A Travellerspoint blog

United Kingdom

And we're Waugh!*

Morecambe Bay to Rio de Janeiro

Following last night's manic re-packing, our first travellers tip as newbies would be this #1: Do a dry run bag pack a few days before to avoid panic packing and subsequently going to bed at midnight before your 4am get up!

We set off at 5am this morning from Morecambe Bay, after maybe 4hrs sleep. Here is a slightly blurry 4.50am shot of us with our backpacks (note my turquoise fleece!):

And here's us at Manchester Airport:

All was well until it got to 8am at Manchester airport and we hadn't been called to the gate for our 8.35am flight. Fog at Heathrow meant we were delayed, possibly until around 11.30am, leaving us slightly concerned as our flight to Rio de Janeiro departed at 12 noon! The airline told everyone they could either board and hope for an earlier air slot, or not take the flight. We we're slightly worried about missing the flight (although we knew we'd be put on another later) but even if we did manage to make the midday flight, would our bags get from the hold of one plane to the other in time? Having no option, we got on and hoped for the best. This leads us nicely to Tip #2 (courtesy of Tom Lancaster): Do get used to plans being plans and nothing firmer, go with the flow.

By luck (or just the natural weather systems, depending on your beliefs), the departure time from Manchester got lower and lower. 11.15, 11.00, 10.35 and "Oh, we've been given the all clear for departure in 5 minutes". Fantastic news that meant we were in Heathrow by 10.30am, only an hour later than scheduled and in plenty of time for the onward journey.

Boarding the flight to Rio it finally started to feel real - we we're actually doing it! Six months ago we hadn't even thought about travelling in any real way. It was always something that "we'd love to do" but we weren't sure we would, due to money and timings. After a horrendous year we started to talk about moving nearer home. But when an estate agents letter landed in our doorstep in August last year, like it had done so many times before, we decided to get a valuation on the flat this time. We'd done well out of our three years there, so maybe we could go travelling after all? And wouldn't be a good time? We wouldn't need to sell a house and leave our jobs in London, while trying to find two new jobs and buy a house up North, which seemed fairly stressful! So we put it on the market and 10 days later we'd sold. Hopefully this story of spontaneity will be one of those that has a great ending! So far we're pretty happy with it...I feel really lucky to have chance to take this trip :)

  • thanks to Matt Mace for the excellent play on words in the title!

Posted by staceywaugh 16:00 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (3)

Packing Hell!

Choosing not to swear...

It's done but it sure wasn't fun. We thought we'd been fairly selective in the items we were taking, however Marc Williams-Windor was right (see comment on the last post) - we needed to lose some clothing. Begrudgingly I removed two dresses, three vests and a pair of leggings, and Andrew left behind a tshirt and a vest. Not much it seems, but every little helps when you have to carry what you need.

My backpack is 10.10kg in weight, Andrew's is 11.6kg plus he has a day bag full of 'gadge' (his word, not mine!) and everything we need for the first journey. I have added two little things to my bag - a beautiful guardian angel stud from Lucy Cav and a cute dog luggage tag from Jo Ramonell (dogs are better company than women anyway - Michael, The Undateables)!


Here's what the backpacks and day bag contain:
Passports, tickets, visas, vaccine certificates, money, cards
Toiletries - toothpaste, soap, 2in1 shampoo, face wash, moisturiser, razor, deodrant
Sun cream, repellent, wipes and hand sanitiser
Laundry leaves and washing line (Andrew's idea!)
Make up - mascara, eyeliner, concealer
2 towels
Mini hairdryer
Contact lens
Camera, iPad, iPhones, Kindles inc. chargers
Solar power charger
2 neck pillows
Foldable day bag
Tape, elastic bands and safety pins
Swiss army card
Phrase book
Overboard waterproof bag (Andrew again thinking he is Ray Mears)
Medical kit - (our first robbery! Manchester nurse at Nomad strung us a story about her friend breaking his leg and we took the bait. £40 lighter but full of dioralyte, anti-sickness tablets, bandages, syringes etc!) Plus our normals medication.

2 bikinis
White shirt
3 dresses
2 shorts
3 vest tops
2 tshirts
2 leggings (full length & 3/4)
Mac in a sac
2 thin jumpers
Long sleeve tshirt
2 flip flops (one everyday, one fancy)
Big necklace, pair of earrings

2 swimming shorts
3 shorts
2 trousers
2 shirts
4 tshirts
Vest top
2 thin jumpers
1 long sleeve tshirt
Mac in a sac
Flip flops

Hmmm...starting to think I still have too many clothes. Do we have time to re-pack?!

To end on a happy note, currently both our flights (Manchester to London and London to Rio) are operating tomorrow despite the snow here in the UK. Please keep everything crossed for us so we can start our journey as planned!

Posted by staceywaugh 12:32 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (3)

Let's get ready to backpack, Get ready, Get steady and...

A wise man once said he saw no changes, well, let me tell you Tupac, we've seen many over just a few weeks. We sold our flat in London, leaving our first real home early in December, left our jobs 9 days ago and departed London altogether on 12th January 2013. So in the period of about 6 weeks we've cast aside everything we've known for the last five years to travel part of the world before starting an adventure of a different kind - being 'proper' Northerners again, hoping to live and work in the Manchester area.

Possibly most shocking and something that will take some adjusting to is this...I now own a fleece. Coupled with the fact I have to fit everything I require over the next four and a half months in a backpack (those of you who know me well know I struggle with a small suitcase for even one night away!), I think this whole trip is going to be a bit of a culture shock for me. I'm looking forward to being taken out of my comfort zone though and I hope I will learn something from it about materialism, letting go and wearing the right clothing for the right occasion!!

This evening has been spent getting all our necessary items together - passports, tickets, money, clothes and so on...but not too far, we only have backpacks! And this is what 4 1/2 months of 'stuff' looks like:


Come back to find out A. whether it does actually fit into our backpacks and day bag and B. what is actually on the bed, just incase you're looking for inspiration for your own travels*. Off to a comfy bed now for our final full nights sleep in England for 19 weeks...we're almost ready to rumble, I mean backpack ;)

*maybe check back in June, when we'll have returned, to see if we even took the right things!

Posted by staceywaugh 14:02 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (3)

And so it begins...

With only six days to go and after numerous people asking us whether we were writing a travel blog, we thought now was the time to get this thing started. Keep following for many photos, few words and to see how we're getting on as we navigate our way around the Southern Hemisphere!

Posted by staceywaugh 08:30 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

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