March '09

We’re really doing it!  Charlie, as expected, gets made redundant.  Although hardly the biggest surprise in the world, it's still never a nice feeling and we are certainly glad that we have the beginnings of a 'plan B' that we can focus on.  It’s no longer a far-fetched dream that friends and family have wondered if we’ll ever fulfil.  Spend more time with family and friends who have contacts in all the far-flung places we’re passing through.

Time’s starting to creep by a little quicker now; create another spreadsheet – calendar. And another one - for useful contacts around the globe.

We discuss and negotiate costs in more depth with our shortlist of Chinese agencies (x 2).  Hone our brutal bargaining skills and decide on NAVO – the most expensive, but by far the most reputable one we’ve been in discussions with.

The certainty of timing, and of actually doing this, now having been confirmed with Charlie's redundancy, means we can now set to and buy a car for the trip.. which we do, slightly quicker than expected.  Within a few weeks a shiny black Toyota Land Cruiser, courtesy of some nerve-racking last minute bidding on e-bay, is parked outside the flat!

Book ourselves on a 4x4 off-road enthusiasts’ weekend so we can go and play with our new toy.  Create Heath Robinson-style sleeping arrangement in the back for said weekend.  Hope it works...  That said, what started with a  load of tatty cardboard boxes nicked from outside the pound shop on the North End Road (and some cheapo black sheets, bought inside the pound shop) eventually morph into some pretty effective window blackouts... plywood bed frame’s not looking to shabby either!  

Nina’s dad comes up with a great idea for our angle of our travels – ‘no job, will travel’ (thank you!)

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