Thursday, August 16, 2012
Your thoughts and ideas are needed-
I know we've all moved before, we all know it sucks, yada yada...but I've never moved on such a limited budget and an international move at that. There's only one way to achieve this challenge, and that is to sell absolutely everything we own to cover the costs of flights and passports, and hopefully cover about 3 months of rent, utilities and groceries. Not only does selling everything raise money, but it also eliminates the need to ship things and therefore makes the move itself cheaper. Stuff is stuff, its replaceable, but life and experience within it are priceless, and I can't help but think this is the beginning of a better chapter for me and my little family.
One of the big hurdles we are trying to overcome at present is how to take our bikes with us and it truly is driving me crazy trying to decide what to do. There are limited options, they include- Shipping the bikes in freight, which takes a while, but is the cheapest unattended shipping method, although at $400-$600 for EACH bike, it eats up way too much money for us. That is a months rent in England when you take into account the exchange rate and a thousand dollars just doesn't go very far back home.
The second option is to have the bikes fly with us, which is pretty simple for the flight part of the trip and relatively inexpensive (under $200 for both bikes, sometimes free). The problem arises when we land and have to claim all our luggage and get it on the Shuttle to Paddington Station, it seems from what I've read that unless the bikes are out of the box we can't take them on the Shuttle, as in their boxed state they are too big. So the first issue is- two tired and jet lagged people (with a toddler) have to put together two bikes in an airport (with a toddler), need I say more? Then, we have to hope that we don't get stopped at the Shuttle with the Mundo, because its huge and takes up a lot of room we could be charged for seating tickets for it and the Boda Boda (according to the shuttles website), or we could be outright refused passage, which would mean we would be stranded at the airport. IF we make it past the Shuttle, we get to Paddington Station, now imagine- we have two unboxed bikes, 6 suitcases, plus hand luggage, stroller, car seat, toddler...how are two people going to handle all that in one of the busiest places on earth, and get it all on a train without potentially losing a bike, a suitcase...a toddler in the rush and bustle of London?
If you've never been to London or another equally busy city I don't think you can imagine how incredibly busy it is. Put it this way, when my family first arrived in the U.S. we were completely convinced it must be a holiday of some kind as Los Angeles was so quite (it was just a regular day in Southern California). London is a busy city on it's own timetable and you either keep up or get out. Of course it's all prospective, and I may be wrong, but I think it will be a small miracle if we manage to pull it off without losing something like our minds or luggage. Of course we could rent a van at the airport, which I thought was a brilliant plan until I realized I don't have a license and we would therefore need Kyle to drive, something which is a bit daunting for Kyle whose never driven in a REALLY busy city, on the "wrong" side of the road, in a box van to top it off! Oh and even that costs about $700 to rent for a one way trip.
What should we do people?
Sell one or both bikes and buy new ones (the Mundo is the bigger problem in regards to size)?
Fly them both and hope we pull it off with the aid of porters?
Leave the bikes with relatives and hope we can save up enough money to ship them at some point?
The other side to this is we're not planning on buying a car so bikes would be an awesome addition to our lives and a necessity if you ask me. Finding a job will be a lot easier with a bike and we had thought about starting a bike based business once we've gotten settled- the Mundo is a key contributor in that plan and we feel it really could be a great little business for us.
Plus, my challenge is not over, I do not intend to stop now, in fact this is just the beginning of a new chapter and I can't think of a more wonderful country to enjoy a bike in. I really stubbornly want our bikes with us, I love our bikes and honestly I feel pretty loyal to Yuba, I don't want any other bike, damn it! But I'm at a loss as to how to budget the move around them. Maybe I should start considering doing a charitable car wash "Help me ship my bike to England"....but it doesn't have the same ring to it as sending a class-load of kids to an African Orphanage, does it?
End of rant.