Shit I need to get done before I leave…

As you all know by now I made a huge change of plans and instead of having about 7 months to get everything ready before leave I now have (as of today) 42 days. I have put all my crazy fears and worries behind me. The one thing I am worried about though is that for some reason I have not been motivated to plan anything or get the shit I need to get done before I leave done.

As for the planning right now I only know I will be landing in San Jose, Costa Rica on March 1, 2010. I may spend a few days there and then head over to a beach town and be a beach bum for a few weeks then who knows. I did take some of y’alls advice and went ahead and bought a guidebook on Central America along with one for the Middle East (I plan on going later this year). I have been reading the Central America guidebook and am so glad I made the change of plans. I think it will be a great place to pop the million-travel/backpacking cherries that are going to be popped on this trip.

Amazon has them for way cheaper than the book store so went ahead and got them. Glad I did.

As for the shit that I need to get done before I leave thankfully I started preparing for this months ago and had already started buying stuff little by little. I have just about all the travel gear/stuff that I will need on the road. Now the shit that I need to get done is small things that are actually huge things. Let me explain.





Selling TYLER is what I’m most worried about because this is going to fund a big portion of the adventure. I have posted an ad on Cragislist & am spreading the word on my Facebook page about it.


I got TDAP, Typhoid & the 1st round of Hep A&B (need round 2 & 3). I also need to get Yellow Fever, Polio Booster & Japanese Encephalitis.


I have opened my Charles Schwab checking account and now just need to apply for the Capital One credit card. I also need to close my accounts with Chase Bank. I will not need them anymore.

  • ROLLOVER 401k

Need to cancel my 401k with my employer and roll it over to Charles Schwab.


Any recommendations?


The moment my best friend Erika got engaged I promised her that I would plan her bachelorette party. I’m disappointed that I will not be able to attend because it is the same weekend as my brothers wedding, but I’m still going to plan it. I think I have this figured out.


Selling my car so I won’t need this anymore.


Decided I’m not taking my cell phone with me so I won’t need this anymore.


I will be able to get these upon arrival in each country in Central America.


I wear glasses & have not had my eyes checked in over a year. I want to get my prescription so if something happens to my glasses I have it ready.


Have read on a few sites to make a copy of all your important documents and leave them behind with someone you trust. I think it is a very smart idea so I will leave behind a copy of my passport and all my debit/credit cards that I take with me.


To enter some countries you need to provide them with one or two passport size photos of you. I am going to have my sister make me a few to have with me incase this circumstance does arise.


Still don’t know if I am going to give a two weeks notice or send an email to the floor that I quit and am now going to travel the world.


My birthday is a few days before I leave so of course I will be having a going away/birthday party.

This is the shit I need to get done before I leave. Most of them seem like small things but in the bigger picture they are all actually huge things that I must get done. I wrote this list the day after I bought my ticket. Since then I have not put much of a dent on it and am not worried. It is not like me to not worry or be freaking out about these things. I guess I feel like I still have time and that it is too soon for me to do some of these things anyway. I think I will get most of these done within the next few weeks. What do y’all think should I be worried? Am I missing anything important on this list?

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  1. QUIT MY JOB – this one is definitely most exciting 🙂 And if ti was my list I’d probably put it on the very top 😉
    Magda @DestinationWorld recently posted..Photo essay- Muay Thai

  2. For Travel Insurance, look to World Nomads. They’re fantastic, easy and affordable.

    Make sure you also take copies of your passport and keep them in a seperate place from your passport. These will come in handy if you ever lose your passport.

    Also, it’s not a bad idea to take information as to who to contact in what countries for the cards you are taking. If something were to happen to them, who would you contact.

    2 passport photos is fairly standard for most visa applications, so depending on how many visas you plan on acquiring, you could need quite a few.

    While your U.S. cell contract will probably be useless to you, having a phone that accepts SIM cards will not be. If your current phone uses CDMA (like Verizon or Sprint), you can probably pick up a phone that takes SIM cards quite cheaply in another country. This is a great way to keep in touch with your new found friends on the road and if you want to try CouchSurfing, it’s almost imperative. You can buy SIM cards when you get to a country for very little money.

    Oh and before you go, make sure you follow the oft repeated advice about packing all your gear and then walking around the block a few times with your pack on. This is what you’ll be carryng for an awful long time so make sure it’s manageable!
    Aaron @ Aaron’s Worldwide Adventures recently posted..“We’re Getting Married Tomorrow…At a Thai Buddhist Temple”

    • Aaron, thank you very much for all the advice. I have heard of World Nomads, I will check them out. I didn’t think of getting contact info for my cards or of who I would call if something happens, so I will be doing that as well. About the cell phone, I think for this portion of the trip I’m not going to even bother with it (maybe when I go off to Europe). Oh & thanks for reminding me to walk with my backpack so I can start getting used to it (i forgot all about that).

  3. You’ve got a lot to do, Jamie! Getting ready for my trip was such a mess of excitement and frustration. You more to deal with than I did. I didn’t need to sell my car, get any vaccinations, or deal witha 401k. Reading these posts will be fun when you’re on the road (or old!). Almost there, keep it up man!

