Tuesday, 28 February 2012

A Sense of Adventure - Mileeta

Exploring the unknown. Christopher Columbus stylie!

There is something very mystical about adventure. Adventure, to me, implies different. Be it a different scenery, different social context, different activity or simply a different day!

And people adventure in different ways. I know I've been on vastly different 'adventures'. From climbing down caves barely big enough for a child let alone me! Reaching the summit of my favourite mountain. Beginning the process of buying a house. Attending my first fencing (sword fighting not shiplap timber!) lesson.

In 2011 my Dad (Aka Mileeta) set out on a 3 week long adventure on his beloved BMW GS1200 motorcycle. His trip spanned the breadth of Europe starting out of England and covered 5715 miles.

I can only imagine what a trip like his is like. Whilst the first 3 days were spent riding alongside fellow Mid-Life Rebels MC members, Dad spent a long time riding solo for hundreds of miles a day.

As a fairly sociable person I think I would find this quite challenging. I look to share experiences with people and love nothing better than to recount those experiences over a beer or two in the pub!

Not all of this trip was spent alone though. He was able to meet Sergio, a good friend and work colleague, in Brindisi, Italy on his BMW R1100R motorbike after making quite an eventful journey up from Sicily.

Their most Easterly point was Istanbul and from there Dad made the two and  a half thousand mile journey back to work and the norm.

Check out his blog over at mileeta.blogspot.com and it may give you an idea of where my 'Sense of Adventure' has stemmed from.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Setting out...

Setting out on an adventure. Probably the scariest thing I've done.

The decision to drop everything I currently know to fulfil this insatiable desire to travel.

Hopefully you've headed over to my about... and mission... pages to see who I actually am and what I intend on doing. If you haven't, click em!

I hope to leave during November 2012. So why have a 'Setting out' blog post 9 months before?!

Because there is so much to do! In preparation for any trip people must plan. Its liberating not having a plan, and I hope at some point I do have that unadulterated sense of 'I don't know where I am going to go tomorrow'. But for now I need to plan.

I worked very hard to buy the 30% share I have in my apartment. I've nearly lost it on one occasion and I don't intend on letting it go lightly.

Initially I had two options. I knew I could sell up, stick the money in the bank and have that money for when I returned from our vagabonding trip. This, however, threw up a lot of problems. Having already used the scheme I would not be eligible for the Homebuy Shared Ownership Scheme again. This scheme was the key to me being able to afford a part of my home. Without it I would have needed a minimum of a 10% deposit for a property worth £180,000 which I could not have done.

With the property market now a lot different, banks have more stringent lending criteria and now typically ask for 20% deposits. God knows what they'll ask for when I return from vagabonding!

So I quickly ruled out selling my place. I need to rent it out.

The potential rental income is very close to my expenditure with mortgage, rent, service charge and insurances. I didn't particularly want an agent taking their 10 - 15% fees so looked to rent privately.

Ideally I wanted to let her out to friends. Having worked in a house insurance company years ago I had heard many a horror story of unscrupulous tenants growing tons of weed or simply trashing the place and leaving without paying. Both of these situations would be hard to deal with when living nearby let alone thousands of miles away.

A few people expressed interest in renting her from me but for valid and honest reasons were unable to commit so it leaves me at the mercy of Letting Agents.

I have 2 companies coming round on Wednesday to have a look at the apartment, evaluate its potential rental income and hopefully answer some of my questions. There is a lot to think about when becoming a landlord. Not only worrying about who is going to be your tenant and their intention with your lovely home but also administrative sides such as dealing with the deposit agencies, holding money in trust, Energy Performance Certificates and Gas Safe Certificates.

So fingers crossed the letting agents can quell my fears and shed a little light on the matter.

Then I can crack on with the usual travel preparation of booking flights, planning accommodation, finding work ..... etc ..... etc

One step at a time!

Your comments are always welcome