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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

I must be serious ...

OK, so after the eBay fiasco, the most important money earner is still (deep breath) to rent out my spare room to make the dosh for the Trip!.
Most people would think it's the most natural thing to do but I really like my own little flat and my own space.  So I've thought long and hard about inviting a total stranger to share my lovely place which I just moved into last summer - but business is business.

So I thought I'd go into overdrive and get into the right mind set and so got the room ready for a potential "lodger".  Installing my old TV, i-player etc. so they feel it's a good deal. 

So since February, I've advertised in places like www.mondaytofriday.com and www.spareroom.com thinking it would be easy ... mmmm another slow one off the starting block and no answers until about a couple of weeks ago.

But as they say, sometimes the tortoise can sometimes win with enough determination - which I thought after a month I'd better have! No answers and hundreds of places to rent so how would I make myself different? 

I guess being pro-active ... so I started contacting those looking for places ... and hey, presto a bit of good news !

The first guy was moving to the area and needed a Monday to Friday but after a bit of procrastination had an offer from a mate living near his new work.   
Then I get contact from a guy in the film production business shooting a film for a couple of months in the area and needing a place for a short time - seems a good option to see if it will work out sharing with someone.  As they say in these on-line postings "get to know your contact before meeting up with them" - so this we did and emailed for a period of time before he came over to view the place.

Good news ... seems like it's a go, he was very happy with the pad and is happy to move in for 3 months which isn't the ideal solution as I need to make money for the next 12 months - but at least it's a start.
You'll never believe this but he saw my bikes (I also have a 125cc Aprilia scooter for travelling to work) and confessed he had been a Piaggio motorbike mechanic - that will be useful !  Might even reduce his rent if he services my bikes - joking !
Then believe it or not I get another contact from a girl moving to the area, visits and loved the place and wanted to move in straight away for at least 6 months!  Did I make a decision too quick ? ... that's the problem in that sometimes you have to grab the first opportunity thinking there may not be something else out there - however I did think quickly and offered the place from August onwards - hoping she'll grab it - that would be the ideal scenario as she'd probably stay until I leave for the trip.
Ho hum, ... patience is the key word to this endeavour ...

You're all probably thinking that I'm still not -
1) talking about bikes
and
2) talking about the trip

Don't worry all this will come very soon as soon as I have jump started this initial  dilemna in getting and finding ways of finding some dinero to give me confidence that it's possible to save for the trip ...

So a week today, the lodger moves in - hopefully also with the bike spanners !

Friday, 22 April 2011

Money makes the World, no Trip, go round ..

God, sometimes I think Money is the original 4 letter word but spelt incorrectly - I'm working full time but now never enough!

I have to say, I used to have high flying jobs travelling and living all over the world (even headhunted to go over and help set up something in the US) but following a few major redundancies I finally realised that I had to down scale my life for more job security & less hassle. 
But that all comes at a cost - literally!  It now means I don't have the cash to splash on this mega project of a trip.

So creativity has to be the key ...  I'm not at this moment going to say how much I need to save and find but suffice to say what with the transport of my bike or hire of a bike over a period of at least 30-40 days, accommodation, transport over to the US, food and some $$$ to make the most of the places I'll get to over that period  you can imagine it's more than a couple of grand!

So what have I done so far? 
Well, since over a year I thought I could save but 'cos of a few major things over the past year (future blog) that equals zero. 

So, I literally started rummaging through anything I could sell on eBay - not much luck and a bit of a disaster - such as selling my very expensive New York designer wedding dress and loosing a lot of money thinking the bidder given a 2nd chance would pay my asking price but it was me who had to accept their offer - so they got  a real good deal ! 
A lot of the other stuff I didn't even get bids for - bit of a joke - just too many things out there for sale !  
Ironically, the only other thing I did manage to sell were a pair of biker gloves - thanks eBay biker buyer !
I even contacted Sotheby's to try and value an item I thought might be of value and hey, suprise, suprise they were not interested!

So what else ?  ... Well although I didn't want to do it, I have tried to rent out my spare room on a Monday to Friday let - again this I've tried since February - just one enquiry which fell through and the thought of a stranger sharing space isn't ideal but I guess achieving things sometimes has to be done through compromise. 
So I've even been pro-active and contacted those looking for rentals instead of waiting for replies ... let's see.

