4 days to go. And yes, it’s Christmas day.

Yeeesss it’s Christmas day, and I spent most of it cleaning out my room, cleaning the house, sun baking, and reading to the middle of Eat Pray Love – I couldn’t have timed my reading of this book any better. Reading the story of a 30-year old woman and her devotion to 4 months each in three different countries in a quest for self-discovery. I consider myself a pretty picky reader but I find a lot of connection and interest in this one because 1) I too, am on a quest for self-discovery, 2) Since I’ve been to Italy I can visualise and connect to the emotions and experiences she conveys in her first story, 3) I’m travelling to two of the countries she writes about, and 4) The spiritual and cultural learnings she endures is in a lot of ways reflective of what I hope to experience too.

As I sit here devouring the bowl of popcorn I just made with a sprinkle of cumin and turmeric (I’m going to miss popcorn!), I’m running through a list of things I need to sort out before I officially depart. A couple of people have already asked if I’ve started packing. Packing? I still have 4 days! I’ll pack the day before. That seems to make me sound like an unorganised last minute person but honestly when it comes to packing for a trip, I consider it a breeze. And I figured it’s because I spend all the days, weeks and months beforehand preparing. I’d say packing contributes around 20% of your preparation for a trip; the rest comes down to mentality. Do you know where you’re going, do you have an idea of an itinerary, do you know what to expect of the culture and etiquette, do you know what the locals are like, is it safe to get around solo, where will you get cash, and so on.

Well I’ve taken care of some things today.

  • Taken note of my bank account details, notified them that I’d be overseas, and updated my phone number
  • Activated my global sim and saved the number to my own phone
  • Registered with smart traveller
  • Purchased travel insurance (and spent hours comparing WorldNomads to TID and whether to get insurance until June 2017 or just Feb 2017)
  • Transferred more money to the card I’ll be using overseas
  • Emailed the guy organising our tour in India about the prepayment
  • Checked my opal card balances – I’m going to call them up to see if I can get my balance reimbursed. I know this is a small thing but why have money laying about not being  used?
  • Checked the travel plus used in Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia – dammit I was hoping they’d all be the same!

And there’s other things still on my list

  • update my LinkedIn summary and write recommendations
  • Visa checks
  • Accommodation check for my first night in Sri Lanka
  • Refreshing my mind on where I’m planning to go in Sri Lanka

On my research comparing travel insurance, I came by useful/smart thing to do before going overseas and that’s saving the serial numbers of all your electronic items in case they get stolen. As someone who loves to note things down and always have details referenced, I thought this was brilliant!

I also discovered THE MOST AMAZING TRAVEL HACK. Okay maybe it’s not the most amazing. But it would’ve saved me a helluva lot of time and trouble the last time I got stuck at an airport because I didn’t have proof on an ongoing flight (travel nomads, nod with me). I discovered there are a couple of websites where you can ‘rent’ a flight for 24-48 hours and use it as proof of an ongoing flight, rather than having to actually PURCHASE  a flight!!! For $7 for example, I could rent the itinerary details of an actual flight, print the confirmation and voila! Much more affordable than paying $50-100 for the cheapest outgoing flight. HOW HANDY.

 

Well, it’s time for bed. Tomorrow is boxing day and shopping day. I might have some more popcorn before I delve into bed and back into Elizabeth’s journey to an Indian Ashram.

 

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