A Travellerspoint blog

Us & Our Stuff

-17 °C

( Jenn )

Here are two pictures of us all from when we were in Ottawa last week. I'm not terribly fond of the picture of me but then again, I hate having my picture taken and avoid it whenever I can :P

And of course, the obligatory all-our-stuff-laid-out picture to be followed by the all-our-stuff-packed-up one tomorrow :)




Posted by jennrob 09:10 Archived in Canada Tagged packing Comments (6)

Six days to go...

-17 °C

( Jenn )

It seems like only yesterday we had one month, three weeks to go. Gah.

I'm freaked but not as much as I might be. Although, that's still one of those things that varies from minute to minute :P

We have four visas - China, Vietnam, India and Egypt - and they're the ones we really need because of tours or the ones we would find harder to get on the road. It's also more than I thought we'd have - originally we'd planned only to get two from home and we thought (time-wise) we'd be really pushing to get that. So yay!

We have all the clothes and travel gear we need, a general packing plan, our rough itinerary.

We have a number of things booked already - two tours, our first accommodations in Singapore, our hotels in Hong Kong, Beijing, Bangkok and Cambodia, our flats in Spain (1 week in Nerja, Spain - our first real stop in Europe) and Tuscany (2 weeks in March), our car for Europe (a Peugeot Open Europe lease) and almost all our flights (most of which we can change the dates on if need be).

The rest of our accommodations we'll book as we go and I'm happy with that.

We also have a better clue as to how Anica will do with museums (as long as we don't swamp her) thanks to the four hours we spent at the War Museum in Ottawa. She took in /so/ much, found it fascinating and has talked to us about it /a lot/ since our visit.

We've already had some lovely experiences -- the people at the embassies and consulates have been wonderful, the couple at our place in Spain have offered to take delivery of some guidebooks (and anything else we'd like to have in Europe but can't carry now), the couple at our place in Tuscany have told us if our deposit via wire transfer deposit doesn't work (they're in a small town and our bank branch didn't seem 100% convinced it would go through), not to worry, we have the flat booked and we can pay when we get there. It probably helps that we're totally off-season and have been emailing back and forth with them for weeks but still... lovely.

We have a friend who's offered to do a scrapbook for us *hugs her tight* and who we will be sending all the little odds and ends which I had planned on not collecting this trip because of the daunting task of putting them together when home.

We have the wonderful gentleman who made our selling our car such a nice and smooth experience and made Anica feel less sad about "the Altima" being gone.

And of course we have our parents who have "been there" in so many ways - taking care of Anica while we shopped/ran errands, helping us get around once the car was gone, looking after things for us when we're travelling, etc. I can't even begin to list everything they've done. But above all, they've offered nothing but support and advice and been thrilled for us all the way.

Posted by jennrob 03:29 Archived in Canada Comments (4)

Our Trip to Ottawa

-17 °C

( this is Jenn's typewritten version of Anica's HANDWRITTEN account of our trip to Ottawa last week to get our Egyptian and Vietnamese visas. )

1st day - We went on a 4 hour drive, long, got to Otwwa, had lunch at Elgin Street Dinner, looked around Eligan, got candy, went to the B[ank], went to Vientam ambessy, had hard time finding Redio Hegiths Inn (no pool so always kept swimsuit) or hotel, turned out to be a motel, checked in, number 2 second floor 32 number of room, (nice), rest, went out and looked in a town, saw canal, bought some more candy, had dinner at Mexican restaurant, went back, watched Canadian Idol, went to bed

2nd day - Woke up, had breakfast, went to Eygipt ambessy, played at park, saw wading pool wa! closed, went to war musem (intresting), had lunch at caftria, fineshed, went back to eygipt ambessy, went to park yea! yay! OPEN!!! went wading, went to market, had dinner at pizza place, went home, watched TV, goodnight

3rd day - Good-Bye Ottwa, woke up, had breakfast, good-bye Ottwa

(this is Anica in the trenches at the War Museum)


Posted by jennrob 04:45 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

Interview with the kidlet...

-17 °C


A couple of weeks ago, I was asking Anica some questions about the trip and I suggested I should interview her. She loved the idea and poked me a couple of times about doing it. Finally I sat down, wrote out some questions and did the interview. I have /tried/ to transcribe her answers. It would have been better with a video or tape recorder but we didn't have anything handy and often, with kids, time is of the essence.