  4. Most everyone seems to go with World Nomads for insurance! I talked to Dave at Bootsnall.com (he’s their insurance guru) and asked him for some insights on the plans/companies their site mentions (World Nomads being one of them). After chatting with him, I went with a different company as it seemed it would fit my needs & situation better. I recommend connecting with him and he’ll be able to help you sort through the options 🙂 I talked with him via email and phone, and he’s available on Skype too.

    I remember rolling over my retirement stuff too…fun times 😛 Thankfully my dad does that sort of thing and was able to help make it less stressful.

    I cannot WAIT to hear about the day when you quit. I can’t stop tweeting you about it O:-)

    GOOD LUCK with Tyler! I remember he’s one of the first posts I read on your blog months ago 🙂

    And I’ll probably be joining you on the list of vaccinations soon enough! Hoping to spend some time in SE Asia between Australia and heading home, and think I’ll start getting the shots in the next few weeks. Alas.
    Heather recently posted..No Macaron Left Behind- 38-46

    • Heather, the only “TRAVEL” insurance company I have heard of is World Nomad. Thanks for the tips on how to deal with it. What company did you end up going with (if you don’t mind answering)???

      Ahh I don’t wanna deal with rolling over my 401k or dealing with selling my car but alas it is stuff I need to do. About vaccinations I am going to the city clinic to get mine on the cheap. Let me know what questions you have and Ill try to help ya if I can.

  5. 1. I got my vaccinations last summer but skipped Japanese encephalitis because it’s super expensive. I didn’t get it, so I guess it was good!

    2. I just got World Nomads travel insurance and have heard nothing but good things about it.

    3. I didn’t get a Capital One card or Charles Schwab because I would get denied. I don’t make over $12,000 per year, so I went with some random student card.

    4. I just had an eye exam and got extra contacts. For my other prescriptions, I just called my doctor and explained the situation (I’m traveling for a few months and won’t be able to fill my prescription) and they gave me a bunch of samples. Something to think about if you need anything else.

    Have fun! Can’t wait to read your stories.
    Caroline in the City recently posted..5 Reasons I’m Leaving the Country to Travel

    • Caroline, hmm I have thought about skipping the Japanese encephalitis as well. I didn’t check on the price last time I was at the travel clinic, but I will thursday. I am going to have to do my research on travel insurance companies cus I have yet to do any. Sorry you couldn’t qualify for any of the reg travel cards/accounts. Be sure you read all the fine print on that card you got. You don’t want to get overseas open your 1st statement and be shocked. Im going to take your advise and do just that for my prescription, hope its not too much of a hassle.

  6. You gotta just focus on one at a time, if you look at the list as a whole you’ll freak out. Try to get something done every single day. I can’t wait for your adventures overseas!!!
    Andi recently posted..Happy New Year!!!

  7. the quiting post is funny, i would love to do that

  8. Almost there man… I would say that selling your car is probably the biggest thing to deal with.

    42 days, HELL YEAH!!!

    • Nick, so far it is. I haven’t got any people interested. I’m going to wait a bit before taking extreme measures and maybe dropping the price.

  9. The car will sell…don’t stress. We had trouble selling ours but a friend stepped up an offered to sell it for us after we left. We filled out all the paperwork and made sure it would be easy for him and it was…he sold it and deposited the $ in our account. Lean on your friends…people want to help you! Cheers!
    Gillian @OneGiantStep recently posted..FollowFriday 14Jan2011

    • Oh wow I didn’t even know people can do that. I thought I would have to be here to sell it. Thanks so much for this piece of advice Gillian.

  10. Photocopy docs is so important. I’d give them a courtesy 2 weeks notice. Don’t burn bridges – just in case.

  11. Skott and Shawna says:

    Hey Jaime – we are totally pumped for you…that’s a lot of stuff to do in 6 weeks…my only advice (take it for what it is worth) would be to give your 2 weeks notice at work, as opposed to a good-bye email on your last day. I am sure many others will disagree with me, but you never know what happens in life, and you may need these guys as a reference, or you may end up working for a different company, but one of your current employers may have also switched jobs and is now over there…I know you loathe your job, but I would do everything in my power to not burn bridges..

    (Skott steps off the soapbox) 🙂

    • Thank you Skott for stepping onto that soapbox. I need to look at the bigger picture and not burn any bridges. You are right who knows if I will ever need them again.

  12. I agree with some of the other commenters here, give 2 weeks notice. Last thing you want is to piss anyone off or burn any bridges. It is the professional and ethical thing to do. Besides, you turn in 2 weeks notice, they might just let you go right away, rather than the possibility of having someone with “short-timer” syndrome.

    One thing at a time, you will get through it all.

    Lookin forward to seeing a blog post from you that is similar to my last one….
    Justin Hamlin recently posted..Holy Shit… I just Quit My Job

  13. For travel insurance, we went with IMGlobal and were very happy with it, both the service and the cost. And as someone else said, take LOTS of passport photos. You can’t have too many. Good luck!
    Bryan recently posted..WordPress Plugins for Your Travel Blog

  14. I went with a completely different travel inssurance companny…world nomads was too expensive in my opinion. I didn’t need them after all though.

