Planning a RTW Adventure: The Prep Freak-Out

I’m stressed.
Part of me wants to just pack a bag and GO! Pack and bag and not look back.
The other part of me wants to hold on to the last of these ‘carefree’ days.

Why am I stressed when I’m about to travel the world?   
The List. (Yes, I’m capitalizing it because it deserves to be!)  The List of stuff we need to tackle.
The problem is this:  We’re a family who is settled.  Not as settled as we were four years ago in Texas.  But, when you stay in one place for three years, you find yourself, well, settling in.
When we left Texas in 2013, we purged a LOT.  We were paying for the move from Texas to Australia ourselves.  It wasn’t a cheap move by any stretch.  Anything we could do to keep those expenses down, we did.  We got rid of a LOT. We looked at every single thing questioning whether we needed that item of not.
Turns out we didn’t do that thoroughly enough.  We still have items in boxes stored in the garage from that move from Texas.
Still, that’s irrelevant, because we’re about to go through that process all over again.  This time it will be brutal.  Those items in boxes will most likely be the first to go.  (Anyone looking for a beautiful, large silver mirror from Crate & Barrel?!)
We need to figure out what to sell or giveaway in order to travel full time. The List is gargantuan.
Part of the equation we need to consider is Natalie.  She’ll need some stuff for University next year so she will get first pick of the lot.
We are selling as much as we can for travel money. We’ll donate everything else, storing only the absolutes, so that we can travel full time next year.
That’s no small feat.
Being the Project Manager that I once was, ‘The List’ has been started.
At certain moments, I’ve had ‘oh shit’ moments when I look at The List.  I can’t express these verbally without freaking out the family, yet I have to admit, it’s a bit much at times.
The List has everything we need to do to prepare for our (re) Discover Australia and the World.
The list is added to, every single day (at least it feels that way!)  Stuff we keep thinking of, stuff we don’t want to forget, stuff we think we may need to be concerned about but probably won’t be (I can only hope!).
  • We know that Natalie will be starting University in February next year.  That means that we need to time the end of our lease to just after that, so we can be here while she settles.
  • Our plan is to stay in Australia for the remainder for 2017 so that if Nat does need us in that first year, we’ll be able to get to her quickly.  We don’t want to be hiking the Camino de Santiago if she has a first year meltdown! (Not that I anticipate that happening, but you get the idea…)
  • What to Keep (ie. our travel stuff and what Nat will need).
  • What to Buy for our full time travels? (ie. packs to hike the Camino).
  • What to Store? (ie. absolute sentimental items (ie. Family photos that we simply can’t let go of).
  • What to Sell (everything else?) and then determine where we can sell it.
  • What to Give Away (i.e. anything we can’t sell days before leaving!)
  • We need to sell our car and buy our road-trip solution. Anyone looking for slightly used, low kilometre Ford Kuga? We’re already on the scout for a solution.  Check out our posts planes, trains and automobiles post and campervan posts.  Right now, we’re still tossing up between a campervan and a AWD/Camper Trailer solution.  (We like to take off-the-track roads now and again to see ‘what’s up there?’)
  • This is a big conundrum for any Digital Nomad.  There are so many factors to consider:
  • How do we manage our finances here in Australia with no fixed address?
  • Are there any financial restrictions and taxes we need to consider? What are the right credit cards to travel with?
  • Where do we get medical insurance once we leave Australia?
  • Do we need immunizations for our intended travels?
  • Not to sound morbid, but we need to make sure our wills are up to date.  Shit happens.
  • We need to set up a power of Attorney before we leave for any emergencies.
  • We need to make sure that Natalie has all of the documentation she needs to start her own life adventure.
And that’s only the high level.  It’s not like we’re taking a long holiday.  The biggest difference is this: We don’t know where we will be settling once we’ve explored all we want to (or simply tire ourselves out!)  We know it won’t be Texas.  We know it won’t be Sydney.  The rest is up to fate and what the world has to offer.  Until then, we need to work out how to put our settled life on ‘pause’.
Even as intimidating as this list is, the one thing we are need to keep in mind, the thing that has us really excited is the light at the other end:  traveling full time.
I won’t lie.  It’s not all rainbows and puppy dogs.
Reality is that planning a full time adventure can be stressful.  It’s normal to feel scared, anxious, stressed.
While it’s a lot fun to dream about the trip itself, when it comes to making it happen, putting to rest the old life for the new, it can also make you very anxious. Scared even.  Maybe make you even question if you’re making the right decision (for a second anyway).
I wrote a post called “Why I’m Vehemently Pursuing the Long Term Travel Dream” where I talk about my anxiety about this dream of ours. All of those feelings resurface here and there, especially as we get closer to the departure date.
A lot of things need to happen before you can step foot into that adventure.
Just because you aren’t having a rip-roaring fun time with those details, doesn’t mean you don’t want to go, or aren’t looking forward to it.  It means that, well, there’s just a lot of shit that needs to be done before it can happen!
So, when the moment hits where I look at the list and think “fark’, I take a deep breath and remember all this work goes into making the dream a reality.
Taking only what we need, simplifying our life, that’s something I can really get on board with. I love that idea of having a simple, independent, carefree life.  I can do this.
I feel weight lifting just at the thought.

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