Hugs

Today is the first day of our new life, and I am writing this while on a layover in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. From the next post on, we will be writing about where our adventure takes us, and not how we are preparing for it. But this post is not that.

We became homeless on August 21, and we have been overjoyed to spend the next two weeks in the company of, and being hugged by, so many dear friends and family members.

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Disconnected?

Most modern careers are enhanced with numerous multi-function communication devices. Mine was no different. Loaded with a BlackBerry, iPad, in-car wireless service, and computer, I had the ability to keep up to date with business news and communicate to anyone wherever cell reception would allow. I became extremely reliant on technology as I fed my “Fear of Missing Out” syndrome (FOMO – it’s a thing).

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Homeless …

We have handed over the keys and are now “of no fixed address.” We aren’t truly homeless in that we still own a condo (see A slight detour) that we could potentially return to, but we have no plans to do so.

Over the last few months we have freed ourselves from almost all of our possessions using the methods below in the order they are listed:

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Changing perspectives on image: Thinning the wardrobe

In sales and business development, image is important. The clothes we buy and wear are influenced by how we feel we need to present ourselves and there is a tendency to buy newer and fancier clothes to define our image. Having worked in this career for several years, I had amassed a significant inventory of bespoke suits, ties and dress shoes, doing my best to impress clients and meet image expectation.

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Hobbling through summer

I was really looking forward to summer. Summer in Calgary can be fun. Loads of sun, festivals, river rafting/paddling, cycling, and of course the stampede. We live inner city, so can get to most events and activities in under a 30-minute walk. And since I’m working remotely and flexibly, I anticipated lots of extra time with favourite/only grandson Alex (and his parents, of course!). I know we’ll miss him once Life: Phase Next begins so I planned to jam in lots of memory-making moments while we were still around.

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A slight detour

Even before our journey begins, we have encountered a roadblock. Sadly, our plan to sell our condo failed, which wasn’t a complete surprise in the current Calgary housing market. I am happy to report that we executed a successful detour and are back on what we hope will be mostly paved roads as we close in on our departure date.

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Committed!

No longer is Life Phase Next just a dream. This week I clicked the button that committed us to our first target location—Quito, Ecuador, arriving on September 6, 2016.

We had been hoping to use some British Airways Avios points that had been building up since our big trip to Africa a few years back, but thought we wouldn’t have the opportunity until we headed to Europe. But thanks to helpful tips from Extra Pack of Peanuts and great instructions from Million Mile Secrets, I was able to book the entire trip from Vancouver to Quito for $166.18 CAD for both of us. Happy dancing!

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Cookbooks: check!

Following up on the plans I wrote about in my last post, And now the real work begins, we have taken the first carload to Good Will, and sold the first few items on kijijii.

The most time-consuming project, though, was eliminating all of our printed recipes and cookbooks. I had discarded lesser-used cookbooks and past issues of Canadian Living magazines with each move, but we still had a shelf full of cookbooks, an index card box with old family recipes, and an over-stuffed expanding file pouch filled with newspaper and magazine clippings of past successes and future culinary delights.

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