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Four Months To Go!

Monthly Planning Update

The clock is ticking…

The trip planning is heating up and it’s time to revisit where we are on our main metrics:

Trip Planning Metrics

Budget

As stated in our monthly budget update for May Vicky and I have $40k currently saved and are saving more every month. Though we will likely be shy of our $65k goal, we feel comfortable that we will have enough money to fund our trip. There are no more major outstanding costs (non travel related) left so it’s just straight saving from here on out for the next 4 months. We save about $2k-3k per month. Furthermore, we have saved up a significant amount of rewards miles/points (combined over 100k) on various travel cards (Capital One Venture Card/ Chase Sapphire), which we hope to use towards our initial plane flight to Japan.

Packing/Purchasing

Frankly we haven’t packed a thing. We’ve barely even bought anything for the trip with the exception of a few small trinkets (sleep sac, camcorder, voice recorder, infinity dress). Luckily this is all baked into our budget so it’s nothing we haven’t planned for, but it’s safe to say that there are some major travel related expenses (backpack, electronics) in our future. We’ve done some research into travel apparel and it seems like specifically for South East Asia where humidity levels are high we will need to discard all our cotton clothes and swap those out for quick dry, sweat resistant fabrics. Instead of purchasing at retail price online or in sports stores we will be scoping out discount stores (TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack) for some good deals.

Route

Our route is about halfway complete. Vicky has been planning everyday and is just finishing up the Asia Tour. Soon we will have to discuss our Europe tour. Moreover, while we have a general idea of the order of the countries as well as transportation between them, we have not hashed out what we want to do in all of them. Luckily I work with many people from Asia and I will be going to them for some expert advice in addition to what Vicky already has done from various sites/research.

Vaccinations

We have just started thinking about vaccinations and are apparently off to a late start already (the first of two doses of Hepatitis A apparently needs to be started 6 months in advance – oops). As we have recently learned health insurance generally does not cover travel vaccinations so this has come as a minor shock to us considering how expensive the vaccines are (three doses of the rabies vaccine is $570). Fortunately we will be able to get the majority of our travel shots at the health clinic located at Dave’s office (what a relief). As for the others – yellow fever, meningitis, Japanese encephalitis we will have to seek out travel clinics in the DC area.

Visas

We haven’t even started the application process for any of our visas yet. Looks like we will need to have the China visa squared away before we go, but as for the others we shall be applying for those when we are abroad.

Travel Insurance

We have decided to purchase travel insurance for our trip but have yet to decide on a specific company. From most of the travel bloggers out there it seems like World Nomads is the best choice so we will most likely be purchasing a policy from them. Stay tuned for details.

Overall

As you can see we have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it in. With every passing day we make progress towards our trip, whether it be polishing the website, writing more articles, or clearly defining our route.

On an emotional note, the anxiety is starting to build up and a lot of questions are without answers:

  • How will we function as not only traveling companions but business partners?
  • Will we be able to stand each other for 24 hours, under potentially stressful conditions?
  • What will we miss out on while we’re gone? (two years is beginning to sound much longer than it used to)
  • Will we be able to deal with being separated from friends and family for long?
  • What will we do afterwards (re-entry plan)?
  • Will we be able to stay safe and healthy?

And more practically:

  • Will we have enough money?
  • Will the website be ready?
  • Will we be able make money while traveling?

In future posts we will revisit these questions and likely add more, but for now, back to work!

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