I must admit, I’ve done a lot of day dreaming about this underlined word.

You see, I have thought an awfully lot about how I wanted to title my very first blog after we dusted off our old website and my brother put on all the ‘fancy pants’ bells and whistles. Its like revisiting a long lost friend as it was way back in January of 2008 when we ended our around the world tour that I wrote my very last blog in New Zealand. (Which seems like donkey’s ago!)
Well this time around– We’ve upgraded, folks. BIG TIME. From Backpacks to Volkwagens. OK…. so who are we kidding? Its got a lawn mower motor at a 1600cc engine. (well, to be honest, there is NO motor right now, but a brand new razzle dazzle 1700cc engine is being put in this week~ and I expect nothing but top of the line 20+ miles per gallon here).
Vroom Vroom! tee hee.

And I can honestly say that the 71 VW Bus ~ ahem, fondly called the‘labor of love’ has already stolen the show. Or stolen the shop floor space at the mechanics. Although its been officially in the shop now since April of 2010, yes that is a FULL year…. (with a full customized inside, mechanical work and an engine rebuild to boot) we just found out just over a week ago that our engine wouldn’t do. It kinda like Christmas morning being taken away from you because, oops~ Santa decided the wrapping just wouldn’t do. Needed more bows to keep the paper together. Even though he had a YEAR to wrap them. Just sayin’.

Side Note: Funny story~ one of the ‘one and only’ times we got our VW back was to ‘showcase’ it for our friends and family at our going away party. (which happened to be on a bloody cold day of 15 or so degrees) Now mind you, from St. Paul to Minneapolis is only about 12 miles. We were determined to drive it to the party and it was choc full with all our food and booze for the event that evening and found that half way there our heating wasn’t up to ‘par.’ (understatement) In fact the side vents blew out freezing cold air and by the time we got to the mansion our raw shrimp was literally FROZEN. True story…. It even took me over an hour to ‘un-thaw.’ :)

Here’s a fun experiment I would use to try to explain to friends and family of the overwhelming daily challenge that we were up against right up until the day we left our house to the renters on the 31st of March. Take one look around you. Really survey that room. Think about how much ‘stuff’ or BULK that you acquire in drawers, closets, under things, on TOP of things in that room….We had to either sell, giveaway or throwaway all of this.

Which leads me back to my ‘title.’ Baggage. Good ol’ Wikipedia defines this as “anything of more bulk then value.” Holy Hanna; did we have a LOT of it. BULK that is. When all was said and done we had just about 17 boxes of value. All the rest was just bulk. I stood in front these boxes today with my hands on my hips surveying this ‘value.’ From magic books (yes thats right, magic books~ Sometimes I am worried he is fixing to make me disappear), to a middle eastern hookah (it won’t fit in the VW- shame) to photo albums and Christmas ornaments…. we could only keep what ‘counts.’ It really is easier then you would think. Or perhaps it hasn’t hit us that its gone? I’ll let you know if we miss anything; or if a strong urge for that pepto bismol pink prom dress I have been keeping since high school washes over me. Ya never really know….

Side note: The flipside was that Ray became a Craigslist’s MASTER (and we met some pretty interesting peeps along the way- my personal fave was ‘Babu’ whom flipped through every single one of our TV channels snail-pace-slow 6X times before deciding NOT to purchase…. and I found out I am still ‘crap’ at bartering, btw), Goodwill now knows us by name (15+ car load trips later, serrrrriously…. They are SO going to miss our ‘GOODS.’) and we learned the dump is a pretty inexpensive way of unloading. (and SMELLY CAT-TASTIC’) But the best bit is, is the simplicity of a ‘FREE SIGN’ in your front yard. How quickly things will go…. (who cares if that weed whacker hasn’t ‘whacked’ for years?? A broken plastic chair… anothers throne!)

I’ll be the first one to tell you— wrapping up your entire life; it’s bloody hard to do. And somedays, you just want to be “Taken away with the FREE STUFF in your front yard…..”

Because this time was different. The preparation, well….. That was half the journey my friends. And half the battle. (and I am hoping we fought 99.9% of this war) Ray and I have a funny little joke about the past several months, we like to ask each other if we knew then what we knew NOW, would we do it all over again?? We then laugh this psychotic laugh and grin wildly and know that of course we would…. otherwise it would be a huge waste of a license plate ‘DRM MKR.’ Duh?

Buckle up………………………………Enjoy the show.

P.S. On a final and most important note I would like to thank my Brother Bear for making this website possible and for allowing Ray and I to share our dream with you.

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