January 18, 2012

RTW Planning Through Pictures

One of our good friends, Lindsey Gray, asked us, “How do you know what you’re doing?” The answer is, WE DON’T! There have been countless times that we have shared good laughs at our own expense. 

It’s hard to even imagine all of the little things that need to be taken care of before you embark on a yearlong trip. It’s taken us a solid 6 months to “get our affairs in order”. If you ever contemplate a trip like this, don’t hesitate to ask us for our to-do list. We’d be happy to share the 204 line items we’ve been tallying. And these aren’t little line items, either. Case in point, we’re probably the first Americans to file 2011 tax returns.

We have become extremely knowledgeable about a lot of useless information. For example, have you ever heard of a program called the American Airlines Gold Challenge? We hadn't, either. If you can fly 10,000 miles in 3 months, American Airlines will automatically upgrade you to their most premium status. Now all of a sudden, you're on the same playing field as people flying 100,000+ miles a year. Or, did you know that there are templates on the Internet that easily help you create your own passport photos? That sure sounds ghetto, but with the sheer number we need to enter countries, we avoided USPS or CVS’s devious plot to rip us out of $250.

Here’s a look back at RTW planning through pictures…

MAPPING
In the past 6 months, if you ever asked us what we did last night or the previous weekend, this was it. There was so much time spent researching things such as weather patterns to avoid pesky little annoyances like typhoons and monsoons. Nearly every picture has the same formula…a map, a laptop, lots of papers, even more sticky notes, and a glass of wine or bottle of beer to help us get through it.


PACKING
There have been 2 major practice packing sessions in the Nauman household. Both have left us stressed out. After all, the packs are only about 28” x 14” x 10”. How long could it possibly take to pack up something of that size? Let me tell you, it takes HOURS. It’s a good thing I honed my Tetris skills growing up, because these packs require technique.


VISAS
I had to haul all the way up to Los Angeles to apply for our Brazilian visas. After I had handed the consulate worker our passports, she politely instructed me I could drive back to L.A. to pick them up in two Tuesdays from 3:00-4:00p.m. Lovely.


IMMUNIZATIONS
A combined 28 shots with 2 small bouts of yellow fever to show for it.


FAMILY MEETINGS
The moments life is made for.

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