Places I have been
India and Neighbors
/ Canada / USA
SE Asia / China
How I started
Equipment Pages Index
Chapter 1. Leaving it all behind
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The Week Before We Left
Cindie had stopped working two weeks before our departure date to visit her twin sister in Alaska. She sold her truck before she left. I stopped working a week before we left and spent time fishing with my brother who came out from Indiana. I needed a place to stay until the last moment while Cindie was in Alaska with her twin sister. I worked out a deal with someone to buy the RV and pick it up the day before our departure. I sold it for a mere $500. This may not sound like much for a RV, but it was more than I expected. It was a much better deal than the $50 that the junk man would have given me for it.
Moving out of our RV was a big job but much easier than moving out of the house. Everything was on a smaller scale. Two nights before we left I unloaded the RV in front of Cindieís office. The entire contents of the RV went to three different piles: to be loaded on our bikes; to go to charity; to the dumpster. I stayed up the entire night to complete this in time for the buyer to pick up the RV at the agreed time.
The last thing I removed was my homemade calendar. It was only a single piece of paper now. I sat down and contemplated what this final page meant to me. I had made this calendar almost three years before and patiently waited for this moment. We had sacrificed and saved all this time. I no longer needed my calendar. Time was up. I had won the waiting game. I slowly folded it into a paper airplane and threw it to freedom. It was my own private victory celebration.
After Cindie returned from Alaska we no longer owned motor vehicles. Standing in Cindieís office, we both noticed that we didnít have any keys on our key rings. The key to our house was now with the property manager, our work keys were returned and the car keys were given to the new owners. It was a strange feeling. We were free of this expense and responsibility. We were now down to the bare minimum.
The Night Before We Left
The night before we left was filled with the one last job to be completed before we earned our freedom. We had to take the pile of gear and food on the floor of Cindieís office and somehow load it on our two bicycles. This required me to stay up for my second all-nighter in a row. Even though we had prepared and planned for years, we still felt as if we werenít ready. It was the first time that we completely packed our bikes. It quickly became evident that not everything on the floor could come along. We were asking ourselves what we could spend the next several years without. We asked each other "Is this all I get to cook with? "Do you think that I can live with fewer clothes?"
Cindie with our gear spread out on her office floor the night before we left. We quickly learned that we could only bring half of what we expected. Learning to live on half of what we considered the bare essentials was very educational and humbling.
The amount of nonperishable food that had come out of the RV was staggering. We had fallen short of eating the canned food such as peas and soup. We came up with a quick solution to deal with it. We had it mailed to a town in Arizona (Portal) near the Mexican border. As one last going away gift, Cindieís boss picked up the tab for mailing the boxes to us. We planned to pick it up in several weeks. Even though we stayed up all night, we had to rush at the end. The last hour was spent frantically cramming gear into our bags and indiscriminately tying things onto rear racks. We looked like amateurs.
End of Chapter 1.
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|Chapter 1. Leaving "It All" Behind.
PART 1. Background START HERE
PART 2. Five years before we left
PART 3. Two years before we left
PART 4. One year before we left
PART 5 The week before we left
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I have used several brands of bicycle panniers and
highly recommend Ortlieb.
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