In November, there was a lot of standing in the middle of the room, looking around at the mess, asking “Now what?” and then abandoning it in favor of having drinks with friends or sleeping or doing any number of less productive activities. Here’s what I did manage to accomplish:
- Purchased travel insurance (and got real health insurance to cover my temporary unemployment, thanks ACA!). World Nomads seems to be the company of choice for travelers. My plan covers three months of travel with the option to extend — I’m planning to be gone at least that long, and it was basically the same price as just two months of coverage. I opted for the extreme sports option, which also includes auto/collision coverage for that motorcycle I’m going to drive in Vietnam.
- Made arrangements for my first few days abroad. I have a reservation for three nights at a hostel in Singapore. I chose this over couchsurfing because I want to meet more people early on in my trip, and I chose my specific hostel because they do a free food tour for residents. It’s a little off the beaten path and definitely isn’t the fanciest spot in the city, but past guests have said that the tour is phenomenal and often goes late into the night.
- Packed up a lot of my life. I’m not leaving D.C. for a few days, but I faced the monumental task of packing up my apartment and selling my furniture and boy was that a mess. People on Craigslist are the worst.
- Bought new toys to replace my old ones/prepare for life on the road. There were a lot of odds and ends (quick-dry underwear, lulu yoga pants, etc), but the most exciting was one of these. Whoops.
- Said goodbye to my coworkers. So incredibly sad about this.
- Finished off my D.C. bucket list and had dinner/drinks with the important people. I’m pretty proud of myself for planning ahead to make sure I saw everyone and did everything. I was a lot more tired than I expected to be, probably just from being out many nights in a row, but it was 100 percent worth it to be able to walk away knowing that I’m ready to go.
- Read. A lot. I read a few books from some great travel writers, continued to mine the archives of great blogs, and flipped through all my travel magazines as I packed them. It’s inspiring and invigorating to read about even those places I’m not going on this round of adventures.
December will bring some last-minute itinerary planning, the gathering and packing of the rest of my essentials, tearful goodbyes with some really amazing people, and time both relaxing at home and visiting Salt Lake City and NYC. Back in September, this all seemed so far away, and I know that the next 31 days will be over before I’m ready. The one-month countdown starts now!