The original plan was to leave in the beginning of September. The reason for this was so that I could take holidays in September from work, while we are gone, so I could have 1 complete wage extra during the trip. Then I would only go on time credit in October. Since we didn't work 5 years yet, we are not entitled to any social security contribution, so we will not receive any money in that period.
So... I went to my boss and kindly asked if I could have holidays in September. And he kindly told me ... No! I was worried that now I would have to take holidays right before we left for the trip, and that seems a bit exaggerated, right? Who would take holidays for 5 weeks right before they leave on a trip for 8 months? So, I started looking up some things, and I found out that when you take time credit, you employer actually has to pay out all your holiday pay!! So for all the holidays that I haven't taken in 2013, I will be paid out! Problem resolved :-) I decided not to take any holidays anymore this year, so I can recuperate all that money.
Now Claudio's situation: he is supposed to get a nice promotion in April, which would also mean some extra money - which we could definetly use on our trip! Since he has to tell his boss 6 months in advance that he is taking time credit, it would be better to do so AFTER his promotion ;-) So if we leave in October, 6 months before would be April. So: perfect! October it will be!
So you can see it takes a lot of scheming and planning to make just 1 decision!!
In addition, we decided to stay in Antwerp for the whole period, and not move to Hasselt for the last couple of weeks. In this way, we will be able to keep the cats with us for a longer period, and it will be easier to go to work.
Since we are leaving in October 2013, we will only be back in the beginning of June 2014. Right before the holidays start again, perfect ;-)
We also formed our itinerary a bit better. We would like to do it as follows:
November: Argentina, Bolivia and Patagonia
December : Mexico - > So that will probably mean NYE in Mexico, because flying in that period will be too expensive
January: New Zealand
March - June: South East Asia, which will include Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Phillipines. We are also thinking about Myanmar and Vietnam, but that will be decided later.
We received some more lonely planet guide for Xmas (thanks sis), and now we can start our research on all the countries we want to visit. And we'll keep you posted on the progress.
Till next time!