Now I am beginning to compile a To Do list for the next 10 months. I hope I don’t leave anything out! Many of the ones below come curtsey of my well traveled friend Jenny (Thanks!). If you think of something I am missing comment and let me know. I am sure I will be posting additional items and considerations as I go along
1) To top the list I need to list my apartment for sale immediately. If I sell it sooner than I need great, I can find a short term lease somewhere and will probably save myself $300-$400 a month
2) go through all of my stuff and decide what gets stored, what gets sold, and what gets tossed (I live in a tiny studio so this should hopefully not be too painful)
3) Finances. I’ve already got a travel savings account set up but I need to get a basic plan together so I know exactly how much $$ I will need for travel (flights/rail/bus/hostels/etc). I have 1 credit card which will need to be paid down.
4) Compile VISA info for each country I plan to visit and make sure all paperwork is in line at least 3 months prior to departure
5) I will need to figure out how health insurance will work overseas (whether I do something like Cobra, maybe somehow get put back on the parent’s insurance, or look into traveler’s insurance)
6) Compile list of all US embassies in all countries to bring with me
7) Talk with AT&T about costs of having a phone abroad for a year
8) This comes a little later, but I will need to call banks/credit card companies and let them know I’m traveling for a year’s time to many, many countries
9) Make sure my stock account is in good shape and give my info to my Dad so he can monitor it while I am away. To this end, I should be giving my parents all my financial info
10) Complete all doctors appointments with necessary shots included. I should get Malaria pills and a Z-pack to take with me
11) Buy List: Backpack, hiking boots, sleeping bag/sheets, lock, waterproof bag for important documents, items for a first aid kit, etc, etc, etc,
12) I will also probably be shipping items home from time to time as I move into different climates, so I will need to find out costs to do so
A BIG step was made today….I booked a one way trip to Nepal! So this is the jump off point of my travels (deep breadth). The trip is scheduled for Feb. 15th 2013, so this is going to mark the official start of my travels.
I couldn’t help myself really. I found this amazing site zozi.com which is like a groupon for adventure travel. Right up my ally. They have local getaways, which I have already scheduled a New York State hike and wine tasting trip through ($79 for 2 people), regional and international trips, where I found the 2 week Himalayan trek for a cool $1470 (Can you believe it!), and a Guru section where they promote trips with renowned adventure travel professionals. My only problem is going to be trying to keep myself from spending all of my travel budget on this site before I leave. I’m already eying a Costa Rica Home Stay trip. This would include rainforest hikes, waterfall repelling, and get this, staying not in hotels or resorts, but actual locals homes. Seriously, how cool does that sound.
This past weekend I attended the New York Times Travel Show, and while I wished it was a bit more informational and a bit less sales pitchy, it really got my gears turning. I am really excited to begin planning not only my trip abroad, but plenty of other mini excursions right here at home.
One of the booths that I stopped at was an apartment rental company in Florance, Italy. I spoke to a gentleman who not only rents apartments, but also has connections with nearby colleges. I was thinking I would like to spend a minimum of 6 months in Italy, so this may come in handy. A student visa may be my best bet for a lengthy stay. While I am in Italy, I plan on taking many trips to Pompeii, the setting of my impending novel, so Florance is not ideal. Although I believe it is only a short rail trip, so it may be doable. I will add this to my list of things to research.
I also sat in on a “Global Travel Tips for Women” seminar, where I heard the term “women friendly hotel” for the first time and far too many times. Why must we expect a specifically women friendly hotel where ever we go in the world. The whole point of travel is to experience local culture and possibly step outside of our comfort zone, not to demand full length mirrors and special vanities. At least that’s my intention. I wanted to scream, “Have some respect for yourselves, you are making us all look bad!” Then again, I had to remember, I was listening to a bunch of ladies in their 50s and 60s who are divorced or widowed and have been traveling on their own since the 1970s. They had a lot of good advice to impart, once you git past the age gap. I particularly liked travel blogger Evelyn Hannon, journeywoman.com. She had a lot of spirit and a wealth of knowledge.
Can’t wait to sparse through all of the new information I have. Expect more posts soon!