My Great Leap

Published on September 15th, 2011


Wittlin’ Down the Pre-Paddy "To Do" List

The days are melting swiftly now, and there’s lots still left to do. I’m also finding less and less spare time to peck here, so I thought I’d post my on-going “To Do” list, so as to show what’s going on here behind the scenes, as well as perhaps guide other would-be expaters by listing some of the stray chores that need attention when one opts to pull up roots and move to the other side of the globe.

Many of the tasks loom so large and daunting that I’ve necessarily broken them down (ala the “swiss-cheese method”) into more manageable chunks.  All are likewise handily entered into my newest nifty (not to mention FREE) “Wanderlist” app (both iPod and Android versions) that’s syncable between my iPod Touch and laptop.  The ability to add due dates and reminders that pop up each morning is exceedingly helpful to this otherwise perpetual procrastinator.

At this point I’m happy that I’ve been able to cross off many items on the list – especially the garage sale as that was a biggy.  Indeed, my apartment now looks like a swarm of locust munched their way through it, as only the bare basics remain.  Nonetheless, the sale added another grand to my travel “$afety Net”, and it’s so very FREEING to have so little left to pack and store.

Still… it seems for every item I check off – two or more are added each day.  At this rate – will I EVER get all the loose ends tied up by October 29th???

In any case, I’ll post this list as a semi-permanent page under “My Great Leap” (in the above menu), so you can follow along (and cheer me on!) as I whittle down the Pre-Paddy chores.

The Pre-Paddy Master To Do List

Apply for CELTA course
Pay final CELTA pmt ($900) by Sept 29 for Early Bird $200 discount
Complete the (50!) CELTA pre-course task (to date I’ve only managed to do 1-10)
Apply for VOA (Visa On Arrival) letter
– print & complete VOA arrival form; attach 2 visa photos
– air ticket
– upgrade to Gen 4 iPod Touch
– water filter bottle (Katadyn) (nope, even better a Sawyer – no replacement filter needed EVER!)
– Eye-fi card for camera? (nope)
– extra battery for DSLR?
– compression sack? – yep, 21 liters – purely amazing how much it scrunches!
– mini surge protector?
– Point It book – nope, plenty of free apps do the same thing – even better
– moisture sachets for electronics
– electrolytes
– portable hooks
Open a 2nd checking account (for an emergency ATM card)
Open a Schwab account (no ATM fees – yay!)
Create teaching CV + pic
Criminal background check (for VN work permit) – sent, pending return from F.B.I. (note, this didn’t show up until MONTHS after I landed in Vietnam – luckily, in anticipation of just that scenario – I used a friend’s address for the return, and she was able to forward it to me in Vietnam)
– get fingerprinted (2 sets just in case…)
– submit forms to Feds
Send for original copies of BS and MS degrees
apostillate degrees w/ Sec. of State
Digital security/storage (bought a Western Digital 60GB Passport)
– copy all pics and essential documents to digital Passport
– copy same to DVDs
– backup all to the cloud (cancel SugarSync, switch to 50G free ADrive)
Find good home for Luna kitty (Happily, a lovely lady out in the countryside)
Fireplace to Carolyn (or… store? – yep, will store – plenty of room)
Garage sale
– tag items
– Craig’s list ad
– make signs
– hold sale (Aug 27th)
– schedule unsolds for pickup by Salvation Army
Immunizations, schedule immunizations (county cheapest) (Truth is – I ended up passing on all but an update on my tetanus shot)
– travel insurance (World Nomads?) Nope, went with IMG, and carried a policy for 3 years until I got my Ecuador permanent resident visa – making me – oh so happily! – eligible for EC national health insurance (100% medical, dental and vision – for a mere $67/month!)
– electronics insurance (State Farm? – nope, no dice, other?) (nope, never happened)
Laminated copy of main passport page
Netflix hold expires Oct 1; reset now til Dec. 16 til I figure out how to/if I can get instant play in VN (ended up using a dear chum’s Netflix password – yay!)
Research VPN service for masking IP in VN
Passport photos
Print a dozen or so passport/visa photos
Research and set up snail mail forwarding
Research car rental/borrow car for final days (Happily, a friend lent me her extra car, then deposited me at the SEATAC airport!)
Research cheapest storage locker (found a cheap one – just $30/mo. for a 6’x 6′ x 6′)
– view/measure storage space
– rent storage unit Oct 15
– schedule movers for Oct 26
Scan last of slides and prints
Scan important documents and send to gmail/store on the cloud
Sell Stuff:
– car (Yay! Sold in a matter of days on Craig’s list – most happily to a lad who intends to drive it down to – coincidentally – BELIZE! i.e. my “office” for 20+ years)
– futon
– printer
– scanner
– bookcase – (stored)
– Colman lantern
– 35mm photography equipment
– Costa Rica ceramic plates collection
– geocoin collection – (stored)
– MS Office Professional 2010
– art quilts! – (stored)
– Etrex GPSr
– Funky Jane’s summer clothes
– Funky Jane’s winter clothes 
– research/book 1st nt. accommodation in Hanoi
– research Hu Long Bay tour and train/accom. for Sapa Hill Tribes trek
– research o/n train Hanoi/Saigon (ended up flying)
– 1st nt. Saigon – Thuy’s family or ?

And this doesn’t even begin to count the actual packing, moving out, cleaning, etc. The tricky part is timing those last minute things so I’m not sleeping on the floor without a car to run final errands.

My “plan” is to have all chores (including cleaning my apartment) completed a day in advance, so I can spend my last full day here in my beloved Seattle – leisurely enjoying a final picnic at the beach in Lincoln Park, and saying good-bye to all my friends here.

Yeah right – like THAT’S gonna happen!

Still… a girl can dream, can’t she?


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

2 Responses to Wittlin’ Down the Pre-Paddy "To Do" List

  1. Sue Pearson says:

    This is a great list, I should be able to use alot of it and I haven’t a clue when to actually set a date! Thats the REAL scary part! I only have my “to take” list so far. But as you know, I’m dwindling my “to sell stuff” down slowly! It feels like its going to come up to the end of the year waaaaaay too fast!
    Sue Pearson kindly contributed to world literature by posting…Butterfly Earrings in cold porcelain, Monarch, Blue Morph by mosaicmacheMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Yes Sue, I believe I set my “go!” date (i.e. purchased my one way ticket to Hanoi) about 3 months out and, hate to tell ya but… yes indeed time truly sped by on fast-forward for those last 12 weeks.

      But somehow I got everything sold and all those chores on my list done (I mean, I had no other choice, yes?) And you will too – just a matter of making the leap (i.e. buying that “can’t back out now” air ticket). That tends to make it all very “real” and sparks you into high gear to get it all done and make your dream come true!

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