Friday, December 26, 2008

Making a list checking it twice

a peek into my obsessive compulsive planning mind 

No this isn't a post full of the Christmas spirit. Rather this post is a list of lists. No, wait! Come back! Actually, I'd like to run too. 

We've entered the home stretch. Less than 3 months to go and so much to do, hence the lists. Lots of lists. 

But you've already seen the first one. The "Where are we going?" list. And that only took a year to compile. And it's only rev.7. 

The second list is medical. There's the list of doctors to visit. Travel Doc. Family Doc. Eye Doc. Dentist. 

Then there's the list of shots to get. And their prices. Oy-vey.
Yellow Fever - $75 - already have 
Typhoid - $30 - right before we leave
Hepetitis A - $120 - already have
Hepetitis B - $90 - first shot done, second shot due now, and the last shot we'll have to get on the road (the Doctor reco'ed Costa Rica as a good country to seek medical attention in)
Menengitis - $130 - right before we leave 
Flu Shot - FREE 
Japanese encephalitis - $270 - yikes, but not until we're getting ready to head to Asia. 
Between this and all the blood I've had taken, no wonder I'm feeling like a pin cushion, a very poor pin cushion. 

And let's not forget Malaria. Oh Malaria, we've never met and I already hate you. For the first year we'll be travelling in and out of at risk areas for the first 6 months and then solidly at risk for the next 6. That's a whole lot of medication to carry around - and let me tell you, it's not cheap. Malarone, the one with the least side effects and the most effective, is also the most expensive. That's about $20 a day for 365 days which means for the first time in 30 years I've written to Santa.

Dear Santa, 
I have been moderately good this year. For Christmas,  Adrian and I would like a year supply of Malarone. And if you can't afford the whole $6000 we'll take half of that. 

Thank you,
P.S. I'll leave beer and peanuts out for you. 

Rather that visions of sugar plums dancing through our heads, it was dreams of a sugar daddy to pay the way. Good news. There is a cheaper drug option. Bad news. It's been known to cause severe depression, violence and hallucinations in a very small amount of people who take it. So let's hope my insurance covers the other one. If not, I'll give you the heads up before we start taking the cheaper option so you can take the appropriate cover. 

And if I wasn't feeling poor already, there's the third list. Packing. 

Yes, I have discovered despite an apartment full of crap, we still need (or want) so much stuff for our trip. It's a reminder of how much our lifestyle is going to change once we're on the road. 

There's the techie stuff:
laptop - $600 on craigslist - so I can update this silly little blog 
camera gear - $2000 and counting - so I can take purdy pictures
hard drive - $250 - so I can store all those purdy pictures
iPod - FREE with airmiles - for music and movies on long bus rides to nowhere
PSP - FREE with christmas present - so Adrian can be amused on long bus rides to nowhere

There's the clothing: 
I'll spare you the list this time (although if you really are interested, I've added links to my lists over there on the right under Odds and Ends). Even unfashion plates like us are struggling to come up with a year's wardrobe that fits in a small back pack. The key appears to be multipurpose clothes, i.e. pants that turn into shorts, sweaters that turn into vests, bras that turn into emergency flotation device. okay, I made that last one up but you get the idea. 

To the manufacturers of these travel clothes, I have a couple of complaints. Must everything be made of fleece? And have you not received the colours of '09 from Pantone? Or any of the last 10 years.  I don't recall hunter green, plaid, or tropical prints appearing in any of the swatches. I wish Fluevog made some footwear appropriate for jungle treks. 

And finally there's the travel gear, the things I've never had a use for in the last 35 years but have been assured by every resource that we'll need on the road: 
multitool - 100 tools in one, for only $75 
headlamps - for midnight trips to the loo, outhouse, hole in the ground
silk sleep sheets - for avoiding bedbugs and bugs in general, 2 for $50
portable clothesline - $10
travel towels - remarkably like a sham-wow (without the creepy sales guy) 2 for $50
compass - hoping to find a dollar store keychain one with a thermometer
universal drain plug - ?

What am I doing here? What are you doing here? It's Christmas and there's turkey leftovers to pick at, sentimental movies to cry over, alcohol to drink, cakes to snack on, family to fight with and presents to return. 

See you in 2009 with (hopefully) less lists and more fun. I better put that promise down on my to do list before I forget.

Edit: Good news Malarone is covered by my insurance. New eyeglasses and contacts however are not. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. 


Ayngelina said...

I have unused/unneeded Malarone leftover from Vietnam if you want it...

liz and adrian said...

Thanks Santa Ayngelina.

Cheryl said...

is hunter green not in anymore?

Anonymous said...

Eek! I have three months to go to and you are waaaay more organised than I am.

liz and adrian said...

itinerantlondoner, I have obsessive compulsive planning disorder. I enjoy it almost as much as travelling. It's me not you.

Plus, we're planning not to come back to Canada when we're done The Big Trip™ so we have a lot of other stuff to take care of before then.

Hey I just checked out your blog and it looks like we might cross paths at some point. If you don't mind I'm going to add you to my blog roll. And perhaps we'll meet over a pint somewhere in CA or SA.

Anonymous said...

So where will you end up after the Big Trip then? or aren't you sure yet? I have similar ideas, although I have no idea where...

It does indeed look like we might cross paths at some point, would be lovely to catch up for a beer somewhere in Latin America.

Thanks for the comment over at my blog, and the blogroll add - I shall do the same with yours.


liz and adrian said...

We're hoping to settle in London - my husband is from Leicester but we've lived in Toronto for the last 10+ years. So i think it's time to try out life in the UK.

dunnadam said...

Can I mention, I don't think you'll need a headlight.

liz and adrian said...

D'oh too late, Adam.

But I'm pretty sure we'll need the headlamp when we're trekking around the jungles or on safari... whenever we get there.

And if not - they were only $20 each. Maybe I can resell them to another naive overpacker.

Ayngelina said...

I'm now back tracking through your posts to see if you're on track and I realized that my intuition was right and I need to think about vaccines. Are you just going to get Japanese encephalitis on the road? Were there any others that you got, I think I may only need Yellow Fever now.

liz and adrian said...

ayngelina - yes you should most definitely start on the vacs. some take 6 months (like hep, which reminds me we still need our last shot). since we're most likely not heading to asia, we're skipping it. the one we still have to get is meningitis. which you'll try to pick up before we leave s.a. or when we first get to africa. it's only needed for ethiopia and around there.