I’ve had this list as a static page in my header for EXACTLY one year. I wrote this list way back then and have only now gone back to take a look at it. I am very happy to say that there are only three things left to do…pack the first aid kit, pack our bags, and wave goodbye!
It has been a crazy year of ups and downs for us. You can’t even know how grateful we are that our house finally sold and this crazy dream we have been dreaming for so long is now only 18 days away!
I’ve updated the list and crossed things off but haven’t added to it. I’m actually quite surprised at just how organized I was a year ago when this dream was still in “someday” mode.
Pre Travel To-Do List
Commit.The first step to any new endeavor is to commit to it. For us this happened over eight years ago on our honeymoon. We wanted to have children but did not want to give up traveling and the idea was born. Over the years we have nurtured the idea and it has grown into this grand scheme we call our Worldschool Adventures. Finance.Yup, its a big part of it! And no two families will finance their own long-term travel in the same way. We are financing ours through living life with a budget, living green, eating lower on the food chain, and, oh yeah, playing the real estate market by building and selling houses. Plan a route.Although I am not one to make a travel itinerary with no room for inspiration, we do have a general idea of where we will be going. We start in Hong Kong, swing down to Malaysia to meet up with some other traveling families, then move on up to Thailand. We may spend the rest of the winter in Thailand or ????? Education.One of the biggest hurdles for traveling families is to decide how they are going to educate their children while they are on the road. We decided to unschool our boys and are now feeling very confident in our educational choice. We will continue to unschool while we travel and I’m really excited to have the world as our classroom! Involve the kids.I think it is so important to get the kids excited about the journey. We try to make our kids feel involved in the planning process by talking about our trip pretty much daily. We tell them stories about our pre-children travel in Asia, borrow books from the library, look up countries on our world map, rent travel videos, look at pictures, etc. We also tell them about not-so-great things they might encounter like squat toilets, hot and humid weather, mosquitoes, and too much attention from locals. Set a date.September 30th Baby!!!!! Vaccinations.We decided to only vaccinate the boys for Hep A and Typhoid. The other vaccines that were recommended to us were Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis. Figure out Luggage.Mike and I will be using our Eagle Creek backpacks we bought for our honeymoon in Asia. Most travel families with young kids don’t have separate packs for the kids to carry but I found some super cute child size backpacks from MEC that I couldn’t resist. We won’t put much in them, and I realize that they may be so impractical we end up leaving them behind. Luckily they weren’t expensive and I think it will be good for Lan and Kayden to feel more involved by packing a few of their own things.
- First Aid Kit. Have I told you my sister is a super nurse? I’ll just let her do this one, just don’t make it too heavy Robyn!
Visit the GP. Mike and I will do the annual check up thing, you know….cause we are getting….ahem….older. Write a Will.Better to be safe then sorry. Talk to the Bank.It is important to have a personal contact at your local branch to look out for your account. We’ve actually already gone in to talk to our bank and got new Debit cards issued while keeping our old ones as back up. We will also need to inform our credit card companies of our travel plans so our cards don’t get frozen. Find someone trustworthy.Being gone for so long means that we will need to have someone get and open our mail and deal with any problems that may arise. I will also photocopy all of our important documents and leave copies with this person as well as emailing them to myself. Buy the Gadgets. This is going to be a big expense. I want to pack our own laptop so I can update this blog with ease and the one we have now just won’t cut it. Emergency Medical Insurance.We ended up going with BCAA and paid $679 for six months of coverage. Get Visas. Thai Visas are in hand! Pack up the house. We plan on having a big garage sale once the house sells and everything else will be going into storage. But wait! How lucky are we? Because we move around so much, what with our flipping houses, we bought a 40ft shipping container that sits dutifully on my parents property. Voila! Free storage! Buy the Tickets.Can’t wait to cross this one off the list!
- Pack the Bags. As we will be limited to what we can pack by the amount we can comfortably carry, we are going to need to pack light! Packing for four people, plus a few toys and lots of snacks….we will have to be crafty! I am also very keen on bringing reusable bags, stainless steel straws and water bottles, a SteriPen for water purification, and I plan on buying some light stainless steel food containers when we are in Asia. One of my goals for this trip is to leave a light footprint on the earth and inspire other travelers to do the same, but its gonna add some bulk!
- Wave Goodbye. Tear filled goodbyes to all our loved ones. Thank goodness for the Internet and Skype so we can keep in touch. We are also hoping that some of our family members will make the journey to come and see us at some point. (This means you Mom and Dad, I promise you will love Asia! And if not at least you will still love me!)