There are many countries that I plan to visit while in Europe, but I decided to take a closer look at Italy, the U.K, Ireland, and Spain. In June, I had a chance to ‘test drive’ the bags that I plan to travel the world with and they worked really well – even after I got rained on in San Francisco. Before I leave in January, I’ll find a way to clip the bags together (the larger bag on my back and the smaller one in front). Recently, I took some steps to protect/lockdown my new laptop from hackers/thieves and will discuss those details in an upcoming post. I made some strides in money matters by continuing to save, opening the Schwab checking account I plan to use abroad, and through Strategic Spending I have gained 65,000 airline miles (still without getting on a plane). I found some ways to keep myself busy during the trip and am really looking forward to the opportunities that present themselves. I’ve joined the modern world by getting my first smartphone and I’m having tons-o-fun adding Apps to it – even enjoying the frustrating learning curve (discovery: it’s possible to use both Google Voice and Skype together).
In late July, I took an opportunity that resulted in moving out of San Francisco sooner than I anticipated. In a little over two weeks, I closed loose ends at work, got rid of most of my stuff, and left San Francisco and a handful of wonderful friends (miss you guys!). Being an emotional person, it was hard to leave a place/people, and close a “chapter” in life but, I’m filled with heartfelt memories forever. Another change that came about due to my move is insurance. Since I left employer medical coverage when I quit my job, there is a big lag time to insure before I pick up travelers insurance for the trip. After discussing my options with an insurance professional, I am pursuing a High Deductible Health Plan (not a fun process, but necessary). One of the best changes that happened recently is that I have just started working with a web programmer!! YAY! Contrary to my note in April, it took me eight months to find a programmer as the previous six people I contacted did not pan out. If anyone is looking for an amazing web programmer at decent rates, let me know.
My guess is that the next four months will go by quickly and I still have a fair amount to do. While I connect with even more travelers via social media, I’ll purge more stuff and transition into the clothes/gear I plan to take on my trip. Additionally, I’ll research Morocco, the U.S. Northeast, and review overland options. Then, just before December rolls around, I’ll work on getting airline tickets and tourist visa’s for my trip (Eek! . . . exciting).