Less Than Six Months To Go!

Other than continuing to save we haven’t been doing all that much directly related the Big Adventure lately both because there’s been lots of other stuff going on and mainly because we can’t. It dawned on me last week though that we have less than six months to go before we depart! While we’ve accomplished what we can so far, planning and scheduling is going to accelerate quickly beginning next month.

For now, we’re scheduled to leave the island on August 20. We still don’t know though where we’ll be heading, whether that will be over to Honolulu first to take YaYu to college there, or on to somewhere on the mainland. Once we have the college information we’ll be able to pull out the big calendar to figure out locations, dates and deadlines.

Anyway, here’s what we’ve already done to get ready:

  • Purchased our luggage and backpacks. We still need to get locks though.
  • Purchased all our clothes and shoes, and put together our travel wardrobes (minus one pair of leather shoes for Brett). Both of us are under the weight limits that we set for ourselves for our big suitcases (44 pounds).
  • Assembled all our electronics. We’re taking my MacBook Air, an iPad, our iPhones, Brett’s iPod, two Kindles, my digital camera, all the chargers, and a couple of converters. We’re also going to take Brett’s old Samsung phone to use for local calls (will buy a SIM card at each location). Otherwise our phone plan gives us data and texting for no extra charge.
  • Made reservations for Kaua’i condo (7/27 – 8/20), the India Tour, the Australian rail journey, and our Tokyo Airbnb.

There’s still more than plenty left to do though:

  • Make travel arrangements to the mainland. Our current plan is to fly into Seattle from here using our Hawaiian air miles, and go from there. Whether there will be three of us going, or just two, is the big unknown right now. If YaYu is with us (i.e. attending college on the mainland), we will spend a couple of days in Seattle to take care of cold(er)-weather clothes shopping for her before heading on to her college.
  • Reserve Airbnb lodgings (and Hong Kong hotel). This can be done once we can set dates for the rest of the trip. We are working this month on narrowing our list of possible rentals, and ranking them. The Salisbury in Hong Kong hasn’t released their 2019 prices yet – not sure when that will happen, but once they do we’ll make our reservations there.
  • Make flight reservations. Besides getting ourselves to Dallas we also will make reservations from Dallas to Miami, Miami to Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires to Paris, and Lisbon to mainland and on to Portland for Christmas. Early next month will be a great time (five to six months out or so) to find good prices for international flights. Other flight reservations will be made while we’re on the road
  • Set up mail forwarding service. We will have mail collected here and forwarded on once a month to Brett’s sister and brother-in-law in Dallas. They will also be keeping all of our important and official papers while we travel. We plan to spend a couple of days visiting with them before we take off for Buenos Aires.
  • Purchase pillows. We are still going back on forth on these. We’ve settled on some a couple of times, but then discover they’re too heavy, or too big, too soft, or too something else. I know we’ll find the right ones eventually, but so far this has been frustrating.
  • Assemble toiletry and medication supplies, and purchase gifts for Airbnb hosts. This will be done closer to departure, but we especially need to make sure we will have enough of our medications for at least the first three months of travel. We also plan to leave a small gift of some Kaua’i-made items for our hosts as a thank-you.
  • Arrange for cleaners to assist with move-out cleaning of the house (floors and windows). This house has to be cleaned to perfection in order to get any of our deposit back (it was perfection when we moved in). We can do most of it on our own, but the floors and windows will require some extra assistance, especially the floors. They are etched and stained concrete, beautiful but a real pain to maintain. We have to strip and replace the seven (!!) coats of wax the landlord put down before we moved in.
  • Arrange storage for household goods we are keeping. We plan to meet with Royal Hawaiian, the company that moved us over here, in early May to set that up.
  • Advertise, set up and hold moving sale. For now we have been separating things out that will go to the sale, and we plan to hold the sale in early July. We also need to arrange to sell our washer and dryer, but closer to the end of July. Our landlord is thinking about purchasing the pair for the house though – fingers crossed as that would be ideal for us.  Whatever is left over from our moving sale, or that doesn’t go into storage will go to a local thrift store when we leave the house at the end of July.
  • Sell our car and reserve a rental for our last month or so on the island. We plan to have the car detailed and listed in early- to mid-July.

