Here we are. T minus two weeks until we leave Denver and head off on our 10 month tour! Technically we only have 4 more days to finish packing the house and getting everything ready to leave as our renter moves in on Saturday! Meaning that bags have to be packed and ready to go while everything else is packed into storage by Friday morning…. What?!
To me, it feels like we’re blasting off, leaving behind our world of comfort and the life that we’ve both spent years building, to head out to the great unknown. Luckily, I finished working on September 1st, leaving me with just over a month to get all of our affairs in order. Unfortunately for Dean, he doesn’t finish work until Friday – yep, the same day that we have to be out of the house and leave for Wyoming to say good-bye to my family.
Now you would think that leaving to gallivant across the globe would be simple – you sell off or put your belongings in storage, book your plane tickets, pack your bags, and you’re off! That’s what every travel blogger tells you. Reality is that we aren’t in our 20’s with few responsibilities (ah… the days when our lives were carefree and simple). Instead, we are in our thirties with commitments and responsibilities coming out the wazoo, creating a veritable TON of things that needed to be done prior to our departure.
Here’s where my attention to detail and ability to work through a process to get things completed comes to the forefront (cue super hero music). Outside of packing, cleaning, and getting the house ready to rent, I’ve been spending a large part of my days researching all of the individual details that need to be in place before we leave.
Because I truly believe that more people can and should embark on a similar experience, I wanted to document all of the individual tasks to act as a guide for future adventurers:
- We’re purchasing from World Nomads, covering medical accidents & evacuation, lost or stolen belongings, delay of trip, etc. This policy should cover us in case we have an injury or accident that requires transportation and in-country care.
Medical Insurance/Expat Insurance
- On top of our travel insurance, we’re purchasing a global healthcare plan from Cigna, specifically designed for world citizens and expats who will be living/traveling globally as well as needing coverage when returning to the US.
Bank Accounts & Credit Cards
Automatic payment of mortgage
Set up travel alerts & transfer of funds
- Hiring a property management company to take care of all the details of rental. We lucked out and found a smaller firm that found a tenant within a few weeks.
- Landlord insurance – because your homeowner’s policy doesn’t work if you’re renting to someone else.
- Purging of 7 years’ worth of stuff – self-explanatory, but wow was I holding on to some things that should have been thrown away long ago!
- My friends, Mike & Grace (theyearbetween.com) were the ones who suggested we set up a will & power of attorney before leaving.
- Additionally Dean & I put all of our passwords into an application that consolidates and secures all of our log in credentials/passwords so we don’t have to remember the myriad of passwords or if something were to happen, god forbid, our executors can easily get online and into our accounts.
Doctor’s Appointments, Vaccines, & Medicines
- Make sure you complete routine physical, dental, and eye appointments prior to leaving (or losing your super good insurance).
- Schedule a travel appointment with your doctor (maybe while doing the physical?) to discuss any vaccines or medication you’ll need while traveling. My suggestion would be to talk to your primary care physician as sometimes the travel specific clinics can be a major rip off. I experienced this when getting my vaccines for India last year. The clinic didn’t take any insurance so I had to pay out of pocket and then cross my fingers to get reimbursed (never happened). I also learned that the nurse was paid on commission for each vaccine I got and therefore recommended yellow fever when it wasn’t needed for where I was traveling. Not cool.
- It has taken me several months to identify and purchase the items needed to for a compact yet comprehensive set of clothes, medical supplies, etc (full list provided in next post!). When fully packed, my bag is 25lbs which I know is going to be super heavy when lugging around however we’re preparing for several different seasons, including bringing sleeping bags, and my comfort is that I can always donate items if I find that I don’t need them (like those fleece lined leggings that I don’t like but am bringing cause I hate being cold).
By the way, did I mention that my in-laws are taking our dog, Bodhi, for the year? Hence a series of vet appointments, purchasing dog food, prescriptions, and pills for the pup. They are also allowing us to forward our mail to their house as the postal service allows mail forwarding for up to a year (they are the best!).
Lastly, I had the fun challenge of figuring out how we are going to pay our taxes in April of 2018. This turned out to be WAY easier than anticipated as I received a recommendation for a good CPA, and after a 30 minute conversation and some review of 2017 financials, we decided to file for an extension and submit in October. Whew!!
Having read this list, I still can’t believe I was able to get all of this done (it really was quite an undertaking) however I did, and we’re really leaving! I’m so excited!!