Sunday, January 6, 2013

30 Days to Lift Off

With just 30 days left until we depart on our adventure, it seems that every day several items are added to our "to do" list. Luckily, we are also consistently checking things off, so the list isn't growing too much. There are moments where it feels a bit overwhelming, but we're in the final stretch so it only makes sense that we've got a lot to do. And, our date of departure is now so close that it is actually starting to feel real, so that's a huge motivator to keep checking things off of that list!


Here is an overview of the things we are working on:
  • Home
    • Took down and put away all of our Christmas decorations.
    • Starting to compile our stuff in our designated "packing areas."
  • Health
    • Visited the Niagara County Health Department this past week to get our immunizations. Needed Tetanus, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, and Hepatitis A (Drew also had to get Hep B, but they have a mixed Hep A/Hep B shot so he still only got four needles). 
    • Saw our doctors to get a final checkup and get prescriptions written. 
      • Need malaria pills, and Cipro for if/when you get travelers diarrhea (We both experienced it in Thailand so we're not taking any chances!!)
      • I also needed to get an extended prescription for my birth control pills. All of these prescriptions bring new challenges for me with my newly diagnosed Celiac Disease - I have to make sure all of my drugs are gluten free. This is a lot more difficult than I expected, but luckily we started this now so we have a bit of time to get it all figured out.
  • Finances
    • Creating a plan for our money while we're away. Including:
      • What our daily budget is while we are gone.
      • How much cash we want to have on us at different times so as to have what we need, but not have too much just in case we lost our wallet or got pick-pocketed.
      • Set up automatic bill pay - so we have less to worry about while we're away.
    • We already have a credit card that doesn't have any foreign transaction fees, however, it is important for us to have a debit/ATM card that will not charge us fees when we withdraw money abroad. We did a little research and found out that Charles Schwab will reimburse withdrawal fees while abroad, so we've recently sent in our paperwork to set up an account with them. There are other options, but this seemed like the best one for us. 
  • Trip Details
    • Diving in Miami - we want to do a day of practice diving while in South Florida, so we are confident and comfortable from the very first dive in the Galapagos - it's supposed to be far too amazing to waste a dive getting re-acclimated!
    • Rental equipment in Galapagos - we are only taking our masks and a few accessories with us to the Galapagos - because we don't own much equipment, and our flippers are much too big to bring along. Therefore, we needed to send our sizes to our liaison so she can make sure we have everything we need when we arrive. We stopped at our local dive shop, Dip 'N Dive, who "sized us up" for about 10 seconds each before giving us our sizes which I emailed to our dive contact.
    • First nights accommodations in the Galapagos - because the Galapagos are islands there is clearly a limit on the number of places to stay - especially budget accommodations. So, we are trying to have our rooms booked for our two nights on San Cristobal island (where we will be departing on the cruise from) before we leave home.
    • Accommodation for first night after dive cruise - for the same reasons as above and because the dive company needs to know where to take our bags when we get off the boat our last day, we need to have at least our first night on Santa Cruz island booked. We don't want to book more than that because we aren't sure how long we will stay on that island as we may want to venture to another island the next day and stay there.
  • Packing!
    • It's crucial to practice packing for such a long trip with such a small amount of luggage. We're going to be living with just the packs on our backs and a small carry on bag.
    • It's definitely a bit intimidating to try to figure out what we are really going to need while we're gone, but it's also exciting and liberating to know that I will (hopefully!) have everything I need in one bag that I can just throw on my back and go!
  • Collecting Information
    • I'm continuously reading and researching about places I want to go.
    • Brushing up on my Spanish. Drew found a great app for the iPhone called Duolingo. It's free and takes you from beginner language skills up into advanced. I've spent quite a bit of time on it, but have a ton of lessons ahead of me. It's a great way to refresh the skills I haven't used since a trip to Costa Rica in 2007, and high school Spanish before that! It's also helping Drew to learn some of the language as he took French in high school.
  • Some Final Purchases
    • A journal - I wanted one that is lined, spiral bound, has a soft, pliable cover, and is about half the size of a standard spiral notebook - not too big to take up a ton of room, not too small to be a pain to write in. Found it yesterday, so I can check that off my list!
    • Fold-up toothbrushes - no, we didn't know that we wanted these, because we didn't know they existed, but for $1.59 at Target they seemed like a great buy and a nice way to keep our toothbrushes clean AND they are compact! 
    • Memory cards for our cameras.
So that's our current situation! It's really starting to get real!

No comments:

Post a Comment