Q. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

A. My name's Anica and I'm 7 years old.

Q. Where are you going on your "Big World Trip"?

A. Around the world. Europe... Asia... Italy...

Q. Who is going with you?

A. Mummy, Daddy and my doll, Baby

Q. How are you going to get to places?

A. Plane, overnight trains, trains, buses, taxis and cars.

Q. Where are you going to first? Second? Third? After that?

A. Vancouver, Singapore, Malaysia... Egypt?

Q. What are you taking with you?

A. Hat, sunglasses, my doll, Baby, whistle (for if I get lost), some clothes, a hat... I already said that... bathing suit and towel... Am I bringing my goggles?

[me: If you want to.]

I want to! Nintendo DS and the laptop...

Q. What do you think will be the best part of the trip?

A. My birthday, Paige's birthday, Christmas. Swimming in pools and going to the beach.

[Paige is her best friend]

Q. What do you think you might not like about the trip?

A. Getting lost.

[we stop here for assurances she won't get lost]

Q. What places/things are you most excited about?

A. England, Italy and having my birthday in India.

Q. What kinds of food do you most want to try?

A. New foods. Something that looks good.

Q. What do you most want to do or try?

A. Snorkelling, overnight trains...

Q. What's been the best part of getting ready so far?

A. Getting to practice swimming.

Q. What are you going to do about school while we're away?

A. Homeschool.

[me: What does that mean?]

Having my mum and dad teach me.

[me: Are you looking forward to that?]

Not really.

[me: *laughs* Why not?]

It's going to be fun just not as fun as the other...

[me: As going to real school?]

No, as not doing any school.

Q. What is your advice about spending money on our trip?

A. Don't spend it on things you think are going be cool but turn out to be dumb.

Q. Is it okay to have a splurge?

A. No.

Q. What are you going to spend your money on? [she has a small allowance for the trip]

A. Jewellry and clothes.

Q. How long are you going for?

A. A year.

Q. Are you going to see any family or friends while you're on your trip?

A. Nana and Grandpa and Poppa and maybe Momma.

[me: Where are you going to see them?]

Nana and Grandpa in France, Poppa in Egypt and some of India [actually, Thailand, Cambodia and India] and Momma maybe in Italy.

Q. What do you think you'll miss most about Canada besides friends and family?

A. My stuffties. But don't put that... put stuffed animals.

[pause for small talk about how lots of people have a pet name when they're little for their stuffed toys]

Q. How much money do you think the trip will cost us?

A. $1000

Q. What advice do you have for grownups or other kids who are doing trips like this?

A. Don't go into countries that you don't think you'll like or don't sound good. Do fun stuff like swimming, the beach, restaurants.

Posted by jennrob 09:23 Archived in Canada Comments (6)

The Packing List

clothes, gear and electronics

sunny 27 °C


I know I've spent a lot of time looking at packing lists so here's ours for those interested.


Jenn: Asolo Navigator 60 Elle - front loading with attached daypack - packed, weighs approx 27 lbs


Rob: North Face Backtrack 70 - front loading with attached daypack - packed, weighs roughly 35 lbs


Anica: MEC 20L Teeny Genie - top loading - packed, weighs 5-6 lbs (no more than 10% of her body weight and although meant for older kids, because of her height, this fits her wonderfully) - hers is blue though


  • ************** JENN'S PACKING LIST ***************

4 pants (2 capris and 2 zip-offs - all Columbia)
2 skirts (1 just below knee and 1 ankle-length - light cotton)
1 pair of pajamas (Old Navy - spaghetti strap tank and light cotton pajama pants)
5 t-shirts
1 white cotton long-sleeve shirt
1 patterned long-sleeve shirt
1 black mid-weight zippered fleece (Columbia)
1 light rain jacket
4 bras (1 sport; 3 regular)
7 pairs of underwear
3 pairs of short light cotton socks
1 water/trekking shoes (Salomon)
1 sandals (Teva)
1 cheapie flip flops (for showers etc)
1 swimsuit (tankini)
1 coverup (long sleeve light cotton chocolate brown - good as extra shirt to throw over t-shirts in evening)
1 sun hat
1 scarf (for covering head where appropriate)

Metro100 by Pacsafe (I /love/ this purse - so comfortable, lots of room for such a small bag and safe)


wallet (small coin purse type)
camera, flash drive, cellphone, portable hard drive (see Electronics)
lip balm, lipstick
sunscreen stick
antibacterial hand gel

