It's been a crazy couple of weeks since we first launched this site, in fact since Jan 1 we've been doing everything we can to make progress on the todo list for this trip.
But the point of no return hadn't been crossed until we ran our estate sale and sold almost everything we had. It was then that the dominos were starting to knock down.
That domino effect led us to ask the question of what are we waiting for?
Our bags have been packed for well over a month.
Yup, that's how much extra stuff we had (and you probably have it too!) . We packed up everything we need for 9 months of living and haven't felt the pinch, granted we have raided the medicine bag 3 times, but when you have boys that's what happens :)
One of the major dominos we were waiting for to fall in place hasn't yet fallen, but we trust that it will before we leave. Becky's sister Christy is pregnant and we wanted to meet the child before we took off for 9 months. However we noticed that buying tickets within 3 weeks of flying made the price skyrocket. So we purchased our tickets hoping the baby doesn't stay in there another 3 weeks!
The moment we leave our house in Michigan we begin our travel-as-a-lifestyle life. So is there a rush to get overseas? Not really, we have friends and family to visit and the trip is part of the trip. So here's the plan as we know it for now.
Step 1 Atlanta
We're driving to Atlanta on March 15, we'll probably arrive on the 16th as we'll spend a night on the road somewhere (don't worry Mom, we'll get a hotel!) While in Atlanta we hope to catch up with 3 sets friends (some who are missionaries on furlough) as well as hang out with Becky's sister/brother in law, their kids...including the new baby (yes, Christy you can read the hint in this sentence).
Paul will be checking out the co-working scene in Atlanta, hopefully making some new connections. If you know of someone he should connect up with while there let us know!
Step 2 San Francisco
The cheapest flights to the Philippines leave via San Francisco, and adding a leg from anywhere in the US dramatically increases the costs (when flying a budget international airline) so we're keeping the flights separate waiting 24 hours in San Francisco and then taking a flight from SFO to the Philippines. The flight from ATL to SFO is March 20.
That 24 hours in San Francisco includes an airbnb place (I mean of course, if staying in San Francisco who else would you book through !!), and showing our kids around the city, like Lombard St, fisherman's warf and some others.
One of the perks of travel as a lifestyle is saying, hey we're gonna be in this city due to flight plans, lets take it all in while we are here. This is not so much a mini vacation as much as it is grabbing an opportunity and living life to the fullest.
Step 3 The Phillippines
On March 21 we will use our passports for what they were made for. Er, well, technically we don't land until March 23, and that's when the Philippines can choose to allow us entry or not. Don't worry family, we're doing our best to not be deported again (true story). If it does happen again, then that's just part of the adventure. After you do it once, the possibility of facing it again doesn't seem as daunting. Live and learn!
So, we leave late on Friday March 21, fly for 14+ hours, cross the international date line and land Sunday morning.
Step 4 One week
We've booked a house (again via airbnb, love that site!) for a week in Davao Philippines. During that time we hope to get over jetlag, get acclimated, find cafes for Paul to work in and hopefully find a place to live for a couple months. Everything is flexible and we might stay in the Philippines for a month, or for 6 months.
Paul is part of a community of entrepreneurs who run their location independent businesses from many different places, the highest density is in SouthEast Asia due to the cost of living and access to good internet speeds. Just this week a new opportunity became available for Paul to do some work in trade for a free place to live (and free food). So if you are the praying type please pray that God will continue to open doors and that Paul will be awarded this opportunity.
Do you know of people Paul/we should connect with in Atlanta? Or what about in the Philippines? Or what are must sees in San Francisco? Let us know and become a part of our story!