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The List That Never Ends: RTW To Do (still)

We are pretty stoked (can I say that without sounding like a 14 year old skateboarder?) about getting our first flight officially booked. Off to London, June 19th!! We already started making a few plans as to people and places we would like to visit in our short time in the UK….spending time with Shawna’s Uncle Rob and Aunt Jennie on the Isle of Wight, visiting my friend Emily (are you still in Maidstone?), and hopefully even bussing up to Scotland to visit friends, Sara and Gavin (and perhaps a fiscally responsible scotch-tasting tour??!)

However before we get our butts on the plane here in Canada, there is still this to-do list that never seems to be shrinking! About three months ago, we made our first list, and we thought we were making fantastic progress….turns out there were a few things missing on the first run, that had to be added this time around….

With just under 62 days remaining in Canada (and 58 in Regina), here is an update of things we still need to clean up before we leave:

  1. Wait for passports to arrive – not much we can do here. Mugshots have been taken and renewal apps submitted
  2.  

  3. Check out what countries require us to apply for visas in advance – still haven’t done this
  4.  

  5. Travel insurance – because I am way too clumsy to chance going without
  6.  

  7. Putting together a will – hardly something we are looking forward to, but if I am bowled down by a scooter-driving monkey in Vietnam, Shawna would prefer that this legal headache is handled. Let’s just hope that the scooter-driving monkey isn’t HER!
  8. Get to the Travel Clinic for our Doxycycline prescription – friends don’t let friends get malaria
  9.  

  10. First Aid Course – see #3
  11.  

  12. Take a pool Scuba lesson – Shawna is afraid of fish, so we better start small if we are going to convince her to dive with sharks in South Africa
  13.  

  14. Home Insurance – wow this really IS an exciting list
  15.  

  16. Buy a laptop, voice recorder, and point n shoot camera
  17.  

  18. Prepare our home for renters – fix the leaking roof, create some kind of a bathroom in the basement, lay sod in the backyard (what-no volunteers?), install security system
  19. Tweak this blog – and tweak it again, and again, and again……
  20.  

  21. Cell phone/iphone – make a decision as to whether we really need one? At this point…it is ‘no’
  22.  

  23. Teach my Mom and Dad how to Skype
  24.  

  25. Photo storage – do we send portable hard drives home intermittently? Any other suggestions?
  26.  

  27. Determine how we will deal with our banking overseas. We have done a little research here, but have yet to pull the trigger on anything
  28.  

  29. Give our vehicles to family and friends while we are away
  30.  

  31. Plan our good bye party – get ready to polka till you puke!!! Woo hoo!!

I get tired just typing this list….however, nothing’s stopping us now!!

Is there anything you can think of that we may be missing??

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23 Responses to “The List That Never Ends: RTW To Do (still)”

  1. Mike Lenzen April 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    No shortage of things to do. If you divide it out, you only have to check one item off your list every 3.5 days, still seems reasonable. Photo storage is one of our concerns also. I’m not sure what the ticket is.
    Mike Lenzen recently posted..Our Itinerary Released

  2. Dalene @ Hecktic Travels April 20, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

    For photos we burn CD’s and send backups home every few months, just in case!

    Unless your malaria pills are going to still be covered by your work health insurance, consider buying them on the road (do some specific research re. the first country you are going to where you need them, to check on availability and price). I know that they are SUPER pricey in Canada, and here in Honduras, they are a mere fraction of the cost.

    And let me know what you come up with for a banking strategy. We’re thinking of opening an HSBC acct when we come back to Canada soon, but am open to all suggestions!

    • Skott and Shawna April 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm #

      Thanks for the heads up on the malaria, but yeah, work is covering ours…actually our Blue Cross through work has been awesome – every one of our 400 vaccinations were completely covered…we are super lucky. I think we are going to see how much space a 6 month supply of doxy will take up in our backpack, and go from there…obviously it is not the end of the world if we have to pick up more along the way, but we might as well milk this for all we can!

