At the point where I left on my trip, I'd been working for the same company in Toronto for twelve and a half years. In the last few years I'd been thinking, there's got to be more to life than working. I had several friends who had done trips around the world, and it got me thinking
Meanwhile, our company was bought out. The new management was horrible. The new president was an ex-military man, who wanted to run the company like the army. Morale sunk to an all-time low.
In the midst of this I did an organized trip in Costa Rica. It was two weeks of hiking, biking, and white water kayaking across the country in February of '96. My company threatened to cancel my vacation, but at the last minute gave in (not that that would have stopped me).
On this trip I met Sue. She had reached much the same conclusions that I had. One of the things that had gotten me thinking about travel was an ad for Odyssey 2000, a year long, round the world bike trip in the year 2000. Sue had also seen the ad, and had actually called them. It was very expensive. I said, we could do it on our own for a lot less. We each said that, if the other decided to do it, to let the other know.
Shortly after that, Sue quit her job in Toronto, and went to work in London, England, and then in Delhi. Meanwhile, we went through another round of layoffs, after which everyone started quitting. Morale was getting even worse.
Then one day in late January '97, I got some email from Sue. She was quitting her job to travel around the world. She was setting out at the beginning of April. This was the kick in the pants I needed.
I thought about it over the next couple of days, and made my decision. My roommate returned from vacation, and I told him, giving us just enough time to give notice on the apartment. Then I started preparing. I got my shots. I spent time in bookstores reading travel guides. I spent time (mostly at Mountain Coop) buying supplies for the trip. I transferred ownership of my car to a friend. And I got a storage locker to store all my crap in.
It was a pretty hectic couple of months. I gave notice at work. That felt good. My last day was March 31. This gave me a couple of days to finish getting my shit in order.
The day before I left, my brother moved to Toronto, so I had to help him move into his new apartment. But it was handy to have him there, because I could get him to take care of my banking and pick up my mail. I've always had a post office box, so it was very handy to have this permanent address while travelling.
Finally, on Friday, April 4, 1997, I boarded the plane to Delhi.
Copyright © 1998, 1999 paul Stockton. All rights reserved.
Last updated: March 24, 1999