The Van Is Packed

Trip Start Jan 12, 2007
Trip End Nov 19, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Saturday, January 13, 2007

See more about our road trip, and others' road trips, at

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Two years out, we began to dream about the road trip in colour.

A year out, we started to save our cash.

Four months before our departure date, we bought our road maps and guide books and started tying up loose ends. We also got serious about teaching Adrienne to drive a stick shift.

The month before we left was a blur of activity: packing up and moving out of our respective apartments, getting the right insurance on our van, canceling it on our other car and finding a place to store it, renewing our passports, updating our wills, duplicating debit and credit cards, arranging for income taxes to be filed, cutting spare keys, filling prescriptions, putting gym memberships on hold, setting up a travel blog.

The list went on and on and on.

At the same time, we were frantically hunting down people - friends of friends, acquaintances, and their friends - who had gone on simailar road trips so that we could ask questions which the guide books and websites didn't satisfactorily answer: Did we need a lap-top? A cell-phone? An international drivers license? Should we do anything more to the van to ensure we would be safe?

So much for my plan of quitting my job a bit early so that I could really savour the Christmas season.

And this road trip preparation process was expensive; we were opening our wallets wide for things like travel-medical insurance, the full suite of vaccination shots and new camping gear. The maps alone came to well over a $100.

But the money we spent on these items pales in comparison to the cash we dropped on the van: the pre-trip mega tune-up, the tinted windows, the small safe we installed, and replacing the rusted out propane tank that powers the van's two burner stove and mini-fridge.

The route planning process for the road trip, in contrast, was relatively easy. Much to Adrienne's chagrin, we never really did it. Every time we opened up a guidebook or looked at a map to start pinpointing where we wanted to go, we became overwhelmed by the enormity of the task and quickly moved on to do doing something more tangible.

So the loose plan for now is to head down the Baja, ferry to the Mexican mainland, and then figure out the rest from there.

By the time we finally pulled out of Vancouver late in the afternoon on January 12, 2007, in the midst of record cold-snap in the Pacific Northwest, we were more tired than excited and running mainly on adrenalin.

The immediate plan was to get the first border crossing under our belt before night fell.
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