Preparations, preparations, preparations!

Preparations are well underway for the big trip- which is just a month and a few days away! I thought I’d share some of the things I’m learning/doing along the way for my first ever trip abroad. There’s a lot to be done when you leave everything behind for 9 weeks. My to do list includes:

  1. Setting all my bills to autopay, and making sure the money is in the bank account to cover it!
  2. I’ll be removing about $200 cash from the bank in smaller bills to hide amongst my luggage. Apparently, if you’re in a bind, U.S. dollars will help you out, no matter what country. Of course, I will also get some cash from the exchange as well.
  3. Stocking up two months worth of everything I’ll need: shampoo, soap, facewash (all bars as they are easier to travel with than liquid), prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, contact lenses, sunscreen…
  4. Making sure my dog is taken care of, plenty of food and snacks to last the two months, instructions for caregivers, a letter that authorizes them to seek medical treatment.
  5. Visas! I’ve got my visa for India and am about to send off the paperwork to get one for Thailand. Something I didn’t know: this involves sending your ACTUAL PASSPORT so you have to do one at a time.
  6. Making my list of donors getting gifts and postcards and gathering their addresses. A well-travelled friend suggested printing address labels for everyone prior to leaving. Then I just have to stick them on and fill in a note.
  7. Starting to pack: I got some nice wicking shirts, a sunhat with SPF, and some cargo capris for Christmas from my grandmother, a universal charger from my mom, and some good journals. The aforementioned well-travelled friends suggested I carry a small notebook and make notes each day of what I did, who I met, phrases I learned, et cetera. So when I’m too tired to make blog posts until a few days later, I won’t forget any of the details!
  8. I’ve requested an absentee ballot for the primaries as they are on March 1st. (Bernie!!)
  9. I’m in talks with the folks in India to work out housing and other details of my trip there, I’ll be buying the ticket from Thailand to India soon.

If you want to be one of the lucky ducks on my gift list, make a $150 or more donation at gofundme.com/carielephants. Postcards are pretty great too, and I’ll send you one if you make a $25 or more donation.

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