Wednesday, 18 April 2012

And so it begins

Our preparations are well underway.  We are learning Russian and Mandarin in preparation for the first 3 months of the trip.  My Australian visa application is (almost) complete and what a marathon THAT has been!  We have booked the Trans Siberian Trip which will take us through to Beijing.  And, as we are arriving in China just before the National Day holiday celebrations kick off, we have booked a week at The Red Lantern House

We have estimated that we will pitch up in Vietnam around the end of November. During one of our many "research" - surfing when pissed - sessions on the laptop we came across Monkey Island Resort on Cat Ba Island.  Although a little above our budget we couldn't resist booking 5 nights in a basic beach hut at the resort as we think we will deserve a bit of chilling out time on the beach after the mayhem that will be China.

My employers were kind enough to make me redundant last Friday with 3 months full pay.  They don't know about the trip - had they waited a few more weeks I would have resigned anyway and worked 3 months notice.  Sometimes good things do happen!  I now have 4 months to prepare while Paul works a 70 hour week trying to put more cash into the bank before we go.  I will still look for temporary work and anything I can earn will be a bonus but otherwise I have plenty to keep me occupied.

There is packing and storage to sort out, tourist visas to arrange (Russia, China and Mongolia), medical supplies to gather ;-) and other stuff to check out, vehicles to sell, CDs and ebooks to upload -the list is endless.  We also need a decent camera and a cheap and lightweight netbook.  I don't know how we would have managed without all this paid leave.

Today, however, I have spent far too much time sorting this blog out, I need to get out and research netbooks and cardboard boxes.....



  1. Test! Ok it's working!
    What I'd attempted to write before was to let me know if you want any book recommendations, and if so, what genre?
    And I think your blog is a great idea and I can't believe your embarking on this journey!! Very excited for you. Madness of course, but divine madness!! X

    1. Well done darling :-). See, I said you're weren't dim! Book recommendations? I don't know where to start! I've got loads on my kindle but prefer recommendations from friends because it usually leads me to read something I wouldn't have normally chosen. What have you got? All recommendations gratefully received :-) x

  2. I read one of the worst books ever followed by one of the best books ever while in Chiang Mai... worst was a Tom Clancy book, something about 'mission for heroes' or some such guff! utter drivel! (it was all I could find before starting out on a long bus ride back from Cambodia which eventually took about 12 hours and 5 bus changes... never again!!!), the best was 'The Grapes of Wrath' by John Steinbeck, a Classic and thoroughly recommended... will make you think differently about America...

  3. This is me commenting, nicely. Good luck, bon voyage, auf weidershehen, see ya (in the pub on Friday Dawn) x

  4. Off the top of my head- My fave book possibly ever is 'what a carve up' by Jonathan Coe- it's a comedy thriller based on the film- sorta! I must have read it a dozen times and always delivers.
    Topically titanic- beryl bainbridge's ' every man for himself' is beautifully written and is everything that Cameron's film isn't ie quiet, subdued and poignant. Not in the least contrived.
    You can't fail with 'one flew over the cuckoos nest'- possibly the only book I really enjoyed whilst doing my degree. And given your lovely husband you may appreciate it more than i do ;)
    I'm not sure what the copy laws are for kindle -are some books free over so many years? If he's eligible, EM Forster writes beautifully.
    I'll check my books and send you titles you may be interested in. X