A few things I’m organizing before we move abroad that are still on my “to-do” list.
Build housesitting profiles
I never knew housesitting was such a “thing” but it’s a growing “thing” it turns out. There are websites that match house-sitters with houses in need of sitting. All over the world.
I’m intrigued by this idea, because it usually means a house in a neighborhood so you get a more authentic immersion, plus animals to care for (Kamea will love that), and it’s generally free because you’re trading your services of watching the house for free rent.
We plan to try some housesitting locally to get a few gigs under our belts which will boost our housesitting profile. And, Kamea is starting an animal-sitting service, locally, to show she’s a responsible animal sitter. I think most people who need house-sitters are looking for a single person or married couple without kids, but when they see our kiddo is mature and responsible, it’ll help our profile.
We will definitely get travel insurance while we are abroad and I need to research the following companies. The first one, World Nomads, is very popular. Reading other digital nomads and expats I see that many get travel insurance but rarely use it as many places around the world have such inexpensive (and excellent) health care that they just pay for it out of pocket.
It’s smart to have a proper credit card for traveling outside of the US. I’ll be looking for one that has no international fees on purchases for starters. Also, though, if we find ourselves traveling to more places in a more frequent fashion (not our original plan because we envision Slow Travel), it could mean more air travel so a card that has nice travel benefits will be a good fit. I hear a lot about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for racking up miles and such. I think they also offer free Global Entry credit.
Organize flight options
After deciding where to land first… is it Playa or Tulum in Mexico? Or maybe central Mexico in the mountains? Guanajuato perhaps? I will look at flights and keep my eye on them to find the best prices.
There’s a lot written on ways to smartly buy airplane tickets that can save a lot of money. I have a whole research file on just that.
Furniture and Donations
Sell and donate remaining furniture over the next 14 months. Once our lease ends, store anything else at our moms’ houses.
Sell Mercedes now. Sell Prius May 2018.
Cell Phones and Technology
We need to figure out the best cell plan for the area. As of right now, we left expensive AT&T for Ting which has been awesome so far. Now that I pay for only what I use, I’m waaaaaaaaay more mindful of my cell phone use when not on wifi. It’s a benefit for many reasons: less screen time, safer driving, and more mindfulness overall. Once we move, I’m not sure if Ting will be the plan as I hear a lot about T-Mobile being a good choice (Ting might even use T-mobile towers?). We’ll see because anything can happen over the next year.
Passports / Visas / Global Entry
- Get Global Entry? I hear this can be useful. I need more research on it.
- Update Kamea’s passport later this year.
- Renew my passport? Greg’s?
- Make “Copies” and have “Originals” of marriage certificate, passports, air tickets, insurance, list of emergency contacts, driver’s licenses, bank cards and credit cards.
- Research visa options for where we want to go to plan how long we can stay. Mexico allows six months at a time.
- Take a self-defense class, for peace of mind I suppose. Just seems like a smart thing to do.
- Learn advanced first aid.
- Check in with our naturopath before we leave to discuss our travel and get any possible medications or advice.
- Research area of travel for preventative health. For example, avoiding areas with tropical diseases or other potential issues as of now.
Start learning some basic words in the language of our future destination. For us, that’s Spanish because we’re thinking Mexico is our first stop. I’m using Duolingo on my iPhone for now and I like it a lot.
Once we land there we will hire a tutor and go to a Spanish immersion school, but it’ll be helpful to know a few things before going.
I have an enormous list for packing which includes things for various destinations. I will whittle it down once I know for sure where we’re going. But for now, every time I think of something I just add it to my list.
My goal is to continue Minimalism as a guiding principle, but dammit I want to bring my Instant Pot. And chef’s knife (and sharpener and hone). And vitamins. And technology. And And And.
One of the things I’ve done to research future expat destinations is setting up Google Alerts.
What is a Google Alert? As you can see in the image, a Google Alert is
“a content change detection and notification service, offered by the search engine company Google. The service sends emails to the user when it finds new results – such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs – that match the user’s search term.”
Lifehacker says this about Google Alerts:
Google Alerts is one of Google’s hidden gems. It’s a really powerful tool to keep track of trends, interesting topics, or anything really new that appears on the web.
A Google Alert is easy to set up, and it’s a good way to monitor the web for desired topics being written about.
Once you set up a Google Alert you will get a daily email with links to articles on that particular alert for the day. For us, that’s various travel destinations.
For example, after Playa del Carmen (one of our chosen places to live) had violence in a nightclub last month :( I was able to easily follow the news on it with Google Alerts. As a result, I’ll follow the alerts for the next year to see how Playa fares but we’re also going to check other locations now.
Even though we aren’t leaving the United States for a while, Google Alerts gives me a better feeling of the places we’re interested in living.
Worldschool here we come!
Digital Nomadism here we come!
Adventure here we come!