I’m not sure either of us realized how much we’d have to actually do to leave the country for 6 months. Here is just a sample of what we’ve done over the last couple of months…especially in the last 2 weeks.
- Sublet our place: We were pretty fortunate to find a couple of tenants looking for a 6 month lease and wanted us to leave all of our furniture behind. However, it took a ton of Craigslist, Zillow, etc. postings plus weeding out a few bad candidates.
- Pack up our apartment: Even though we were able to leave all of furniture behind, we still had to pack up our clothes, bathroom stuff, books and all of the pictures of us. Thanks to Matt/Kaley for letting us store a ton of boxes at their place.
- Car: We needed to renew our car tabs and pass an emissions test. Unfortunately, the car did not pass the emissions test so we had to take care of that as well. After getting the car tabbed, we had to find a place to leave the car. Thanks to Andrew/Kathleen for letting us use their place to store the car and agreeing to drive it to keep it running.
- Wrap up 2 really great jobs: Both of us worked with a ton of amazing people and were really sad to temporarily say goodbye.
- Cell phone: How do we stay in touch while we are gone? We ended up getting T Mobile for international texting and data for Phi’s new phone (iPhone 7, yeah!)
- Shop for the trip: What do we need to travel for 6 months? What can we get while abroad? Luckily, we can get next day shipping on almost anything from Amazon. REI also took care of a few of our needs.
- Passports/VISAs: We needed to apply for Chinese and Vietnamese VISAs before leaving for our trip. We also ended up getting a 52 page duplicate passport so we were sure we wouldn’t run out pages for stamps.
- Scuba Certification: In order to do some scuba abroad, we needed to get certified. We did the pool work and classroom work prior to leaving and will do the open water certification abroad where there are much cooler dive sites.
- Where to go/What to do: While we want to be as flexible as possible while traveling, we wanted to have some of our bigger trips booked. For example, we are doing a 2 week trek in Nepal to see Annapurna. We also booked flights for the first couple months of our trip.
- What to pack: We’re still wrapping this up as you can see from our picture. Lots of thought goes into what to actually pack as you’ll be carrying whatever you take for a long time. Less weight is a great thing, but you definitely want to have what you need. Notice the Cubs hat and shirt so we can celebrate a potential Cubs WS in Japan!
- Getting through all the stress as a couple: While there have been a couple of bumps along the way with all of the stress of last minute arrangements, it has been a great experience for us. The best part about the situation is we get to spend a lot of time together!
- Saying “see you soon” to family and friends: We’re still working through this, but we are going to really miss all of our family and friends from Virginia to the rest of the east coast to Denver to the Pacific Northwest.
With all of this said, we are both really excited for the journey and hope everyone can follow us along the way.