Sometimes I get the urge to just grab my things and leave. No planning, no overthinking. No coming back the next day. No worrying about the same things I already worried about yesterday, the day before, and likely the last couple weeks.
Wanting to run away is a very human emotion but only very few of us make the decision to actually follow through with it. Either because, ultimately, people prefer being where they are or because they aren’t sure if they might end up regretting this step into the unknown.
Falling into the second group, my decision to “run away” cannot be rooted in momentary frustration as that would be naïve and shortsighted. Instead, truly uprooting my life needs to be based on a well thought-out decision.
In order to organize my thoughts, and help anyone else out there who might be struggling with facing a massive change in lifestyle just like me, here is my list of to-dos for the next 12 months:
- Cancel contracts | This refers to all currently running contracts, subscriptions, memberships, insurances that don’t work internationally, apartment, electricity, internet and TV. Most of these contracts have a three-month cancelation period ahead of the annual renewal date. The earliest renewal is my Pay-TV in December, so I will have to start canceling contracts in September.
- Sign contracts | At the same time I will have to sign new contracts, most importantly a new international health insurance. My current one only allows 45 consecutive days of travel which I sincerely hope to exceed in the future.
- Apartment | In addition to canceling the apartment lease, I will have to actually move out. Moving is usually fairly simple as you just pack up and bring your stuff to your new place. This time, however, there won’t be a new place, meaning I have to get rid of everything that doesn’t fit into my luggage (or is so precious that it’ll find a home at my parent’s place). My Ebay account will see some serious action, guys.
- Visas | While you can travel to a lot of countries without obtaining a visa beforehand, there are a couple countries where you do require one before arrival. On the same note, all travel documents, especially the passport, need to be up-to-date, have enough empty pages, and are valid for the foreseeable future. I’ll also get a new criminal background check certificate in case I end up doing volunteer work.
- Phone | My phone works internationally and I can easily book a roaming flat-rate at any time should I need internet access abroad. In other countries, however, phones are locked and it takes some preparation before they can be used outside of the country – be sure to check your contract and phone settings.
- Resign from job | Because of my position I’m facing a rather long resignation period, meaning I will have to resign in October 2016. The twelve months I gave myself to figure everything out suddenly don’t seem so long anymore.
- Find a job | Ideally I’d like to not be unemployed, at least not for too long. I am saving up money right now which should cover the first couple of months but then I will have to find a source of income. I intend to start looking for jobs this month (April), start applying in May, and continue this all the way to the day I leave (and after that if need be). I have some jobs in mind that would work long-term (with an actual salary) but for the most part I’ll focus on finding temporary jobs that’ll last for only a few months in exchange for accommodation and maybe food.
At the same time I will also have to research everything about being registered and paying taxes in one country while doing temporary jobs in others. Oh joy.
- Telling people | For me, the latest point in time to tell family and friends will be when I quit my job as that will be by far the biggest step on my journey. That being said, I’ll likely tell them over the summer as I want to have my favorite people by my side for this.
Can you think of anything I might be forgetting? Send me a message or let me know in the comments!
PS: Did I say I’ll start looking for jobs in April? That is now. NOW. I think I need to take a nap.