It’s exactly one month until we leave (my boyfriend, Ben, and I) and we’ve got so much stuff to do. We’ve gotta:
* Pack up our apartment – sell our things, clean it, do the carpets and hopefully collect our bond back
*Get new passports – mine expires in a year but I think I’d rather just get a new one now while I’m home
* Get vaccines – I’ve had a lot of mine but need Hep A again
* Apply to be non-tax residents – yay!
* Ensure all our banking and cards are in order
* Get bits and pieces – packing cubes, headphones, etc to make the trip comfortable
* Say goodbye to friends and family
It’s weird leaving with a plan to be away for a long time. We have no end date in sight, but we’re going to take it as it comes.
This time is the first time I’m leaving knowing I need to balance work, travel and a relationship. It’s also the first time I’m traveling without a shoe-string budget. Because of this I’ve spent a little more time getting things more comfortable for me.
This is what I’m going to do differently from my previous trips:
1) I’m selling my dSLR camera
Yes, my previous 5d mark ii that has been my travel companion through it all – when I was stabbed, the lonely days in between the fun, it helped me capture memories of my favourite places and it almost feels like a limb. But it’s heavy and bulky and the truth is – I simply don’t use it as much as I used to so it’s gotta go. I’ll be “downgrading” to a Fuji x100s. I’m excited and relieved, it was a long time coming.
2) A Samsonite Carry on Suitcase
It’s going to be my mobile office – it has a sleeve for my laptop, enough space for other work stuff such as my wireless keyboard, camera, Kindle (for reading books), a notebook and pens and pencils. I can also carry a few changes of clothes inside the suitcase so that if my backpack goes missing I’m still covered – literally.
3) PacSafe Handbag
I didn’t love the look of this bag but it’s a great size for me and has a lot of extra security features that I think will be helpful – such as a way to lock the bag’s zipper, a slash proof design and you can even fasten it to your chair at a restaurant. It’s practical, but a little ugly.
4) A Mighty Purse
This little clutch charges my phone – so amazing. For every charge of the clutch it charges my phone about 2.5 times. I have used it so much since getting it and know it will be invaluable on the road.
5) Packing Cubes
How did I survive so long without these? They make a real difference in keeping everything organised and tidy. I have an irrational fear of having my bags checked at the airport by security and having underwear and bras flung around. You can also fit so much more in them – I’m impressed.
So there’s a few things I’ve added into my essentials – all of them were paid for by me (non sponsored) and stuff that I’m really going to use to make travel, working on the road and exploring even easier.
6) An Alarm System that Actually Works
You heard me right! I always get so nervous when I leave my house for any extended period of time for fear that it might fall victim to burglars. However, I had a pretty awesome security system installed that has this cool little interactive messaging hub. Makes me wonder why someone didn’t do this sooner? Anyhow, it makes me much more comfortable leaving my home now.
The final countdown is on. We’re packing and planning and soon I’ll have that familiar feeling of being at the airport, stomach in knots, knowing that there’s an adventure before me I can’t even imagine.
I’ve stopped saying “I can’t wait to be in Asia” because I know I can wait and I know that time is going to fly by at a crazy speed, so I’m not wishing it away.