It’s the Final Countdown…

Jess Watt reports on the final planning stages hours before the Offtrax team set off for the UK to complete preparations for their epic trip to Mongolia that starts 19 July. 

With less than a month until our departure on the adventure of a lifetime, our days at home are truly numbered.

However, it’s with mixed emotions: we’re all very anxious to get on the road and step out of our everyday working lives and comfort zones, but at the same time we’re all feeling overwhelmed with the amount of stuff still left to do, and little time to do it in. 

We know this will be the trip of a lifetime and as such we’re planning (and likely over-planning) how to capture it all. Things like cameras, extra memory cards, external drives and more cameras are being added to the growing pile of things to pack. As one thing goes into the bag, another comes out. Needless to say, we’re questioning everything, like, “do we really need an extra pair of pants?” Packing for four months isn’t simple: we’ve got two climates to consider. We will be travelling through the European summer into the scorching heat of Turkmenistan, only to spend September and October in chilly Mongolia and crossing the vast lands of Siberia, Russia. So yes, flip-flops and wool toques are going in the same bag.

Not only are we packing for the trip, we’re packing up our homes and renting them out while we’re away. Even Elly’s cats, Jasmine & Bobbi, have been temporarily moved.

With this said, the majority of hurdles have been overcome. The team has procured two white Subarus to get us from A to B and back to A again. Just last week we celebrated the achievement of getting both vehicles insured, (a real challenge when not living in Europe). 

One of the more stressful and time constraining hurdles was our local fundraising events. The fear of no one showing to your party has never been so present. Both the West Coast and East Coast events were held at local dining establishments, meaning, if no one showed not only would few monies be raised, but the venue would be out of pocket too. In addition, there was the weather to contend with. Thankfully both events were a huge success, raising funds for Make-A-Wish Canada and Go Help charities. Having the Easter Bunny at one and free haircuts at the other definitely added to our success. 

As we cross the days off the calendar and count the number of days left at our workplaces, the excitement has grown so much that we’ve found only those actually taking on this adventure can really comprehend what we’re feeling. That urge to just get up and go has never been greater. And so, if we were told to leave to tomorrow, I know we’d be ready, minus our Uzbekistan visa that we’re still waiting on….but that’s beside the point. Enough talk, let’s go do this! 

You can follow the Offtrax adventure online at