  • ************** ROB'S PACKING LIST ***************

2 pants - both zip-offs (Columbia and Wind River)
1 short-sleeve microfibre shirt (Columbia)
1 long-sleeve microfibre shirt (Columbia)
2 microfibre t-shirts (Columbia)
2 regular t-shirts
1 pajama bottoms
1 pair microfibre swim trunks (Salomon)
2 pairs socks
3 pairs travel underwear
4 pairs regular underwear
1 water/trekking shoes (Salomon)
1 sandals (Tevas)
1 cheapie flip flops (for showers etc)
1 sun hat
1 lightweight fleece (Columbia)

  • ************** ANICA'S PACKING LIST ***************

2 pairs long pants (convert to capris)
2 pair capris
3 pair shorts
2 dresses
1 short sleeve top
2 long sleeve tops
3 t-shirts
1 tank
1 pajamas (short-sleeve T and shorts set)
1 swimming suit
1 midweight fleece (MEC)
1 rain jacket
4 socks
7 underwear
1 sandals (Columbia)
1 running shoes (very lightweight Adidas)
1 cheapie flip flops (for showers etc)
sun hat

small pencil case with pencil crayons
foldable frisbee
foldable kite
inflatable ball
card set
magnetic Chinese checkers
"Baby" (stuffed doll)
pealess whistle with lanyard

  • ************** EVERYONE'S PACKING LIST ***************

- 3 sleep sheets - silk and lightweight - for use in hostels and in any questionable budget hotels
- small mini-LED flashlight
- cable locks for Jenn and Rob's packs
- combo locks for compartments
- 2 large microfibre travel towels for Jenn & Rob
- 1 medium microfibre travel towel for Anica
- 3 sunglasses
- 2 ultralight travel umbrellas
- 3 Eagle Creek 2-sided pack-it cubes
- Swiss Army knife
- small pair scissors
- small roll of patching tape
- small sewing kit
- universal drain plug
- woollite packets
- clothesline
- neck money purse (which Rob will carry)
- 2 light tote bags with drawstring necks (good for laundry)
- collapsible cup
- virtually indestructible spork
- virtually indestructible pill box
- TIDE sticks (2)
- ziploc baggies
- compass
- mosquito coils
- mosquito coil holder (very light, can hold pieces and can be hung up)
- 1 twin size mosquito net (very light - for Anica)
- Steri-pen (water purifier) + extra batteries
- 3 nalgene water bottles

- cut down guidebooks (Eyewitness and Rough Guide)
- full India Rough Guide
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (to read nightly to Anica)
- 3 books - 1 each - to be exchanged/replaced along the way
- Rough Guide waterproof & tearproof maps
- notebook - Jenn
- pen
- solar calculator

- lipstick, eyeliner for Jenn
- special extra-sensitive sunscreen for face - Jenn
- tampons (obviously for Jenn)
- razor for Jenn
- razor and shaving gel for Rob
- deoderants for Jenn & Rob
- toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss
- tweezers, nail file, brush, pumice stone, clippers
- earplugs
- shampoo (1 small nalgene bottle for everyone)
- conditioner (1 small nalgene bottle for everyone)
- liquid soap (1 small nalgene bottle for everyone)
- exfoliating scrub (1 small nalgene bottle for everyone)
- 1 scrubbie
- small hairbrush

- Cipro, Zithromycin, Lariam, Fluconazole (the last just in case)
- Children's Advil, Migraine Advil, etc
- Imodium, Senokot
- Rob's asthma and allergy medications
- Jenn's epi-pens
- waterproof band-aids, blister bandaids, blister sticks, neosporin
- sunscreen, insect repellent, after bite stick
- anti-fungal rash cream
- small First Aid Kit (to be replenished as needed)
- ORT packets (rehydration salts - 3 for emergency use)
- earplanes for Rob and Anica

- iPod + charger (has music, games, short films, movies and downloaded rough guides)
- Canon 600 digital camera (small) + 1 - 2 G and 1 - 1 G memory cards + charger
- portable hard drive by SimpleTech
- Toshiba Libretto laptop (decided to leave dvd drive (docking station) at home - have virtual one I used to load all the discs we want with us) + cables + extra dongles


- 4 GB USB flash drive
- Nintendo DS Lite + case with game cartridges and headphones
- plug adapter with surge protection
- extra batteries for camera, laptop and Nintendo DS lite
- cellphone + charger

- passports
- visas (China, India, Egypt, Vietnam - will get others as travel)
- extra passport photos
- tickets (copies of e-tickets)
- copies of passports and all other important papers
- international drivers licenses
- vaccination records
- health cards
- credit cards
- cash
- travellers cheques
- CAA membership
- hostel memberships
- pouch for Peugeot rental in Europe
- proof of insurance (World Nomads)

Posted by jennrob 11:27 Archived in Canada Tagged packing Comments (7)

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