LIFT OFF!

Miami Travel Blog

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 So I’ve finally started it. The blog that is - not the trip. The trip began 40 days ago, and it’s been a jam-packed, manic, wild, rugged, humid, dirty, colourful, surreal five and a half weeks ever since. Apologies to those who I promised this link to about two months ago. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.

 

Monday the 1st  June was the first sunrise I’ve seen over London in a long time. It was beautiful - all pinks and oranges. I had a slight wave of nostalgia drift over me - my last morning in London until April 2010. I hadn’t planned to see the sunrise but I ended up staying up all night, cleaning the flat and packing up my life as I’ve known it. Last minute I’d had tenants agree to take my flat, less than 24 hours before my 9.30am take off from T5. Great news but it sent me into a bit of a tailspin. I had no idea how much “life admin” is involved in deconstructing your modern life (cancelling direct debits, cards, phone line, subscriptions etc), not to mention getting your flat ready for tenants. Energy performance certificates, gas safety checks, carbon monoxide alarm…. All my redundancy money seemed to be sinking beneath my (newly fitted) floorboards rather than stoking up my bank account for my round the world jaunt. And so as Sunday night tipped into Monday morning I found myself bouncing around my near empty flat, removing all the last traces of my life there. It’s someone else’s home now! (For the next 9 months anyway.)

 

The nine hour flight to Miami gave me plenty of time to catch up on the night’s sleep I missed and to mull over everything that had just happened over the last few weeks and days. I guess I was in shock really. I’d left my job. I’d packed up my 2-bed flat and comfy lifestyle and had condensed my life into a 60 litre backpack.

 

Life had been a bit surreal in the month or so before I left. I’d had laser eye surgery, and cut off my long locks (for those who knew me in my former physique  my hair was over 12 inches long and had been that way since I was 12). I had turned down a few job offers and taken leave from all the things that made my life what it was over the last few years.I felt weary and a little strange, but good.

 

Here’s a note for prospective travellers who are about to embark on a similar journey of what I would categorise as "modern life deconstruction": it will take twice as long as you think. Your bank will mess up your new debit card, send it to the wrong address, cancel the old one and leave you without cash for several days. Your broadband provider will attempt to transfer your account to the new occupiers but will end up closing it down. The Inland Revenue will lose your direct debit mandate for national insurance contributions and your mobile phone company will attempt to charge you an extortionate amount for using voicemail while abroad. Once you’ve sorted out all their admin for them, you’ll be left with your own list of urgent-must-do-or-suffer the consequences type stuff. Like travel insurance. Trying to find a policy to cover a Netbook, Ipod and camera, as well as a policy which included America and all my medical ailments was a challenge. Many of the “quote you happy” type insurers seemed to have adopted the Little Britain catchphrase “Computer says no.”. One policy was £300 then a further £100 for my allergy to peanuts and £200 to cover two extra electronic items. Computer says no way!

 

So my advice is just to give all of this more time then you could possibly need. And look out for the things that are going to save you time and money. By upgrading my current account with a certain world-wide bank I got free cash withdrawals anywhere in the world. The Post Office also do a cash card that you can load with dollars • very useful in Central America. It would have been even more useful if the Post Office hadn’t lost my ID documents and temporarily frozen my card.

 

So, now that I’ve got all of that out of my system, there is nothing left to do apart from indulge in the joy of moment by moment living. Life admin, pensions and future-proofing all seemed a but ridiculous yesterday when I found myself on a small fishing boat off the Nicaraguan coast watching two Nico's haul in a 4ft barracuda (who we named Barry and ate for lunch today.)

 

So. I’ll start from the beginning. I've kept diary entries over the last few weeks so I'll type them up and modify them here. Feel free to browse at your leisure. Eventually I'll catch up with myself and be writing real-time. But at the moment I'm rewinding 5 weeks and 5 days to the 1st June 2009...

 

Lots of love, Mel x

 

 

williamsworld says:
Looking forward to reading about the rest of the venture. Nice start.

Cheers, Britt
Posted on: Jul 11, 2009
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