In two months time I will be packed and ready to go to the airport to catch my flight to Sydney and start my long term travel adventure in Australia! For the most part I am exactly where I wanted to be in terms of my travel preparations, however there are still a few things I need to do in the time I’ve got left.
I got inspiration for this post from exploring Lauren Juliff’s earliest posts on Neverending Footsteps, where she wrote updates on her preparations from 6 months before her trip. Though she didn’t write them as close to departure as this post, I thought it might be handy to write this to show where I am with my preparations as an update, and for anyone else who is preparing for a big trip.
What I’ve got so far..
- A plane ticket to Sydney
This was the first thing I got for my trip, I bought my ticket back in February which gave me an 8 months to get the funds together and arrange all the necessities like a visa and insurance.
- A Working Holiday Visa
I applied for my visa last month and it was approved within an hour, I kept putting off applying for it, but thankfully the process was very straightforward and easy. I wrote a blog post about it which you can read here, if you’re interested.
- A rucksack
Last month I went around almost every outdoor shop within a 20 mile radius looking for the rucksack I wanted to take on this trip. I originally wanted a 45L rucksack, as I was keen to travel with hand luggage only and not overpack. However after help from a really lovely Aussie shop-assistant at Cotswolds in Ipswich, I decided to get the 60L Berghaus TrailBlazer rucksack, it’s navy and I’ve named it Nelly. Part of me suspects that buying a rucksack 20L bigger than I originally planned on getting is a rookie mistake, but I don’t plan to fill it, and it’ll hopefully mean I have room for stuff I pick up on my travels.
- 2 weeks accommodation.
This week I booked my hostel in Sydney, I realise I left this really late and I could have probably got a better deal if I’d have booked a lot earlier. I’ve decided to stay in a youth hostel rather than a backpacker/ party hostel in preparation for jet-lag. I am hoping that I can extend my stay at the hostel or find accommodation in another hostel if I decide to stay in Sydney longer than 2 weeks, but at the moment that’s all I’ve planned for my trip… so we’ll see how that goes!
What have I got left to do?
Either this month or next month I need to buy insurance for a year of travel, so I will be on the hunt for a good deal and will probably report the process on here.
- Pass my driving test
Learning to drive has been a long process, it’s been 5 years of learning, interrupted by university and travel. I failed my second attempt last summer, but only on the manoeuvre, which I knew I’d messed up. Unfortunately last summer my theory test expired, and so this summer I had to do it again. I’ve booked a test for October and am starting lessons again next week. It’ll be so good if I can pass before I go away!
- Complete TEFL
I’ve decided to complete a TEFL qualification as a ‘back up’ plan for travelling, if for whatever reason I grow tired of travelling, or just want to find a secure job, I hope that having a TEFL qualification means that I can find work somewhere. However the course itself isn’t easy, and I can tell is going to be struggle to finish it in time, but I am going to give it my best shot! I am finding motivating myself to be a nightmare, and am realising that self-motivation is an art. I am hopeful that by the time I leave I will have got most of the course done, but I really doubt I will complete it before I go.
- Sell my possessions
I am slowly coming to the realisation that I am a hoarder. Moving back home to live with my parents, I still have suitcases of clothes that are unpacked and it’s slowly dawning on me that most of these clothes won’t be worn for a year or more when I leave. So I think I’m going to rip the band-aid off and get rid of 70%-80% of my wardrobe. I am hoping to make some extra money from selling a few pairs of shoes.
- Continue to build funds
Right now I have the bare minimum amount that Australian Immigration require of a person on a Working Holiday Visa, but I want to have at least £3,500 by the time I leave. I am applying for as much overtime as I can talk myself into doing, and telling myself to think of the paycheck at the end of the month. For the past couple of months the money I’ve saved for the trip has been spent on my visa and my hostel instead of going into my funds, so I need to make sure I dedicate these last two months to my travel fund.
- Saying Goodbye..
This month I’m going to start thinking about arranging meet ups with my family and friends so I can spend time with them before I go. I’m struggling right now to think of what to do for a ‘farewell do’ and whether it’s better to just try and meet up with my friends either one on one or in small groups. The first person I am saying goodbye to is my friend Megan otherwise known as The Candid Nomad who is leaving for South America at the end of this month!
How am I feeling?
Writing this post has given me the jitters, for a long time the trip has felt a long way away, but now it’s creeping up on me. I am excited for the trip and confident that it’ll go well. I’m nervous about trying to pass my driving test and complete TEFL, but it’d be really great if I could accomplish both things before I go. Overall I’m pretty much where I wanted to be, except in a perfect world I’d have worked through more of my TEFL course by now. I’m glad that this blog seems to be going well at the moment, and I’m looking forward to writing more about my preparations next month.
Planning a trip? Let me know where you’re at with your plans in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!