Looking over this list, I feel both excited and stressed! There’s a lot still to do. Hopefully being proactive now about saving, downsizing and getting organized is going to make the process easier and less stressful, and I’m excited about booking our lodgings and getting our flights, but I imagine things are going to pile up at bit as we get nearer our departure time. I know it’s all going to come together though and then we’ll be off!

 

12 thoughts on “Less Than Six Months To Go!

    • Laura says:

      We’ve sort of been in a lull over it all lately because there was really nothing much we could do. Things are going to be hopping soon again though, so we’re getting excited again too!

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  1. jp says:

    Considering the huge upheaval you are going through (exciting upheaval!), that list is getting so, SO short! I have a much longer list, and I’m not going anywhere! Haha! But, I’m so excited for you as well!

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    • Laura says:

      The list seems very long to me! Especially getting the house cleaned and holding the moving sale. Most of the other stuff will be fun to take care of (at least I hope so!).

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  2. Vicky says:

    Gosh your big trip is coming around soon. BTW have you developed a frequent flyer strategy to ensure you take maximum advantage of earning points from your flights? Also if you have firm dates have you looked at purchasing an around the world ticket that may be cheaper than buying individual legs? There are certain places in the world that these tickets are cheaper to originate from, the US is not the place. Also what is your credit card strategy to earn from spend? I believe you currently use the Hawaiian credit card but it may not be the best card for you going forward.

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    • Laura says:

      We actually don’t use our Hawaiian card these days; all of our miles were accumulated through flights and then the girls transferring their miles over to my account. We have another mileage card and that’s where everything for this trip goes – we have really racked up the points on the card, with more to come, and will trade in the points for cash when we get closer to leaving and when we’re done.

      We did check around the world tickets, but because of our itinerary they were exorbitant. We can do pretty well on location to location flights, and have more control over departure times, etc.

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  3. Laurel says:

    Wow…time if flying by! And you’re uber organized, as always.s 🙂

    I had no idea stained concrete floors took that much maintenance. We have a little Usonian house next door to us. It was designed as a cottage by a Frank Lloyd Wright student (for his aunt) in the 50’s and purchased by a Canadian couple a few years back to use again as a cottage. They’ve been working on it a lot, and one of my favorite features is the beautiful stained concrete floor. I’ve always wanted one, but now I’m not so sure. Theirs is heated, and I’ve always thought that would be ideal in our climate.

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    • Laura says:

      The floor in our house is beautiful, but of course the reason it was easy for the landlord was because the house was empty. With seven layers of wax, ANY moisture that goes on the floor has the potential to damage the finish – if we miss a drop, there’s a stain. It also chips easily, although we’ve done a good job of avoiding that. The biggest issue we have though is salt – it eats through the wax and leaves large white stains on the floor. To get rid of those and other stains, and strip the floor, ALL of our furniture would have to be moved outside, the floor stripped, and then waxed again. We pay too much rent for that to happen because the floors flow throughout the house, so it will get done when we move out (and we’re hiring someone to help, most likely to do the waxing part). We’ve kept up with mopping, etc. so it looks pretty good and it’s clean, but definitely not to the landlord’s standards (this guy and his wife cleaned the house for THREE DAYS before they would let us move in. And he charges a fortune for infractions). Also, because the floor is etched and stained, we cannot use a conventional mechanical floor stripper which would make the job so easy. We have to get some special stripper and do it manually. Ugh. But again the floors are beautiful – they’re one of the reasons we fell in love with the house.

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      • Laura says:

        We cannot figure out why he put this kind of floors in a rental, other than to keep part of the deposit because no one can maintain them to his standards. We’ve been debating whether to offer him half of the deposit in order not to have to stress out over them.

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    • Laura says:

      Thank you for this! I checked them out and they sound perfect, except that we’d have to get four pillows! Sold individually, they’re too expensive. But they’re on the table if we can’t find anything else appropriate.

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