“How do you even start to plan a trip like that?” A friend asked. “Booking our flights” I responded, which seemed like an obvious place for us to start. As the analogy goes, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
That, and ensuring that our workplaces/families and friends in our small community were aware and supportive of us both taking 1 year’s leave without pay from our respective positions. It’s amazing what can be achieved with little actions and celebrating them along the way.
Yesterday we booked flights (well it was in March but you get the drift), today I got approval from work for leave without pay for 2019. That little email was exciting, and certainly did make me want to do “a little wee”.
Now that we have that sorted, it is time for us to begin arranging the practical side of our year away, the logistics of moving a young family out of the comfort of their home and saving enough money to ensure that we will be comfortable to enjoy a year away.
Financing extended travel
Fortunately for us, I am entitled to long service leave, which we will take at half pay (around $700 a week) for almost 18 weeks – which will get us through to mid-June next year. I’m super grateful for this entitlement as a fulltime permanent worker in Australia and plan to make the most of my first access to it.
We hope to combine this with a portion of savings we are putting away this year from both my work and Lisa’s once she returns from maternity leave. We still have questions over how much we will need, setting a benchmark of $20,000 in our savings account, a fair target considering we work a combined 1.2 with three young girls at home. (FUTURE POST: Costs of Living and working in Asia.)
Our first step for saving money and simplifying our possessions was a garage sale last weekend, in which we sold stuff we didn’t need anymore that added around $850 into our bank accounts. This will also help us minimise the amount of possessions we will need to shift to rent our house out come January next year. (FUTURE POST: Minimising possessions)
We now have a whole heap of unanswered questions, which is often why the pre-trip for us is as exciting as the trip itself (if that sounds sad, just wait ’til I talk about my affection for airports and airplanes). Questions such as:
- Where will we stay?
- How long will we stay in each place?
- How long will we stay in Sri Lanka for? (Our first destination.)
- What work options should we examine?
- What luggage do you pack for a family with 3 kids under 5?
- What preparation do we need to consider? (Immunisations? Visas? Passports?)
- How will Lisa and I keep our sanity?
Is anyone else planning on, or would love to be doing something similar with their family, if so shoot us a message or making a comment below? Do have any tips or lessons you would like to share with us? Are there any other questions you’d like us to answer, or could think of that might help in our planning?