It has been a while since we last posted on our blog. But we haven’t been sitting still. The last month we have been preparing everything for our trip and the whole preparation itself has been a rather big adventure already!
Sometimes you hear people say that they have decided to go on a trip around the world and that they just packed their bags and jumped on a plane. Well, for us it was the opposite. Two pages of to do’s filled with administrational stuff, visa applications, booking flights and hotels, buying the last equipment, moving out of our house and goodbye parties. It has been quite a ride.
For some countries applying for visa is easy, for others you really need to prepare a lot. And of course, we picked the more difficult ones. To obtain a Russian visa, you need an invitation by a Russian travelling company, a stamped itinerary, your flights, an application document and you need patience, lots of patience. Because most likely something will be wrong, or you need another document. Or, like in our case, the lovely lady at the application center puts the wrong date on the application forms and your passports are not ready in time. All ended well, signing of for our passports on the streets in front of the Russian consulate in Antwerp. The Mongolian visa application went as smooth as possible, thanks to the clear statement on what to bring for your application. The result: all smiles from everybody. For China we needed a double entry visa, since we are meeting Thomas and Charlotte in Hongkong in between our stay in Beijing and our exploration of Yunnan and Sichuan. So we had to book all our hotels, make an extensive itinerary and book all of our flights (including our flight to Indonesia). This means that everything is booked for the first 94 days…so much for just go with the flow, but we do admit that it feels nice to have it all organized.
The downside of travelling around the world is definitely saying goodbye to the ones you love, to your job and your colleagues, to your house and to all your belongings. You need to squeeze your life into your backpack. We attended three weddings in our last month, so this was perfect to see a lot of people at the same time. Both Koen and I were lucky to have a fantastic goodbye at our work. For me this was tough and quite emotional. Leaving Van de Velde after 5 years, meant saying goodbye to a lot of fantastic colleagues. The party was great, with many nice words, which I will not forget. We also had an amazing goodbye party to say goodbye to our friends. We organized an ‘Alles moet op’ party, to empty our liquor cabinet. And we have to say, they did a good job J, we did not have to move a lot of bottles to our storage space.
Moving out of our house went super smooth, thanks to the great support of our friends in Belgium and in Holland. Our entire house is now stored in a storage room of 7m2. We are also bikini proof after the whole moving out process, 34C° will make you lose all the extra kilo’s.:-)
The last week we stayed at Luc and Lieve (Koen’s parents), which was perfect for the final preparations. Time flew by and before we knew it, it was time to say our final goodbyes. Last monday we took the train to Holland and we spend our final evening with Viv and Hilbert enjoying the beautiful Dutch country side.
The time has come to really start our adventure and jump on the plane! We will miss you all to bits. Thank you all for the mental support the last few months and please stay tuned for all our adventures! Russia here we come! Update on Moscow will follow soon.