Preparing The Trip – Spain To Southeast Asia

It doesn’t matter if you are moving down the street, to a new state, or even to a new country.  Moving is Moving!  With that comes a big list of things to do.

Preparing To Move - Spain To Southeast Asia

As you know we are preparing to move to Southeast Asia for the next year.  This isn’t just an ordinary move.  No, we have to make it a little more challenging than that.

We of course have to sneak in a vacation before we actually move.  Our adventure will begin with summer and we’ll kick off with another European Road Trip, in combination with a couple of flights.  This time it’s just 3 1/2 weeks, touring the Netherlands (A houseboat in Amsterdam!  Thanks GowithOh!), Belgium, Champagne France and a couple of days in Stockholm, Sweden.  We will give you the complete route, once we finish planning!  We do plan to return to Spain early next summer and get back into our Spanish rhythm.

The planning and preparation are key with this and as with any move you have a similar To Do List.  Here was our list prior to moving to Spain and moving from Spain to Southeast Asia isn’t much different.

To Do List: Preparing to Move – Spain to Southeast Asia

Blue Check Preparing to move from Spain to Southeast Asia

  1. Decide on a plan. This is never done!  Our plan is to create it as we go.
  2. Plan kids education and curriculum. This will be in progress the entire time we are away.
  3. Update Adults passports.  √Complete!
    We applied for new passports April 24th and received new passports May 19th.
  4. Extra passport photos.
    Many of the countries we will be visiting require passport photos, upon entry or for the visa.  We thought it would be easiest to have them at the ready.
  5. Apply for Thai visa.
    We plan to drop our passports and visa application off in Amsterdam.  The consulate quoted a 3 day turn around, so we should be good to pick them up while we are in the area.
  6. Declutter “stuff”.
    I sure wish selling second-hand goods in Spain were as easy as it was using Craigslist in the USA.  We currently have 4 areas of the apartment for “staging” things.

      1. Take to Asia – This has to be the most difficult for us and different from our previous moves.  We are going to be mobile, nomadic, “backpackers” moving often.  We need to get down to a large backpack and small backpack each or as close as possible.  We will not own a car and will need to carry all that we own.  We don’t currently plan on a home base, so our things will go where we go.  Once we figure out what we are bringing, we will share the list with you.
      2. Give away – Loads of the kids clothes have now been donated.  Alan and I will go through our things next.
      3. Sell – We don’t really have much to sell. Just our printer and perhaps our gas grill and a skateboard.
      4. Store in Spain or USA
        (Undecided!  If in Spain, we need to figure out where to store).

        1. Keep (send to us if we don’t return to Spain) – These are mainly things we don’t want to carry with us everywhere, but things we ultimately want to keep.  (Back up hard drives, potentially camera equipment and things like that).
        2. Give away (give away if we don’t return to Spain).  These are mainly winter clothes for Alan and Me.  We won’t be needing winter clothes where we are heading, so that stuff can stay in Spain.  There is no need to store any clothes for the kids as they will grow.
  7. Cancel Spain Medical Insurance / Buy Travel Health Insurance
  8. Obtain a Charles Schwab account with no ATM fees
  9. Obtain international drivers permit.  √Complete!
    We applied May 8th and received May 21st.
  10. Cancel internet in our apartment
  11. Cancel mobile phone service
  12. Sell Car  In progress with the Citroen dealer in Fuengirola.
  13. Cancel car insurance
  14. Inform Banks and Credit Cards of our plans.  √Complete!
  15. Give notice at apartment.  √Complete!
    We notified our landlord months in advance, so he would be able to plan and prepare for the busy summer season.
  16. Book Flights √Complete!
    If you recall, we scored a killer deal on our flights from Europe to Southeast Asia.  (Facebook post January 16, 2014 – YIKES! We are committed now! Southeast Asia here we come.  I just purchased our one-way flights from Stockholm, Sweden to Bangkok, Thailand. Norwegian had a crazy good deal only $1400 in total for the 4 of us.  I even added 2 meals, reserved seat and checked luggage for us each.)  We purchased a total of 3 one-way flights for this adventure. Malaga to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Stockholm, and Stockholm to Bangkok.
  17. Book 1st week accommodation in Amsterdam.  √Complete!
  18. Book 1st week accommodation in Bangkok.
  19. Book rental car for touring Belgium and France.
  20. Back up laptops
  21. Say “see ya later” to friends.
  22. Reach out to tourism offices and individual companies for potential sponsored activities.

I am sure I am missing something, but either way you get the idea.  It is a stressful time and we all need to be in check with our emotions and vocalize what is on our minds.  Adapting to change is a great life lesson for the kids and they are handling this move like experts.  There have been little to no signals of stress on their part, such troopers.  Me on the other hand, well, I have the occasional WIG OUT!  I am trying to do too much, as usual, and unfortunately the family is nearby to get the venting from my eruptions:-)  Hopefully it isn’t too bad or too often.

On a side note:  When we were going through the Lars and Anya’s rooms we of course happened upon money they each had stashed around.  We don’t want to be left with cash when we leave, so we offered to buy the Euros, so we can use them and then transfer $US into their savings.  Anya looked up the exchange rate and made sure I transferred exactly $95.19 in exchange for her Euros.  She wanted to be sure those pennies went into her savings. LOL  Don’t tell her, but I probably would have just transferred and even $100.

Breathe!

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