Right, the first things to cover in a pre-departure post should really be about all the practicalities of shutting down your life for 12 months in order to free yourself!
In the last couple of weeks I have done some important things like:
Apply for my New Zealand last-chance work visa through Bunac IEP. Just about managed to get that sorted in time – you have to apply 10 weeks before you leave the UK – should’ve done it weeks ago really! Oh well, they’ve contacted me to say they’ve received the application and it all looks fine so here’s hoping. This is my only chance ever to work in New Zealand, because I’m now well over 30 so this is literally my only option for getting a work visa, and I can only apply for it once!
Apply for a credit card with as few charges for using it abroad as possible. Obviously I’ll be spending a hefty amount in various currencies. Thank goodness for moneysavingexpert.com!
Buy travel insurance. Even though I paid for my flights and put down various deposits on things months ago, I foolishly dragged my feet over buying insurance. It’s not easy with a trip like this as I have sooo many things to consider, and prices can vary by hundreds of £s because it costs so much in the first place. But I’m pleased I didn’t just go for an obvious choice and kept searching: I found True Traveller Insurance which covers exactly what I need and seems to have excellent reviews. Trekking at altitude, volunteering and working all on one policy add-on is very helpful indeed!
Book an appointment with the nurse for some injections. Might well be really late with this, not sure what I’ll do if that’s the case! Also need to see my doctor, but he did say this travel plan should be much better for my state of mind than any medication he can prescribe…
Do some clearing out! This is one of the biggest weights on my mind, but also a good challenge. In a friend’s travel blog she said she had made sure that the only things she had stored away for her return were things she knew she really wanted to see again. I kind of love that idea! I have so much ‘stuff’ that is absolutely useless to me, as do most people. I’m not really one for lots of material possessions anyway, and when people buy me random stuff that is just going to sit on my shelf, then (very very ungrateful I know) I would often rather they didn’t waste their money! I think I’m strange in this, so forgive me. I’m very bad at buying good presents for people myself. If anyone can’t think of anything relating to my personal interests to buy for me, maybe donate to a charity on my behalf, maybe greenpeace or oxfam or wateraid or cancer research or… maybe there will be some specific charities I’ll want to support as I encounter them on my adventure! Anyway, clearing out reduces the amount of storage I’ll need, and is physical activity and I can see progress, so there are some good benefits for my state of mind once I can get myself going!
And last but not least; start writing a blog. Focussing on learning something new always helps. And the cathartic effect is pretty good it seems! I’ll make no apology for that, so if my posts are too open and honest for your liking… don’t read them! 🙂