    I also quite my job before my first long trip- I’d certainly recommend the 2 week notice.

    What photo equipment did you get after all?
    Federico recently posted..Photo of the Week

    • Federico, what travel insurance did you end up going with (if you don’t mind me asking)???

      I ended up not buying any new photo equipment. I am going to be in Central America and southern Mexico for about 3.5months then be coming home for a wedding. When I come home if I feel like I can handle traveling with a better/bigger camera I will go for it before head off on the rest of my RTW trip.

      • If you do pick up more expensive photo equipment midstream or are taking your Mac, consider renters insurance. I did just that & am covered anywhere in the world for anything that may happen such as water damage for about $100/ 6 months.

  15. wooooooooo hoooooooooo…. really excited for you… you forgot to include… buy the trunks with flags print hehehe just saw the twitpic you tweeted…
    flip recently posted..Smart Planning For Long Term Travelling- Saving Money

  16. We skipped the expensive needle stabs as well, we’re budget backpackers, health isn’t high on the list (that sounds terrible – you should probably get it)
    Poi recently posted..Win 45 Voucher for CSN Stores

    • I think I may wait out on a few and see if I can get them for cheap in C.A. and well if I can’t I will be home for a few weeks before heading too the rest of my RTW trip!

  17. I’m with Justin in making sure you don’t burn any bridges before you leave. You never know what situation you will be coming back to. 😛

    Other than that you seem to know what you’re needing to do. You just made me add quite a few extra things onto my list. D:
    Erica recently posted..Travel Photography January 14

  18. Your list is very similar to ours. Thank god we have — let’s see 3 more months as opposed to 6 weeks to do them all.
    Jill – Jack and Jill Travel The World recently posted..Clarion Alley- A Mural Lover’s Playground

  19. 1 tip: scan copies of important docs, keep on computer & upload to dropbox in case you lose I.D. or passport.

    2nd tip: have a blast Jaime!

  20. I think the reason it feels so stressful is that many things can’t be done until right before you leave. Then that stress blends with the excitement and creates a constant state of high-anxiety. I know the feeling.

    Overall, it won’t take as long as you think. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being on the plane: the feeling of “Well, if I’ve forgotten anything there’s nothing I can do about it now!” That is when you’ll feel relaxed!!

    I have one more thing to add to your list: Get dentist check. Not sure if you’ve done this / thought of this, but it’s especially important if you have health care at the moment with your job.

    Start your vaccinations NOW, some of them take a month in between injections.

    • Hey Torre – welcome to my blog!!!

      You are right on as too why I am feeling this way. On most of these I really can’t do anything until a week or two before I leave. About that feeling I dont know how it feels but I cant wait to feel it when I am on the plane.

      Good tip about the dentist I didn’t think of that.
      Thanks again for the comment!!!

  21. Are the vaccination for the middle east? You don’t them them for CA.

    Also recommend going to the dentist if you have health care. I found out 1 week before I went I need 2K worth of work. If you don’t have health care just go in Nicaragua as they are known for dental and are 1/10 of the cost.
    ayngelina recently posted..Would you buy a 500 turkey AKA Have you met Andres

  22. Dentists? It’s be a right bitch getting tooth-ache on the road mate.
    Anthony recently posted..One English Football Fixture every Travelling Sports Fan MUST Attend

  23. I’m excited to follow ur adventures around! Funny that I was just gonna jump the gun, buy a ticket and go away haha. But it’s nice to see what “I” need to prepare for before I go. Thanks for sharing!

    • Harrison, thanks for following my adventure. I say if you find a good deal jump on it and just go. If not at least start getting everything ready so you can sooner then you expect.

  24. Wow, I can’t believe you’re leaving so soon! Good luck! Can’t wait to hear about the trip.

  25. You are ahead of your games! 🙂 You got your check list out, got your guide book, trip is booked. I don’t like Chase either, good thing you’re closing it. I wish you the best in March 1st 😉

  26. QueenBrain12 says:

    Pop pop that cherry, pop pop that cherry baby!! lmao I LOVE IT!!! I can’t believe it’s getting closer to take off. I don’t think you should worry about anything, you are too much of a perfectionist to not get everything on yoru list completed. Is there anything I can do to persuade you to keep your phone so you can call me or text me anytime? lol I know, you have to break away from your cell phone too. As far as a two week notice to your job, well you know my view on that.

    I love forward to seeing lots of pics, reading your blogs, and of course meeting up with you in another country.

    love ya

    • Que cochina QB…lol!!! Yes I know I am a perfectionist and I will get everything done. About my phone ummm nope you cant persuade me. Sorry I have to cancel it.

      Lov ya too~

  27. Jaime, I think you should give your two weeks notice, just in case you ever decide to come back. And then, the day you leave, send us all an email telling us you are quitting to travel the worlddddddddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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