A Six Month Long-Term Travel How-To

by gigigriffis

Sometimes people ask me how I’ve been planning, what I’ve been doing, how I’ve been preparing for my possible long-term travel with puppy and work in tow. So, I thought I’d take you on an abbreviated version of my journey with me.

Without further ado, then, how I planned for my long-term travel:

Eight months ago…
I was sitting in my therapist’s office, talking about my options. I had my own business. I wanted to do something different (not business-wise, but everything else-wise). And we came up with a plan: what if, when my lease was up, I left the country and traveled for a while? Would I be able to sustain my business? Was that my heart’s desire?

I thought the answer might be yes and began planning. I would only plan about a month or two out. That way, if clients needed me, I could come back. If things went well, I could move forward.

This is when I started researching dog travel requirements and making plans.

Seven months ago…
I took the dog in for her international microchip. It was an easy out-patient procedure and not as expensive as I thought. Hoorah.

Four months before departure…
I found a friend who wanted to babysit my car. The perfect arrangement: she needed a car, I needed someone to cover insurance while I was gone.

I also asked a friend if I could store a few boxes in her basement. My goal is to fit everything I own into my car, so the boxes should be few and the storage easy. She said yes. Because she is awesome.

This is also about when I booked my rental in Edinburgh.

Two months before departure…
I gave my landlord advance notice of my departure, which worked out perfectly as he wanted to tear down the place this summer and rebuild his dream home.

This was also when I did a test pack–trying to fit everything into my gifted hiking backpack. I realized that there was no way it was going to fit, so I bought a bigger pack.

One month before departure…
I had my epic, multi-family yard sale and sold about half the things I wanted to sell. I also sold my couch and chair to a friend of a friend and sold my desk on Craigslist. About 90% of what was left from the yard sale was loaded into my car and carted down to Goodwill. The remaining 10% is on Craigslist, mostly waiting to sell.

This is also when I started changing my address. I put my parents address on my credit cards and other misc. organizations. I used my friend BonBon’s address for the DMV. And I asked another friend, out in California, if I could use her if I need a check deposited or to get bank notices.

About 20 days before departure…
I made a dentist appointment and a haircut appointment. Most of my things were packed for storage and my appointments for dog paperwork and tapeworm treatment were made.

The week before departure…
I will head to the vet for the dog’s travel paperwork about a week before I leave, then head back to get the tapeworm treatment 24 hours before departure. I’ll also call the Manchester airport to let them know Luna is coming (you have to let them know at least 24 hours in advance), take all my storage stuff to my friend’s house, pack for the trip, toss any last things in the house (spices, jars I’m using as glassware, blanket), and head to the airport!


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