With so many things to do before going, it’s really no surprise there have been little hiccups along the way. Some cost money, others cost time – but they all cause stress. I’ve found that no matter how much you plan, something you hadn’t thought about will rear its’ ugly head to add a little more stress to your planning. When you think you’re done, there’s always something else. I’ve now learned to roll with the punches and hopefully that quality will come with me on my trip because if this stuff has happened before the trip, I can only imagine what’s in store for me speaking a foreign language in a foreign land.
Here are some things that have stressed me out:
The Costco/Amex adventure
“I’m going to cancel my costco membership while I’m gone – they have a 100% refund policy so I’ll get my $60 back. Sweet!” Ah, if only I knew what was in store for me – I would have just kept the membership.
What I never took into account was that my Amex card (being issued via Costco) would also be cancelled. A call to Amex put me at ease as they let me know I could just apply for a different card and have my account transferred to that one. After a half an hour on the phone, it was all done and they assured me my new card would come in the mail the following week which was good because I was leaving the week after that.
Well, that week came and after going downstairs to check the mail every day, I started to get worried – What if the card came AFTER I had left for Europe? I wasn’t getting my mail redirected by Canada Post and I certainly didn’t want the new tenants to get it. I called Amex again and found out that the application was never sent through. Okay…
I was relieved that the card wouldn’t be sent to someone at my old address but now I had another problem – how do I get this card? I was running out of time so I asked them if they could send it to my mom’s address and I could just let it sit there til I come back but that was not possible – apparently credit card companies don’t like sending mail to other addresses. Okay…
So, I did the only workaround I could. I contacted Canada Post to get my mail redirected at a cost of $55.
Weeeeee…. all that stress for $5!
Oops! Forgot about strata…
I had always planned to store my car at my mom’s place. She lives in a strata building and doesn’t have a car so her spot was always available. Since it cost about $100 a month to store a car in a storage facility I was going to save about $700.
I didn’t give any more thought to it until the day I dropped off the car and took off the licence plates. My mom then said something that brought chills down my neck – “I don’t think strata lets you park with no plates, I think they’ll tow you.”
I hadn’t even thought about that. I mean, I knew I needed storage insurance but I hadn’t even thought about whether this was acceptable to the strata council. They might just see a car with no plates and say “Nope! Tow it away!”
So, 5 days before leaving, I was adding to my to-do list instead of ticking things off. I now had to get my mom to contact the strata president who in turn would contact me. In the end it all turned out alright but it certainly was a bit stressful with the back and forth phone calls.
This was one of the most frustrating things I’ve experienced in my life and in the end I still didn’t get what I wanted. Read about it here: Argh! Russia!
Selling the couch
I have a beautiful leather l-shaped couch. I bought it 5 years ago for $1800. I really didn’t want to move it and I’m guessing that when I come back to Canada I’ll have the yuppie part of me rinsed away and will no longer want it.
So, I put it up on Craigslist. Problem is – I had a cat for most of those 5 years and she LOVED to scratch her paws on that couch and, go figure, the market value for a leather couch goes down drastically when it’s covered in scratches.
I listed it originally for $500. Not one bite. Nobody replied to the ad. So, I lowered it to $200. Got a couple of bites but nobody came to see it. On top of that, the competition in the Furniture for sale category is fierce – if you didn’t relist your ad every hour you were bumped off the front page. So, I listed and relisted and relisted and finally, after two weeks, someone came by and took it away. I can not tell you the sense of relief I felt as they drove away.
The ever changing itinerary
I planned my route over two dozen times and every time I thought I was done, I thought of something else or came upon another hiccup (ie. schengen area). Granted, most of this stress was caused by my semi-OCD perfectionist side, but still, it was stressful. Read about it here: The ever changing itinerary.
The painting debacle
I don’t like to paint because, frankly, I suck at it. Case in point – my bathroom.
I had some white paint left over from painting something else and decided I would touch up a little brown splotch left on the ceiling from when my landlord painted before I moved in. Big mistake!
My white didn’t quite match the ceiling white and now instead of a little splotch of brown, I had a big splotch of very noticeable off-white on my white. So, reluctantly, I had to paint the entire bathroom ceiling. Except, like I said, I suck at painting.
Long story short, I ended up painting all the walls in the bathroom too!
Buy it / Return it
In the last two months I’ve bought ALOT of stuff.
I went into so many stores in so many malls looking for the perfect pair of pants and the perfect swim trunks and the perfect… well, you get the idea. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gone to a dressing room with a bunch of stuff, tried them all on and then walked out of the store empty handed. So frustrating!
And then there are the returns – I probably returned 10 things over the last couple of months because I either found something better or decided I didn’t really need that item after all.
I’ve mentioned a few times that I believe my perfectionist side has held back my creativity. It’s never more true than when I do web design.
I’ll design something 90% and then decide to scrap it and start over because I wasn’t entirely happy with it. Well, this blog you’re reading took alot of work to setup because I kept tweaking it. Don’t even get me started on the stupid comments area – argh!