How I’m Preparing For Long-Term Travel
The Asia Jaunt is two and a half weeks away (!!!) and I’m freaking out at not being prepared, but it still feels like it’s happening far in the future.
This feeling is strangely familiar. In the weeks leading to my semester in Florence, I was having such a great summer with a fun job and a romance that I wasn’t even thinking about it!
But even so, I know it’s time to prepare. Hardcore. This trip is bigger than anything I’ve ever done, and especially because I’m doing it alone, I need to take care of myself.
Here’s how I’m preparing for the trip:
In the town where I’m currently living, there’s a lake that’s popular to walk. From my house to the lake, around and back, the route is a bit over four miles.
So I started to walk…with my backpack. And my daypack. Simultaneously.
I’ve been increasing the weight little by little, and I’ve made the four-mile walk without any pain or needing to stop. Good sign, I hope.
(Everyone has been asking me if I get stared at! Honestly, if I do, I don’t notice! Everyone’s out there to exercise. And check out hot people.)
On the advice of Shannon from A Little Adrift, I opened an account with Schwab. The reason? No ATM fees. Ever. (Well, to be fair, they refund all ATM fees at the end of the month.) And no charges for international transactions or currency conversion.
Compare that to Bank of America, which charges me $5 for every transaction abroad, and all my credit cards, which charge around 3% for transactions, and I’m so glad that I opened this account!
I took a short trip to New York this week to visit my sister. In between eating, drinking, and watching Jon Stewart on The Daily Show (no, I did not hit on him like I did last time, but was I EVER tempted!), I used this trip as a chance to try out my travel gear.
The verdict? Everything worked great, and I *adore* my new netbook: my new Toshiba NB300. It doesn’t perform at the capacity of a regular laptop, but I love its size, its sleekness, its versatility. This is going to be a beautiful relationship.
Beyond that, my only real annoyance was that it takes so much work to find things in a top-loading backpack. I think I’ll be organizing all my items in packing bags — one or two for clothing by type, one for dirty laundry, one for toiletries, etc. That should make things easier.
In an attempt to give myself a cast-iron stomach before landing in Bangkok, I’ve, um, been eating a lot of Activia. I HAVE YET TO EXPERIENCE THE MUCH-PARODIED EFFECTS. But hopefully it’s doing something good.
I’ve called AT&T and have put my account on hibernation for the duration of my trip, at the cost of $10 per month. Many thanks to Lillie from Around the World L for this tip.
I’ve booked a guesthouse for my first two nights in Bangkok. It has a rooftop pool and runs me less than $9 per night. I LOVE YOU ALREADY, THAILAND.
October 20 is my departure day. I can’t believe it.