      We do need to get on the banking…we will keep you posted, as soon as we start doing some research……

  3. Elise April 20, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Wow! Reading that list reminds me of how much stuff we had to do before we left as well!! It all sounds so dull and boring but essential!
    Time will fly past and before you know you will be on that plane!
    Elise recently posted..I’d Love Some Weasel In My Coffee

    • Skott and Shawna April 20, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

      Yeah, we wrote this post, and thought…wowo – this may be the lamest post we have ever written, and hopefully ever will…it is a bit dry, even with the monkey on a bike! We can hardly wait!

  4. megan April 24, 2011 at 12:09 am #

    How exciting! Looking forward to following your travels. This post reminds me of the several weeks before I left on my own trip – it’s a very particular sense of anticipation so enjoy it, even if it is busy and stressful!
    megan recently posted..Afternoon at the Mongolian Museum

    • Skott and Shawna April 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

      Yeah, it’s a combination of feeling incredibly overwhelmed and nearly peeing your pants with anticipation!!

  5. Bluegreen Kirk April 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    I can simply see the excitement on your face about getting this list done. But some of these things though boring are really important like having a will and of course the passport and visa. I would agree start small if you think she is ever getting in water with sharks.

    • Skott and Shawna April 25, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

      Kirk – I agree with you completely…as “un-fun” as filling out wills seems, it still is exciting because it brings us one step closer to takeoff!!! Thanks for stopping in!

  6. Nomadic Chick April 30, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Okay, the most hilarious to-do item is having to teach your parents how to use Skype. How cute.

    I agree on the malaria pills. And to be honest, I’ve stopped taking mine. (Don’t tell my family.) They gave me really horrible side effects, so research which ones cause the least side effects and go with them. Just note, might be hard to have choice if you plan on buying somewhere else, aka Thailand, etc., but should still be fine I would think.

    Passports will get there and off you go! I remember the excitement, it’s something you can’t duplicate. :)
    Nomadic Chick recently posted..I’m in Love… With My Guesthouse

    • Skott April 30, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

      Yikes – what malarials were you taking? We believe Doxy will be the best of us…the cost of Malarone eliminated that as an option, and the rumours of acid-dreams with Larium didn’t make that terribly attractive either.

      Yeah mom and dad on Skype, could be an adventure….it’ll be a fun night, I’m sure!!

      • Nomadic Chick April 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

        I was taking Malarone. I think you might be right on Doxy. I’ll have to check your itinerary. If Africa is on there, take note, Rob from Stop Having a Boring Life contracted malaria while taking anti-malarial pills. Apparently, the pills don’t work against certain strains of the virus.

        Not trying to scare you, really. :) Hopefully any info is helpful before you leave!
        Nomadic Chick recently posted..I’m in Love… With My Guesthouse

        • Skott and Shawna April 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

          Africa is indeed on the list…we will likely spend quite awhile there, so you are right, we will have to be careful. Shawna was in Ghana 3 yrs ago, and actually contracted malaria as well, so she has a little bit of experience dealing with all this already. Any info is indeed helpful, so we definitely appreciate the words o wisdom.

  7. Dale April 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    Re: travel visas, consult TripAdvisor lots to find out the real deal. Most just want your cash as you enter so you can pay at customers on the way in.
    Re: monkey. He rules. Nobody rocks the mini cycle like he does.
    Re: Scuba, Shawna take the plunge, you won’t be sorry.
    Re: photos, use Picassa to sync to Internet when you have good links. Use DVD’s to backup your photos and videos and mail them home.
    Re:overseas banking, watch the currency conversion, they really bend you over on that. Use VISA for big purchases, keep small amounts of cash in local currency for everything else so you don’t over pay with US. Have multiple cards for emergency. Ensure your card maximums are reasonable in case you lose them.
    Re: polka, we are there, just say the word!
    Cheers,
    Dale
    p.s. That monkey rules!

    • Skott and Shawna April 30, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

      The monkey is indeed pretty cool!!

      No worries Dale – we have actually booked a pool scuba session at the Y next Friday. No doubt this will be just the first of many times we put on our tanks and fins. Thanks also for the tips on banking and VISA…

      Ans of course you will be invited to our polka-fest….or beerfest…or goodbye party… coming soon….