And then, as usual, since the end of last year just trying to economize on food (and not buying clothes) - baked potatoes and pasta I've had enough of !  
But strangely the cost of living is still not allowing me to save ... but I'll have good news I know very soon  ...

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

And then the Mental Games that may stop the trip ..

These mental games that play in my mind, telling me am I crazy about thinking to want to do this trip, are probably more important by far than organizing the practical side of travelling across the American continent (and what a route - more to follow, of course)!
This is what is creating frustration!
The most difficult by far will be that at some stage, I'm going to have to pluck up the courage to present to my bosses at work my wish to take some time off -  I even prepped a note on New Years Day to persuade them not to say No !   Even thinking about it makes me nervous....
When is the best time ?  Too early and they may start to question my loyalty and too late and I may not have time to plan.
If they say yes, then cool, I have a job to come back to!
But if they say no?  Surely Life is full of remembering the good times and  surely not regretting what should have happened.

So then the next worry, is would I be able to find a job when I get back?  Stop, stop, stop !  They will say "yes, of course  you can take a sabbatical of 6 weeks - with all our blessing"

The mental journey to accept I can find the courage and making it happen will probably be more of a challenge to me than the actual journey.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The 3 big Physical Predicaments ... Why it's "go or bust" ...

OK let's cut to the chase.
At the moment, although I'm naturally positive, there's probably just a 50:50 chance of making this trip happen .... Why ?
Simple, 'cos I'm not a rich jet setter, with freedom to use time as I wish. 
I'm just a normal person who like most people on this planet has a normal 9 to 5 job (which I'm hanging onto) and which with the cost of living here (tell me about it!) only just about gets to pay the basic bills.
1st Predicament - MONEY
I've got to find a lot of extra dosh (that's another subject for another post - it's all relative!) from scratch to do this trip which I want to do for 6 weeks (there's me initially thinking I could do it for 6 months ! ha ha !).
I keep thinking I can put money aside but there's always another "necessity"
So I'll have to be creative (more details later).

Oh yes, IMPORTANT, forgot to say I'm working on a timeframe  ...
I want to do this trip next June - July 2012.
So I'm racing against time to find money - I don't want to take loans (not my mindset).

2nd Predicament - TIME
I've got a full time job - how am I going to take 6 weeks off????  The job market in the UK isn't good at the moment to just whimsically jack in jobs to travel (mmmm, funny , come to think of it - I did that with my 1st job in Paris having just left school - I needed of course the usual long summer break to holiday and go travelling to Thailand with my boyfriend at the time...!).
You'll laugh at this,  but  already on New Years day this year I had already thought and wrote down solutions and a proposal to present to my boss (another subject for a later blog).

But surely there must be solutions to these 2 big issues - Only time will tell ....

Oh yes and the ..
3rd Predicament - the trip has to be on a Triumph Bonneville !
How do I source one or do I fly mine over ?  A lot of research needed ...

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Prelude ...

Life is an adventure but sometimes it's not always easy or possible to do what we want .... here's the story on how I'm trying to make it happen to make an exceptional trip across America  ...

I've always ridden a scooter, mostly when living in Paris, but I took the big decision 3 years ago to take the BIG BIKE test ... I passed and immediately bought the love of my life, a 2nd hand 2003 Green and Gold T100 Triumph Bonnie ... just 4 weeks on I went on my own over to Boulogne sur Mer, France on the speedcat boat  but so scared the bike would break down or I wouldn't cope just stayed close to the docks and probably didn't go further than 10 miles down the coast ! 
The morning in leaving I couldn't start the bike and thought I'd never get back already wanting to call emergency services - I carefully thought it out and realized I hadn't turned the fuel switch back on (unlike modern bikes) and hey presto I was back in action !
I continued with a good friend from Merton Bike Mechanics College (thanks guys you were great in teaching the basics of bike stuff) to travel again to France - this time across the North coast - must have done at least 400 miles and then down around the Cornish coast and another trip around Wales.  All this wanting to clock up mileage with a big thought ..... A BIG TRIP ACROSS AMERICA ... why ? 

2012 is a big birthday for me and I want to do something BIG ... will tell you more later ...