Ready and waiting to go in the morning.
All the planning is over and its GO time! 200 lbs of gear, consumables and clothes ( 4 - 50lbs suitcases) ready and what we didn’t pack we will buy or do without!
Packing is certainly one aspect but there has been a lot of logistics too, especially when you are going to so many countries and for so long a time.
It took 4 months and a couple of setbacks to get our visas for the 6 countries that require them: Australia, China, India (the challenging one), Egypt, Cambodia, Vietnam.
We researched which what shots we need and decided, with advice from our doctors and cruise line to just get flu shots since our immunizations are all up to date and we are not staying long or going deep into the interior of any countries. Thanks to all our sick friends who stayed away the past couple of weeks so we didn’t catch any of their bugs!
We setup one phone with an international mobile phone plan for onshore service. We are planning to use the free Wi-Fi on the ship for our phones and iPads for email and most communciations.
Tried to notify our banks of our travel plans for debit and credit cards – the online options didn’t work because the screens do not allow move than 90 days or 20 countries. For BOA, Mel could never get a real person on the phone, so she put in the countries for the first 90 days. She is going to have to go in April and put in the second part of the trip. I called the Disney Partners credit union for mine and did get a person. They said it was too many countries so just wrote notes in my profile that I was traveling in the South Pacific, Asia and ending in London on May 5. I hope that works. I did learn how to lock and unlock my credit cards as part of this process.
Getting utilities on autopay or vacation hold, another challenge. Again 90 days is the max for some, so we may need to call or login again. Although, as an extra bonus, by looking in detail at the services we were paying for, and reducing to what we actually need, we will be able to reduce our ongoing bills by $150-200 a month even after the trip. I guess the time and effort was worth is.
Most important is that Martha, our Chiwinny is taken care of too. Mel has been pampering her all week since she feels guilty about leaving. Fortunately, we have Mel’s sister’s family to take Martha in. Thanks Vickie, Gene and Yvette for adopting of our baby for 4 months.
Lastly we need to give thanks to our friends, family and neighbors as our stateside support team, who will be looking after things. We are happy that one of our friends will be staying at the house a few days each week. It is a win-win for us and them. The mail was another big worry. We didn’t want to put a stop on the mail because something might come in that needs to be dealt with. I still have some outstanding things with Medicare going on (the government is very slow). Also, I heard a story about a guy that got a jury duty notice while he was gone for a month. When he didn’t respond, he got a big fine for contempt of court. Don’t need any surprises like that when we come back.
Adventure Awaits! Not sure how much sleep I will get tonight. Already rambling in this blog