  8. Nicole May 1, 2011 at 2:18 am #

    I had no idea you guys were doing this – bravo!! I’m so jealous and think you guys rock for having the courage!! A couple of thoughts for you:
    -your list includes getting a laptop so I’m assuming you’re taking it with you. If so, for photo storage upload your pics to an online site like Flickr (as well as your computer hard drive). Once they’re on the net they’re good to go and your friends/family can see them as soon as they’re loaded.
    -for banking – might be a good idea to get an HSBC account. When we were in Taiwan it was all we could have. Also, make sure your debit pin number is only 4 digits – many banks in Europe do not accept anything longer.
    -I agree – take many cards for emergencies and store them in separate places so that if you lose something you don’t lose everything.
    -As a way to save money during your travels – really look into transportation options. Europe, for example, has Ryan Air – an incredibly cost savings airline option (in some cases flights are cheaper than train) and multi-day / multi-country train passes are not necessarily the most cost efficient option.
    -Definitely start getting on the visa stuff – some places do take many weeks :)
    -cell phone: I’m not positive but I believe this could wind up costing you major money due to roaming charges and such. Also, when we were in Taiwan, our cell phone didn’t work. We had to buy one there. Not sure if this would be a problem in other places…

    Have a blast!!! So excited for you guys!

    p.s. which airline is your London flight with? It’s an amazing deal!!!

    • Skott and Shawna May 1, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

      Hi Nicole – thank you so much for the tips! The 4-digit pin was something I hadn’t heard before. From a banking perspective we are currently leaning towards Scotiabank, as they appear to be connected with several other banks internationally.

      Yes, the visas have been something we have been putting off – I hope we don’t run out of time for any of these.
      If we did take a cell, it would be an unlocked phone overseas, and then we would just get the SIM cards and pay as we go….at least I have been told that is the way to go.
      Kayak.com, is where we got our London flight – it seems to be a pretty standard place to find discounted flights.

  9. Surender Sharma May 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

    Well stocked list…When you are away,give everything to others.
    Surender Sharma recently posted..Top 5 Summer Tourist Destinations in India

    • Shawna May 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

      Thanks for the advice!! We’re definitely going to check out your post about India by the way!

  10. Steph May 29, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    Woo! How exciting. London’s a great first stop. I lived there for four years and didn’t run out of things to keep me busy so enjoy :)

    Flickr’s a great place to upload pics. I’ve got a few external hard drives that hold 400gb each.
    Really useful. For banking, HSBC is pretty worldwide and a safe bet in most places.

    Good luck with all the finishing touches.
    Steph recently posted..5 things I’ve learned from my Colombian boyfriend

    • Skott May 29, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

      Flickr does sound like it makes a ton of sense as far as a site to upload pics…we have also heard of another site called Dropbox… ever heard of it? Did you ever have trouble in terms of it taking forever to upload pics in areas where the connection may not be so strong??

      We are on board as far as the hard drives go as well – even if just to back up our entire system.

      Thanks for the advice Steph!

      • Steph May 29, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

        I never had a problem with Flickr. I’m in rural Colombia now and it works just as well as it did in Central London. It has a cool slideshow feature where your images are displayed all pretty-looking on a black background.

        Never heard of Dropbox, but definitely worth exploring your options!

        When you’re in London, make sure you hit up Brick Lane on a Sunday and stop into 1001 cafe for a cup of tea on the couches near the windows upstairs when you want a break from the market madness. Loads of cool graffiti in the area too if you wander down further toward Bethnal Green like Bacon Street, etc… It was always one of my favorite places to hang out on a Sunday afternoon. A picnic on a Sunny day up in Hampstead Heath is brilliant too. Can’t wait to read about what you get up to :)

        • Skott and Shawna May 29, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

          That is an awesome list of recommendations for London…we have relatives in the Isle of Wight and friends in Maidstone, so we know we are headed for both of these places, but yes, we have to spend a little time in London as well, no doubt about it, and these sound like some very cool options!

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