New Year, New Adventure (T-5 weeks)

Hello everyone! Since my last post, this blog has acquired about 65 followers on Facebook with another 12 subscribing for email updates, so really it’s the first you are reading in “real” time. Welcome and happy new year!

Currently I’m in New Jersey visiting my parents and brother for the last time before we leave. Jason and I made some good progress last week and have a serious list of things to do when I get back. I’ve been thinking about how often I should try to post before we go and think I’ve settled on 1-2 times per week depending on what’s going on. Once we leave, I promise you’ll at least start seeing pretty pictures – and I also want to do a big picture post on packing.

What happened last week?

1. Probably most significantly, Wednesday was my last day at work. I’m now (f)unemployed. A few people have asked me how this feels, but to be honest, it still feels like any other time off. I think it will feel more real in a week or so because usually when I have time off, I’m traveling. I haven’t taken time off to sit at home since… well, ever. This means I don’t have any excuses not to start working toward sorting through the house, starting to pack stuff, and selling and donating the rest. (Does anyone want 2 free bookcases? They are the cheap ones from Ikea, but good if you’d otherwise have stuff sitting around unorganized…)

2. Our passports are back from the Russian consulate! This is a HUGE relief! While I don’t expect the political situation to cause them to stop issuing visas, it could happen. The passports are still with the agent in San Francisco since I’m in New Jersey, but Jason is going to pick them up on Tuesday. We should have the 3 year, multiple entry visa, but I’m excited to see it and confirm. This means we are done with visas for now!

3. We have a confirmed place to store our cars. It costs more than I wanted to spend ($200/month total) but I feel good about this storage lot. I have one more call to make to a lot in San Leandro, so if they are significantly cheaper, we could go with them or try and see if the location in San Jose will match their price.

What will (hopefully) happen this week?

1. We need to make a decision about our US health insurance. Once we make a decision I’ll write a little bit more about it and how we got there. It’s frustrating to have to spend so much on something we probably won’t use, but skipping it is too big of a risk, even beyond the ACA penalty.

2. I want to apply for our travel medical insurance through GeoBlue. I need to read up a little more about the 2 plans we qualify for and make a decision. It’s expensive, but we think it’s worth it.

3. I’d like to shop for new glasses. I got my new prescription in sunglasses last summer but not regular glasses.

4. I have a few things to shop for at the mall and Target – I’ve been putting this off due to the holiday crowds, but it’s time.

5. Giving notice that we are breaking the lease. The last day we’ll have the apartment is February 3rd.

What will happen next week?

1. I bought some pants from LL Bean that will need to be hemmed – they are supposed to arrive on 1/9 so those will go to the seamstress once I try them and make sure I want to keep them. I also have a trekking shirt (light weight coverage for sun and mosquitos) that needs to be altered.

2. Need to hire movers for February 2nd.

3. Need to reserve a storage unit.

4. Need to adjust our car insurance to comprehensive only (theft/fire/ect) since they won’t be driven while we’re gone and cancel our renter’s policy since they won’t cover a storage unit.

5. Need to set up our mail service.

That’s pretty much all of the major items left on the to do list… I’m really hoping next week I’ve made some solid packing and organizing progress because that’s going to be the biggest project. Thanks for reading and I promise things will get more interesting once we leave in under 5 weeks!