Lordy this blog is well over due!
We are now rounding a corner and entering the home stretch. In only four weeks time we have to be out of our house. Things are moving along, time for an up date.
We have found a nice family to take our house furnished for the year we are away. This takes a massive stress out now we no longer need to sell, transport and store all our things. It’s also nice to know we will have a home to come back to after our travels.
I have been going through our personal belongings to sell or give away what we can. We have booked a stand at the local flea market where we hope to sell the kids clothes and toys they no longer need. I really look forward to the market. I’ve been washing and ironing all the clothes to sell. It’s a fun trip down memory lane explaining the special outfits to the girls, amazing to think how tiny they were and how quickly they grow!
We also found a family to look after our beloved Nullah-dog for the year we are away. I put an advert on a Geneva Facebook group looking for someone to take her and was pleasantly surprised with the attention she received. Nullah had a trial run with the family last weekend and everything seemed to go well. We really like the family and trust Nullah will be in good hands with them.
We’ve finalised things with the girls school. After talking to the teachers we wrote a letter explaining our intentions to home school them for a year. In return we received a letter acknowledging our wishes. Simple.
After fretting about how my boss would take our news, I had the awkward conversation with him just before the Easter break. Naturally he was surprised but he also seemed happy for us. If everything goes to plan, my position will be available for me to return to after our travels. It’s a weight off my shoulders to finally be able to talk to my colleagues about the trip and plan things in the office accordingly.
Our biggest stress is the budget. We haven’t saved as much as we were hoping to and we aren’t sure if our figures for the trip are accurate. The budget is constantly adjusted and modified and we are fast running out of time to save or make considerably more money. Bills come up we hadn’t expected or cost more than we were hoping to pay.
Yesterdays task was to finally book our San Francisco accommodation. After hours searching, we couldn’t find something within our budget. We have budgeted only $150 USD per night on accommodation. However we are struggling to find anything in San Francisco for under $200 per night. With it being the first part of our travels, we really don’t want to start off stressed about being over budget. I’ve put out a message on some family travel Facebook groups, where a few people have recommended some sites. It’s not easy finding one room in a hotel to take all five of us, but I am sure we will get there in the end.
My little Airbnb business is booming. I’m keeping busy with the related admin, laundry and cleaning involved. Since December 100% of what we make from Airbnb goes into my savings account. I am now much over my individual savings target and feeling pretty proud about it. We now have about an 80% occupancy for the top floor. Whilst we are house sitting for the month of July, we will rent our entire house out through Airbnb. We have to be super organised in June to get all our personal items out, while keeping the house equipped to host up to 10 people at a time.
I have been running around in circles to get the place spotlessly clean. (Impossible with three children and a dog!!) We had some touch up painting done which helped to freshen the place up. However, the pristine white walls of the halls and stairwells are already looking grubby again. We have two cleaning companies coming next week to give us quotes for the final clean. Ideally a company can come in on the 30th of July to get the place spotless and ready for our new tenants.
The girls have had their health check with their paediatrician and are now up to date on vaccines. Iain and I have visited our GP and scheduled an appointment for any vaccinations we will need.
In general, we are talking to more people about our trip. We recently had our neighbours over for an apero and USA info session. They lived in the States and travelled to a few of the places we are going to. It was super helpful to go through their maps and photos and nice to catch up with them. After my fourth interview with Sarah from the Tough Girl Challenges I finally shared a link to our Website on my Facebook page. It was my attempt at announcing our plans. It was also the biggest day so far for our website traffic. I’ve not paid enough attention to the website lately. We finally published our budget but it is still looking a bit boogie and needs some tweaks -but I’m no longer stressing about it.
So as of this first week of June, I’m feeling pretty good about where we are and what we have accomplished. We still have a lot to do, but it does seem slightly more manageable. I’m starting to get excited for the adventure ahead and I know it wont be long now until we are boarding that plane and leaving Switzerland for the trip of a life time.