They say Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance, so planning is what I’m doing. Let’s be honest though, even without that adage I’d be doing just as much planning! In my first three weeks of unemployment I checked off big items, shopping purchases, learning opportunities, and can’t avoid tasks from the spreadsheet of pre-departure to-dos.
- Ticket purchased. Departure date is Monday, August 8 with arrival in Beijing August 9.
- Insurance purchased. World Nomads is highly recommended.
- Computer and phone purchased. I opted for the 13” MacBook and unlocked iPhone SE model with LTE compatibility in most countries I’ll visit.
- Camera purchased. Sony’s Alpha 6000 was the choice after much reading and discussion.
- Visas acquired. I’m approved to enter India, China, Vietnam, and Brazil! The remaining countries will be easier, visa upon arrival processes.
Amazon, Zappos, Ridgedale Mall stores, Schuller’s Shoes, REI, Thrifty Outfitters – I’m on a buying spree!
- Many conversations, meals, and drinks with friends, colleagues, and acquittances have become a source for cultural tips, connections to people living locally (mostly in China), and referrals to other long-term travelers.
- I’m now a WeChat user. I don’t expect to access Facebook or Gmail in China so here is a nudge to download this application to stay in touch. Did I mention they have stickers?
- Classes at National Camera Exchange and The Apple Store so I can best use the Big Items I bought.
Can’t Avoid Tasks
- New credit card (attempt). The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the most recommended card for travel foreign transaction fees are not charged and they have a strong points program. Alas, I did not qualify as I applied for this card after resigning from work. Live and learn! I’ll be using a different credit card.
- New debit card. The Charles Schawb High Yield Investor Checking account charges no ATM fees and reimburses all ATM fees charged world wide.
- Power of Attorney.
- Doctors visits and drugs. I have anti-malarial pills (I’ll take Doxy), Cipro and I completed rounds of vaccinations for Hepatitis A and Japanese Encephalitis.
A little more than two weeks and I’ll be in Beijing!