Life Can Change in the Blink of an Eye

Hi everyone, I’m glad you’ve decided to come along with us on our journey. I’ll begin with a bit of background information for those of you who do not know.  At the end of November my husband, Robert looked at me one night and told me, “We’re going to China.” Now to most people that would mean a week or two on holidays then back to normal life…not in our house. For us that means life as we know it is put on hold & we go travel for a few months or as long as we can really, this time it will be 7-8 months before we return to the islands.
Fast forward bout 6 weeks later and I have quite my full-time job, he has finished his first semester of school, and we have rented out our house to leave for China as soon as possible. Now don’t get me wrong this was not the most easy 6 weeks to get through but we are here now & I will share a bit of what we had to do to get ready as we go will share our adventure with you.
WHAT WILL WE BE DOING ALL THAT TIME?
We have scheduled with a workaway host(workaway.info) to come volunteer with them in China. Since that first night he told me we were going we have had many discussions & plans with several hosts. We originally had organized with an English school in Huai’an which is between Shanghai & Beijing. We skyped with them many times about what the time would entail. They sent us pictures & names of the individual kindergartens we would be working at. (Mind you this was not a typical workaway because they told us the volunteer portion was not available but would hire us for a teaching position. At first the extra pocket money seemed like a bonus.) A few weeks after the initial interview with them they sent us contracts. We read over them and they were wonky to say the least. So many inconsistencies and ambiguous items were worrisome. You see since I’ve taught English in Korea already I’m more aware of those contracts and the ways in which workers can be exploited & overworked based on those kind of contracts. We asked to skype with them once more to try to clear up those issues and at that time they cancelled our positions. Well hmm back to square one for where we will go. By that point I had already given my notice & we had decided even if it were not China we were going somewhere. So I got back onto the site & sent out messages to many hosts around the world that seemed even remotely interesting and would be reasonable to get to. At some point one of the most interesting hosts we had contacted in China responded. Still a bit hesitant about China at this stage we went through the same proceedings as before. Only this time due to our time restraints, it was a volunteer position not a paid one, which was perfectly fine for us considering room & board are covered with the volunteer position. This one was also much more enticing because they wanted me to assist with marketing. Proceedings went well, with some discussion we got solid contracts and the host has been incredibly friendly, so now we are set to go to Yangshuo to volunteer with Omeida Language Academy.
WHAT WE’VE HAD TO DO TO GET READY
While those negotiations were underway we also had the daunting task of trying to rent our house over the month of Dec (probably the worst time to ever try to rent anything out). We had many possible renters but for one reason or another it didn’t quite come together until the same day our workaway host contracts also came together. All in one day we had both a place to live in China & a renter for our house. Thankfully we are renting it fully furnished so that means we only need to pack our personal belongings but that can sometimes we just as big of a task considering you acquire many small things in daily life.
Robert had to begin the packing process without me the first few weeks while I was still working but I have since finished my last day at work and we have been spending most of our time packing. Mind you we are only taking a backpack each & a pelican case for our computer. In those three items we will need to pack all our daily items, camera equipment, computer for photo & video editing, & any other items we may need for the next 7 months. I’m happy to say we’re almost there. We desperately wanted to also take our bicycles but because of the extra leg going from China to D.C. its just too expensive to do so we will have to find other ways to train while gone.
All along the way has been ups & downs. One minute we’ll think everything is great & going smoothly for our departure, then the next something happens that could derail a good portion of our plans and we must regroup to fix whatever that is. At the start it was finding a host & renters, now that those are confirmed it has been minor packing things as far as what airlines allow and what they charge for large items (computer) and figuring out how to and taking the time to put daily things on hold like internet, phones, ect ect. For most airlines things are pretty standard although some minor differences but then we came across one that does not allow checking computers?!?! Yes I know what you’re thinking…”Why on earth would you ever want to check-in a computer?” right? Because a desktop is far too large to carry-on and we have it in a protective case so the only thing we need to worry about is theft not damage & either way that is why we have 3 & 4 backups of everything in multiple locations as a just in case. Without it how else would we get all the photos & videos we will be compiling?
Now I must be off to get some more packing done. Aloha & Zaijian!

 

40 thoughts on “Life Can Change in the Blink of an Eye

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    1. Hi! Thanks for asking. We are actually in the process of changing & adding a new look & storefront that should be up & running by this weekend. If you are just looking for a basic blog to write on there are some great free templates available that are easy to use, but if you plan to use it on a more professional side by adding a storefront or other business aspect then it can be a bit more intensive to customize(hence why the coders & designers make the big bucks lol). Hope you will stop back after this week to check out the changes & continue reading!

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    1. Thank you! We are currently updating the visuals and adding a storefront as well as updating new blogs. It should be up & running by the weekend. Hope you will check back to see the new look soon.

      Like

    1. Thanks for letting me know. I have checked it from a few different devices & have not been experiencing any issues. I know that on our travels when we had limited internet it was difficult to load anything on WordPress. If you continue to have issues please send me an email at oehlerphotography@gmail.com & I will attempt to look further into this.

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    1. Hi I’m glad you’re enjoying our travels! I get occasional spam but not a ton. I have not added any plugins only what is on WordPress that I have not been able to change. I have actually experienced the opposite problem where most of my legitimate comments get put into spam & I have to make sure I check it often to keep them from deleting them without my knowledge. If you’d like to chat more we might be able to do a comparative of what each of us are using I’d be happy to do so to see if we can fix the problem, feel free to email me at oehlerphotography@gmail.com. Would love to read your blog as well if you don’t mind sending me the link? Thanks & hope we can find a solution to your spam problem.

      Like

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    1. Thanks for the feedback! I’m glad you like it! We plan to continue writing & travel photography for as long as we can. We are currently on a U.S. Road trip and due to moving so quickly with sometimes no internet or cell coverage I have not been able to update each week but we will be back soon with those updates & the possibility of a future book so stay tuned for the adventures! 🙂

      Like

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    Like

    1. Hi I’m glad you like it! I’m in the process of adding new pages as well but they’re still developing. I designed it myself through the custom presets on WordPress. Feel free to email me at oehlerphotography@gmail.com and I can try to assist you with suggestions or how to maneuver areas you may be unsure of.

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    1. Thank you for the suggestion! I’ve spent some time thinking about what you’ve said & we feel that if you or someone else would like to assist in our travels the best way would be to go to our photography page oehlerphotography.com and purchase your favorite photo. We offer prints, canvas, metals, & specialty items(e.g. Phone cases, business card holders ect) in all standard or custom sizes. To order please send your request to oehlerphotography@gmail.com & I will send you a quote. Prints start at $10 for a 5×7.

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    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jacelyn, Thanks for reading & asking. Honestly this is a free wordpress blog without an outside host. I considered using a separate host but decided to try this and upgrade as needed and as far as speed it has worked well especially considering I was concerned about what sites would be open to me when in China these few months. The only caution I will give you about it though is that it sorts comments and tries to label all that are not from “followers” as spam. I just found this out today and am trying to see if I can remedy the problem as they have deleted many comments by labeling them as spam and not notifying me that they were doing so even though I have the settings set to allow all comments. Hope you continue to enjoy my site & make valuable comments & questions.

      sincerely

      Jamie

      Like

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