Wednesday December 10, 2014 (Planning, Preparation)
We now find ourselves less than a month away from the big departure! Here's a short list of things we're doing in preparation:
- Collecting free cardboard boxes and moving supplies from around the city. Kijiji, Craigslist, and freecycle were our friends here! Our apartment resembles typhoon wreckage as we exhume all of the items we'd carefully sorted into cupboards for transport.
- Booking a moving truck to get all of our stuff into storage before leaving. We've lined up a 17-footer. We really hope that's enough space to fit the sum of our worldly possessions.
- Mass utility contract exodus. Electricity? Cancelled. Natural Gas? Unnecessary. Internet? Extraneous. Telephone? Superfluous. Cut 'em all! One unfortunate part was having to pay an early termination fee on the remaining nine months of Sandra's phone contract. "Early termination" after almost two and a half years on contract. There's a reason those three year phone contracts aren't legal anymore!
- Unlocking cell phones. We're doing this through Bell, our current service provider. It costs about $50 per device, but it will allow us to buy SIM cards internationally so we can do things like book hostels and tours without begging locals and/or local businesses to use their phones. This was a problem for us in Iceland and we've decided travelling with a local cell phone is a good idea.
- Renewing driver's licences (and health cards!). We may end up renting cars/scooters/elephants on the trip. Life is definitely easier if you have a valid licence you can show the rental agency! Unfortunately, once you tell ServiceOntario you're leaving for a year, they will inform you that you also have to let OHIP know that you're leaving the province for so long if you wish to maintain health coverage. This is an important point! Without this long-term travel exemption arranged ahead of time, one might discover their travel health insurance deemed invalid after racking up a significant bill. This is undesirable.
The battle rages as we inch ever closer to takeoff!