What was your favourite city/place?
Roma: I loved the colours of New England (we went leaf peeping in the midst of autumn), the quaintness of Charleston, SC, and the friendliness of Greenville, SC, BUT if I had to choose a place to live, it would be a toss-up between Montreal and San Francisco.
Graham: I enjoyed Montreal because it’s quite culturally different than the rest of Canada. I also loved New Hampshire’s incredibly colorful foliage. Savannah was a really cool little city where you can drink beer on the streets, and since it’s next to the ocean, it’s a win for me.
What was your *least* favourite city/place?
Roma: There was no “least” favourite because we only chose places we were excited about. I was, however, disappointed with New York City, but only because I had high expectations. I still had an amazing time, and loved the friends we stayed with, but I feel I would have to live there for a few months to get over the massive skyscrapers, and self-absorbed business-people on the streets.
Graham: I don’t have one, I enjoyed all the places we visited!
What kind of jobs did you have that allowed you to leave for four months?
Both of us quit our jobs at the end of August, but we gave four months notice so they were well aware of our plans. We loved the company we worked for (both the people and the startup culture) and were sad to go, but we needed to do this as a next step in our adventurous life.
How did you afford this trip?
We both worked 2-3 jobs EACH over the last year and a half. Our life in Calgary wasn’t the most exciting (in fact, most days we would come home from work only to sit down and work again), but we knew it would take a bit of hard work to be able to do this.
Ultimately, this trip was a combo of a couple things:
1) Savings – Our commute in Calgary was 4 minutes long, we rarely ate out nor did anything extravagant really. We despise winter so we stayed inside for nearly seven full months. Our car is fully paid off, we moved out of our apartment (so rent and bills are no longer an issue), and sold all of our belongings.
2) Budgeting – We had friends to stay with in about 90% of the places on the map. Airbnb made up the rest. Eating out was limited (usually to social situations with said friends we’re staying with), our take-out coffee intake was severely restricted, and when we were on our own, we went to Walmart for salads and wraps for our meals. Gas in America was around 0.90/L (when it was $1.30/L at home), healthy food was surprisingly cheap, so it all goes a long way!
How much did it cost you?
Although the final number won’t be public information, I do have a breakdown of our expenses from Calgary (month-to-month basis) to compare to how we spent money while on the road (for the full four months).
For the road trip, I’m considering “Car” as a combination of maintenance costs, gas, parking, rental and transportation, totalling 32%.
Funny enough, we spent roughly the same amount of money on the road over the four months as we did living in Calgary for the equivalent amount of time. Had it not been for flights and car rental, our four-month roadtrip would have been significantly cheaper than living four months in Calgary (but only because we stayed with people most of the time)!
Would you do it again?
Yep! In fact, we decided we need to go back and finish what we couldn’t finish. One day in the future, we’ll do a south and west USA road trip.
We’re moving to Thailand! Our visas came in last week and our flights are booked for Monday. Please pray for a safe departure and arrival.
What will you be doing there?
Graham is a software engineer, so he’ll be finding a job in his field and I’m not yet sure what I’ll be doing. I’ve always wanted to volunteer for an orphanage, or be involved in the healthcare field in a developing country, so I’m hoping either of those two work themselves out.
Where will you be living?
We’ll fly into Bangkok and go from there. We’ll visit some islands and see where we feel led to go. Community is a big aspect, so finding a church will be a big priority for us.
How long will you be there?
Our working visas are valid for one year, so… at least one year. We’ll assess where we are next year.
New adventures await!!