  

– Lease term negotiable
– References required
– Subject to application review

Backyard Patio & Garage

Steps from the backyard leading to the kitchen

View of backyard from the kitchen

Livingroom

Livingroom

Living/Dining Room with gas fireplace.

Living/Dining Room with gas fireplace.

Hallway to Master bedroom, 2nd bedroom, Kitchen & Main Bathroom

Hallway to Master bedroom, 2nd bedroom, Kitchen & Main Bathroom

Bathroom

Bathroom

1st Bedroom

1st Bedroom

Entrance Foyer

Entrance Foyer

Kitchen Eating Area

Kitchen Eating Area

Kitchen Eating Area - View 2

Kitchen Eating Area – View 2

Master Bathroom - Vanity

Master Bathroom – Vanity

Master Bath - Shower

Master Bath – Shower

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Kitchen

Kitchen – Microwave, fridge, gas range/oven are on the left. Bosch dishwasher & eating area on the left.

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Our Dog Benny Needs A New Home – by Emma Everson

Our Gorgeous Benny.
Our Gorgeous Benny.
I am very excited about going away for a year but there is one major downside… we have a dog named Benny, and he needs to go to a new home.
Benny is our dear pet.  He has a gorgeous thick mane of fur and sparkling eyes that makes his facial expression look like he’s always smiling. He’s now 6 years old and weighs in the 5-6lb range.
Benny as a puppy

This is Benny as a pup. He was born Oct 2006.

Benny is very bright he  follows commands such as: sit, stay, down, heal, come, off, upstairs (if you say this he will come up stairs), bedtime and outside. He will paw at the kitchen cabinet for water (right below the sink) and if you don’t give him water in the course of roughly 10 min he will paw at the bathtub to make you understand what he wants.
Benny is kenneled in the evening and will patiently wait to be let out in the morning.
Benny has been taken to the vet on an annual basis.  We give him Trifexis on a monthly basis to prevent heartworm, intestinal worms and fleas the vet suggests. He will follow me around the house. He is very nice company.
This is Benny now.
This is Benny now.
Who do we think would be the best fit for Benny?  Our feeling is that he’d be best for a single lady or quiet couple looking for a loving companion.  Benny is an excellent alarm dog, requires little to no walking and loves company.  Benny grew up in a house with two young children who have loads of friends over, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a new home with children.  Benny tends to be underfoot (he zigs when he should zag) and if a child isn’t used to this, he can get stepped on and hurt.
We are not leaving for our trip until September but we feel that we would like to take our time to find the proper home for him. Should the first placement not ‘work out’ for whatever reason, we’ll happily take him back and continue our search. We want Benny and his new family to be happy. We are also very open to foster placement whereby we would be happy to take him back when we return in a year should the foster home not want to keep him forever.  We have no problem transporting him to his new home, if necessary.
Please contact us if you are interested or know of someone who might be interested.
DSC00184
This is ‘playful’ Benny.
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The Big Trip! – by Emma Everson

Our big family trip is going to be great!

Although I’m super excited, I’m still a little scared of what could happen to us while we travel. For example, one of us could get really hurt or catch a really bad flu. True, this could also happen while we’re still here in B.C.  I think somehow it would feel a lot worse while we were there.

For example, if you got sick in Indonesia you would probably be just as sick there as you would be here. But in Indonesia it would probably feel a lot worse because you’re in another country and because the way we are traveling you can’t just stop, go home and have a nice relaxing time till you feel better. If you want to do that you would probably get to sleep in someones garage until you feel good enough to start walking again.

Here's my brother, Jacob, trying out his new RTW backpack.

Here’s my brother, Jacob, trying out his new RTW backpack.

Also, if you get injured there you would not be able to sit around waiting till it gets better. You would probably sit on the side of the road for a minute to rap it up if its bad and start walking again.