The trip is still a few months away, but a lot of the prep work is getting done now – doctor’s appointments, insurance quotes, information gathering, and sending more information about myself to the organizing team.
My doctor has cleared me to travel. I didn’t expect any different. He just basically had to confirm that I am well enough, both physically and mentally, to take on a month of travel. I knew it wasn’t going to be an issue, but one never knows until the form is signed, and signed it is. Luckily, while I was there, he also let me know that he can do travel vaccinations! One less thing that I will have to figure out, though now I have a list of vaccines, all optional, that I have to decide if I want to get jabbed into me… Decisions, decisions….
Travel insurance seemed to be the trickiest part of this round of preparations for the trip. I had a hard time finding a company that could offer all the parts that I needed to sign off on. Specifically, I needed more for repatriation of remains than most companies offer. However, I finally found a plan that works. CAA Travel and Medical was the plan that I went with as they have a general limit, not a limit for specific things. (At least, I think that’s what they said – I just made sure that they verified that they covered all the specifications I had, and they confirmed.)
We also had to submit our bios this week. This will help the team over in Asia to find our vocational placements and our host families. Other than trying to put into simple words what it is I do for a living (never easy), only one thing made me stop and think… “I would prefer to be placed in the same homestay as a fellow team member” to which you answer “yes”, “no” or “no preference”. The introvert, scaredy-cat in me wants to place a big X in the box for “yes” and circle and highlight it. But, I know that I will not have the same experience if I do. In a situation where I’m shy, tired, or out of my comfort zone (which I expect to be much of my trip), I will take the easy way out if there is another person there, and let them do all the talking, especially if they are at all chatty. If I do that, I know I won’t get as much out of this trip. So, I hesitantly checked “no preference” and will let the homestays come as they will.
The time is going quickly. The next stage of our prep will be to do more research on the areas we’ll be visiting, and working on what we can share with them.