Are you planning a year traveling abroad like I do? Then you are exactly at the right spot. As common for my blogposts on Fridays this is another little insight in my life. Though today I also have some very important tips for those who want to go abroad for a year concerning what you have to do before you leave.
For those not knowing about France and my relationship to it, here a quick overview. This is the place I learned surfing and found my passion when I was 12. Since then I’m coming back here every year. With 16 I started working in the surf camp and doing this ever since. The past three years or so, I spent all the season (6 months) here working as a surf instructor. I have a lot of friends, almost family already, here and it is kind of my second home. That’s why I’m always excited to come back here.
In one of my posts from last year, I already gave you a quick insight in my life here and I’ll be doing some travel diary posts about this year too but today is more about how I got prepared for this trip. Cause this year some things are different. I’m not only going to France for six months, no I’m also going to Portugal right after. In Lisbon, I’ll be studying for on semester. Because of me being away for a year now, there was quite some stuff to take care off and I want to take you with me on this preparation journey, to give you a little impression of what it takes to get ready for one year away from home. Are you ready? All right, let’s get started.
So, my past three weeks have been pretty busy. Mostly because I’ve been traveling a lot in between, like you can see in my past two Friday posts, but also because there is a lot of stuff to do before you go away for a year.
I had to organize two different trips, the one to France, where I’ll be working and the one to Portugal where I’ll be studying. To be fair for France there wasn’t that much to organize, it was mainly, when I’m going to drive there, what to bring and when I’m taking my break. Though for Portugal there was a lot to do as this is an Erasmus exchange and for University. I had to apply for classes, find a flat, upgrade my packing list, find a Portuguese course I can do online and sort out how I get there.
Besides those two things there are a few others I had to take care of before traveling abroad. I had to do my taxes, get my goal setting right, make doctor appointments, get my car ready and sort out my business to-dos. As you can see, a lot of things to do in little time. Though if handled right, still manageable. I don’t want to get into detail about all the little things here because this would by far exceed the amount of this post. But I want to quickly hop on some of the points more in detail to maybe give you a hand and impression of what and why it is so important to take care of before you go. So here are the most important things you need to do before you go away for one year.
See all your friends
Well I think that is very self-explaining though therefor not less important. Before going away for a year, you should definitely see as many of your friends and family as possible. I don’t want to be overacting here but you never know what’s going to happen and I net you’d be sad if you wouldn’t have seen them again. In addition, a year is a long time without seeing your loved ones, right?
Make doctors’ appointments
This might be something where opinions differ, though for me it is essential and absolutely necessary to make my annual check-ups before I go abroad for a year. Just to make sure everything is all right and also to please the insurances and stuff ;). Sure, you might argue you can go to see a doctor everywhere, but mostly you have to pay for them when somewhere else, also who doesn’t like going to his/her main doctor.
Get your documents right (taxes and stuff)
This point is very individual and absolutely dependent on your situation, job, life, etc., though it is equally important for all of us. No matter if you have your own business, are employed or a student, we all have to sort out our documents and stuff before we go. I can just speak from the point of view of a student and entrepreneur in terms of what needs to be done but I can imagine employees have to go through a similar process. Some things you want to think about as an entrepreneur are:
– Taxes, permissions and documents
– How does work look like when abroad (workspace, hours, etc.)
– Let your clients know you’re traveling and hours might differ
These are the three most important things, of cause there are a lot more little things, also depending on what kind of business you have. If you know some very important things you think we should know, comment them below.
As a student, you need to think of way less but there are still some points you wouldn’t want to miss out.
Depending on what the reason for your year abroad is you might want to look into:
– How to attend classes if you just decided to skip them and go travel
– Exchange documents in case you do a semester abroad
– Work documents in case you do an internship
This also, is just very basic and I didn’t go much in detail about the specific things because it would exceed the limit of this post. But if you want more information about one thing in particular, either send me a message or let me know then I’ll write a blogpost about it sometime soon.
Get your goal setting right
If you are an ambitious and goal oriented person like I am and have a lot of goals you want to achieve this step is crucial. We all know it’s not easy to keep crushing while traveling. The whole environment is different and you might get of track because of distractions and change. The more important it is to think of how to keep hustling and achieving your goals before you go. Set out a plan, make a strategy on how you stay on track, what, when and how much you are going to work for what you want to achieve and make sure you have not opportunity to skip on it.
Make a finance calculation
Unless you’re working aboard or have a criminal amount of money on your bank account this is something you don’t want to miss doing before traveling for a year. Calculate how much money you need for what and when to make sure you’re covered and not meet unpleasant and unexpected payments.
Write a compelling packing list
When traveling for a year you really want to write a packing list that includes everything you could need but also just as much as you really need. Packing for a year can be very overwhelming and exhausting, I know. But if you write a packing list affront that includes everything necessary it will get way less tiring and you can make sure you’re not forgetting anything important. Besides the usual here are some things you might not want to forget:
– Important documents (for business, studies, etc.)
– Cloths for all temperatures
– A laptop to work or study
Of cause depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing there are some things like accommodation, transport, working documents, insurance, visas and stuff you want to organise.
Also, it is important you think of what’s happening to your space and stuff at home. If you’re living alone, what is happening to your flat and stuff? What about your car? Think of all this carefully and definitely write a checklist so you won’t forget anything.
So, after I’ve organized all this and much more, packed almost my whole room into my car and said goodbye to my loved ones, I drove for 18h to France to finally arrive at my second home.
Packing and organizing for traveling abroad for me was more fun than exhausting. Of cause, I got a bit less sleep and was busy all the time but it was fun. I love preparing for something exciting. Also packing was fun, I went through all my stuff again and threw away some stuff I don’t need anymore. It’s the best opportunity to really tidy up. The drive to France was also less exhausting then I thought. People are always stunned when I tell them I’m driving the whole way at once all alone. And yes it us far but with a good audio book, coffee and good food you can do it. Though of cause when tiered, take a break. Always listen to your body and don’t push it. Now in France I’m more than happy and even though I’m already here for not more than a week it feels like it’d be for months. Funny, right?
Well I’m excited for everything that comes the previous weeks and I for sure let you know about all of it.
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