It came as a surprise in October that the decision had been made to list the house for sale while we were still living in it. It was a real shock that it sold – in 6 days! The house is tied to my husband’s employment as a pastor of a small church. We thought we were going to stay until May, but now we would have to move into temporary quarters. That changed things. It made sense to start our journey sooner rather than later. The calendar already had a cruise with friends and family on it in late May plus our flight to Portugal in June. We decided to leave at the end of January 2015 and on October 29th I gave notice at my job. It was bittersweet.
We now had a period of about 15 weeks available to take a practice trip – somewhere, anywhere cheap! Once again, I visited the airline websites. I looked at Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia. I needed a outbound flight plus a return in time for our cruise. We redeemed 35K American reward miles plus $99 each for flights into Quito, Ecuador on 2/2/15 and from Bogota, Colombia to Vancouver, British Colombia on 5/19/15 for our 5/22 Alaskan cruise departure. Some people need a year or more to close the chapter on their stateside lives. The clock was ticking and we had 3 months or until the end of January to get everything done before we started out on our vagabond adventure of slow travel.