As exciting as our grand travel adventure is, there is a whirlwind of planning and research associated with it and which is as extensive and time consuming as the deepest throes of renovation. Curious thing about the travel to-do list — with every thing crossed off the list, there are a couple others that just seem to crop up on you.
Lease our house — did that with about 6 weeks to go, and that definitely is a big stress reliever. Our tenants will also look after Otto, the cat. otherwise known as the VIB overlord. We will talk more about a few of these in separate posts, but here’s the big run down:
Quit jobs — each of us gave 5 weeks notice, which was definitely appreciated by our respective companies and actually worked out quite nicely in terms of stress levels on both sides.
Annual doctor / dentist visits — mostly done, but we still have a couple to cross off. We are going to get our vaccines in Russia where it is much more affordable.
Finances on the road — done. Debit and credit cards with zero foreign transaction costs are relatively easy to get and save so. much. money. Add family member to account to make emergency transactions easier.
Documents on the road — almost done. Paper copies of passports, drivers licenses, marriage certificate, health records. All backed up in the cloud. Now we just have to set up a bank safety deposit box for physical documents and a few valuable jewelry items.
Travel health insurance — done.
Student loans — still working on this one. We each pay about $200 a month, so we need to figure out the best solution here.
Travel packing — mostly done. We have our packs, and most of the gear. We have one more REI trip to make, but after that we should be all set.
Visas — not done. We must secure our Chinese visa in the next few weeks. The rest will have to be taken care of on the road.
Each of these big items were a doozy, so having mostly crossed them off the to-do list with another month to go feels good.But then there is a second-tier list, the items that we should really take care off instead of having a major case of senioritis / wanting to spend every waking, non-work hour with our friends. Alas, the planner voice in my head is not kind to me, nagging about this and that.
This and that list
- Close redundant bank accounts and credit cards
- Shut off utilities, switch water bill into tenant names
- Cancel most of our mail subscription, such as magazines and catalogs
- Cancel Zip cars membership
- Cancel Netflix membership
- Switch EZ Pass membership
- Talk to our accountant about 2013 taxes
- Have a goodbye party
- Sign up for airline miles programs
- Write up cleaning directions for specialty items (such as fireclay kitchen sink) in the house
- Research travel logistics for places with poor internet connections (China, Myanmar, anywhere else??!)
- Set up travel blog
Craigslist our stuff Consign nice(r) clothing Pack(very few) clothes to keep
- Get visa photos
- Make freelance contacts, put feelers out there (we aren’t exactly sure how much work we will be doing on the road, but we definitely plan on at least a bit)
- Set up electronic cat door so Otto can enjoy the great outdoors whenever he feels like it / minimize hassle for our tenants
- Train Otto to use the door
- Pack up china and crystal kitchen wares
- Pack up books to take to Sergey’s parents house
- Hire a cleaning service to make the house look nice for our tenants
- Get international drivers licenses