I leave in just a few shorts weeks for almost six months of travel. The plan is one month in India, one month in Sri Lanka and three and a half months in Australia. Although I have often been gone from home for one month, five and a half months is quite a different story. There are lots of things to prepare and to be cognizant of.
First off there are just the general traveling considerations. I need my passport up to date, my flights booked, and visas for India and Australia. Done. I need to be aware of any travel health issues. Malaria is of concern in India. A trip to the doctor provides my antimalarial medication and he further recommended the oral vaccine Dukoral for protection against Travellers’ Diarrhea (caused by E. coli) and Cholera and to purchase a water filtration system to use whenever unsure of my water source. Done. Next up was travel health insurance. This was two pronged. When a resident of Manitoba leaves the province for more than 90 days, it is recommended to inform Manitoba Health of your absence and apply for a term registration certificate in order to be covered for out-of-province benefits while travelling abroad. This coverage is not sufficient on its own so it is also recommended that private health insurance also is purchased. Done. I need some currency for when I first arrive. Done. And of course I need to gather all the usual toiletries, clothing and any other items I require. Still working on.
The more major travel consideration is that I’m going to be gone from my home for almost six months. That’s a long time. There are two issues. The first is I need to be able to handle my affairs while away. During this six-month period, the most pressing are my Income Tax and the very few bills I have coming in that are not automatic debit; the property tax being one. Because I trade stocks, I have to paper file my tax return. My plan for my taxes it to prepare them with all the information I have at hand now and my son has agreed to finish off my return once the final tax receipts have arrived and send it in. My kids will also have to monitor the mail for any bills and I will either pay on-line, if possible, or they will pay and I will reimburse. Last, I have to be concerned about leaving the home vacant for an extended period, however this really is not an issue for me as one of my kids still lives at home.
The second issue of being gone that long is continuing my hobbies/interests/lifestyle while away. What do I need to take with me that I would otherwise really miss? If I was stranded on a deserted island what three items would I take? I also have to consider that I will have to backpack these items for the first two months of my trip. You would think this would be a hard question but in actual fact it wasn’t. In this day and age, most of my needs are met by electronics. Three items: 1 – MacBook Air which will have ways to communicate with family and friends, current projects working on, my pictures and my trading account, 2 – Kobo reader which has my books and Sudoku on it and 3 – iphone which has all the apps I need to monitor my new active lifestyle. What will I miss that I’m not taking with me? My favourite rocking chair, my collection of jigsaw puzzles and my drawing supplies.