Finally, we have the passports in hand (well, currently in our safe) – they have our Chinese and Russian visas in them and we don’t have to send them off again. It feels good – really really good. I like to tell myself that when I’m leaving for a trip, all you really need is your passport and a credit card; everything else you can buy or borrow 🙂
I’m starting to get really excited about Taiwan – I’m in a couple of groups about traveling and living in there and reading a lot of blogs about things to do, places to visit, and food to eat! There’s a couple of free tours Jason and I will do when we arrive to learn more about Taipei and Taiwan and hopefully get some suggestions on what to do on our own. I have a few day trips from Taipei planned, and we’ll probably stay in a couple other areas of the island as well. We also should be able to see the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival – if we go, I think we’ll get some great pictures to share on the blog.
We’ve made some solid progress this week, accomplishing 3 out of the 5 goals I set for myself in my last post, plus another 2 that I had planned for next week, and a few extra miscellaneous tasks as well –
1. I made major progress in cleaning out my clothes with help from my neighbor and close friend, Christina – thank you Christina!!! I have set aside what I’m keeping, threw out a lot of old stuff that is in no condition to be worn, and have two big boxes for friends to shop in next week! Whatever doesn’t get claimed will get donated to Goodwill.
I also sorted through a few other areas of the house so we don’t wind up packing stuff that should get donated, sold, or tossed. I am hoping to finish up with this next week so I can focus on packing as soon as possible.
2. Jason and I applied for our individual health insurance plan. We chose the least expensive plan that was ACA compliant and allowed us to keep our doctor. This was actually a huge nightmare of a process, so I’m really hoping we’ve over the hump and they cash our check and send us our cards next week.
3. We have also chosen our travel health plan. It’s pretty comprehensive and goes beyond standard travel insurance so I think we’ll be well taken care of if we get sick or injured while away. What it doesn’t cover is cancelled/delayed flights (not super worried about this since our timeline is completely flexible) or lost/stolen baggage (we’ll have separate policies for the expensive stuff.)
4. We gave our 30 days notice to our apartment complex that we will be moving out on February 3rd. If anyone wants to move in, let me know! If it gets rented before we leave, we don’t have to pay the penalty for breaking the lease.
5. A few new items I bought for the trip went to the tailor for alterations Saturday – they’ll be ready on Thursday.
6. I set up our mail service, Traveling Mailbox. Tomorrow I’m going to mail a test envelope to make sure it gets scanned and uploaded correctly before we change our address with the post office.
Goals for next week –
1. I still need to go to the mall and Target for a few things. I’ve been putting this off because I hate the mall, but I’m going on Tuesday no matter what!
2. Also need to shop for new glasses – also planned for Tuesday, but could be pushed to Wednesday.
3. Continue sorting through our stuff – the kitchen is the next big project. (Why do I have 3 waffle irons?)
4. Arrange for movers, storage (unit & cars), and adjust car insurance.
5. Start the serious packing.
Thanks again for sticking with me and putting up with these lists. I promise things will get more exciting once we leave on February 4th! I’ll be back again next weekend with another update!