5 weeks left in the UK and I feel so overwhelmingly underprepared.
Between working as much as I can, organising good-byes, learning to drive, wrapping up things I can’t do whilst I’m away (such as preparing for my brother’s wedding on my return, eek) and squeezing in some workouts for good measure, I am finding it really hard to find time and energy to sit down and do boring jobs such as finding the best travel insurance! Mike has left me to my own devices whilst he applies to grad schemes and so our cute coffee date planning the trip of a lifetime together has been a one-time affair.
Slow progress is probably down to two main reasons:
Firstly, I have a habit of congratulating myself after doing small tasks. Applying for my Vietnamese visa (about 20 mins max) and cooking a healthy dinner for work was apparently a days job well done. Phoning up myself and finally booking in an appointment at the doctors to get injections was also apparently a big feat. I feel a bit duped by this as now I have to do the same thing at a travel clinic for even more injections.
Secondly, I have found myself stuck watching travel vlogs for hours…for some Asian country that I’m not even going to…or South America. Okay, sometimes it was a ‘girly chat video’. Great use of time Raynor.
So from tomorrow- no, from right now (which is kind of ‘tomorrow’ as it’s 1am), I will get some actual shit together and prove it by writing about it. I guess this blog is more about holding myself accountable than being an entertaining read.
Back to that visa I mentioned…I chose to get an e-visa for Vietnam as it seemed like the cheapest and easiest option. It cost me roughly £20 and I don’t have to pay any stamping fee on entry. I had read that some applications get rejected depending on the photos you upload, but I literally just checked and mine has been approved! So as far as I am aware I just need to print that off and I have my 30 days in the country.
I won’t be applying for any more visas now as we don’t know when we will be moving on, but getting an e-visa looks even simpler. Thailand will be more complicated as you can be asked for proof of forward travel when you enter (maybe too many people have overstayed their welcome!) I’d rather make things up as I go, but if we need to book an advance flight back home, that wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen.
Here are a couple of useful links to official visa pages:
This week we had our first snowfall of the year, which of course meant getting out and taking some photos. I forgot just how much I love photography and I am incredibly excited to see get some done over there. However, this brings new complications. I’m planning to bring my old and new camera. This is because I only have a 300mm lens for my old Nikon and in the likely event of one getting robbed, I still have a fighting chance. We won’t talk about both getting robbed just yet.
My main issue is storing all of these photos. In an ideal world I would buy a Chromebook to take with me, but with mounting costs of rabies vaccinations and travel insurance, this is looking less likely. If anyone has any advice please share it with me!
Vaccinations and health
I have visited my nurse and will be booking an appointment with a private travel clinic for rabies and maybe hepatitis B. There are lots of websites saying what you might need but my advice is always to just take what they recommend, especially when you’re lucky enough to get it for free.
Rabies and hep B doesn’t come under that bracket, but I’m definitely willing to pay for them. In some towns, there can be wild dogs roaming about, nevermind trekking through jungles and forests and a bite or scratch can be fatal. Hep B is transmitted via bodily fluids, and so long-term travellers are at greater risk as the chances of needing medical treatment whilst away increases.
Luckily, my nurse didn’t seem to think that anti-malarials were necessary for where I wanted to go, but was keen to let me know that most prescription medications can be bought over the counter in Asia.
A great website she told me about was Travel Health Pro, which updates it’s information every 24 hours with new outbreaks and anything to watch out for.
Before I go, I am planning to write a whole post on this, as it’s actually something I love doing. I have a whole spreadsheet on the go, because organisation is key! When you have over a couple of grand for the first time in your life, it’s easy to start getting cocky…but then you realise it’s not as much as you first thought. This is where excel comes in handy.
If you made it this far, I hope there was something useful in this for you. Otherwise, I hope to get something a bit more exciting for the next one…maybe some pretty pictures of Cambodia. If nothing else, reading over this in the morning actually got me doing more. Just booked Mike and myself in at the travel clinic!