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Planning for an around the world trip

Updated: Apr 8, 2018

As mentioned in my earlier post, how we arrived at the decision and the initial planning stages were the easy part, the fun started with actually working through this crazy plan.

We not only needed savings for the trip, but also pre and post trip. In order to do this we needed to determine what this would be, so I took a day and consolidated all my notes to come up with a plan of action.

As the departure date was set I worked backwards to organized our tasks. I chunked it out to make it a bit easier to wrap my head around, so I had three tabs, pre trip, trip, and post travel. In case anyone has the crazy idea to try this, below are some considerations.

Pre: Re-entry permit* - see below for information (that's it in the photo with out Excel planning) Leased condo (we went with a property management company to rent it out for us) Update our home insurance policy Moving company Find storage facilities - determine space needed Appointments - doctor/dentist/eye Review any documentation which may expire - needed to renew - my driver’s license Purchase smart phones - we had dumb phones (something most people don't need to worry about) Change of address - moved as much as possible to email Re-start blog Categorize wines - which ones can wait until we return Purchase new computer - 2 in 1 - ours was 12 years old Get a library card (to download e-books to read while travelling) Advise friends and family who live abroad- hope to see them Work out - Chicago is very flat compared with most of the world Donate items or sell on e-bay Fix a few things around the condo Sell car Cancel utilities Items to give to family and friends VPN - allows access to social media in places such as China as well as privacy

Eat food in freezer and fridge - started about 6 weeks beforehand

Trip itself: Determine routing Countries - which require visas Tally up all of our points - help offset costs Additional hotels, trains, trips which we need to book ahead of time Needed to book actual seats on Korean rail - could only book 30 days out Determine best air pricing - RTW vs point to point (point to point was much cheaper) Passport photos for visas - based on visas for places which we would like to see Certified Canadian Passport photos - may need to get a Canadian passport (running out of pages and they require specific dimensions for passport photos)

Medical insurance (we used World Nomads) Visa - Russia - takes up to 2 weeks; we already had a Chinese visa Fan I.D - need to have to be allowed to go into the stadiums during World Cup Register with the US/CAD consulate Looked at different apps - Google translate (my Russian isn’t so good), TripIt Siberian train tour Leasing a car for Europe What to pack - took some time to determine (weather conditions through trip, space constraints) Medication to take on the trip - more than we thought we would need Budget for this trip - Mark is taking the lead on this (interesting to see if we can hold to it) SIM cards in local countries - we will not have data plans and will be relying on free WiFi

Post Trip: Clothing - we may not be able to return to our current positions so we will include suits for interviewing stored at a friends house instead of in the storage locker Research insurance if we do not have jobs upon our return

Short Term Rental / Stay with friends - sublease on Condo may not be finished upon return Purchase a few pieces of furniture Schedule movers to get our items from the storage unit Reconnect with family and friends

* Re-Entry Permit

First things first, being a resident of the U.S. on a green card, one cannot just leave the country for a year without having a re-entry permit. This process can take up to 5 months. If you do not have this and come back to the U.S., you may be detained, or worse, lose your status as a resident. Fee is now $660, and forms needed to be completed. Once USCIS review your application they will send you a date in which you need to visit their office, retake your fingerprints (because apparently they changed since I got the green card), and photos. This is sent back to them and wait again until the green passport arrives. You still require your actual passport and green card. It is just one more piece of documentation you need to carry with you.

There were more last minute items which needed our attention and we managed to complete them the day before we were to depart.

Few days of stress and now it’s behind us - I’m sure other stresses will take its place!

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