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Filed under: Day to Day,Preparation — she_travels at 5:07 pm on Friday, January 12, 2007

Savana’s mom suggested I update the blog. Silly me, I didn’t realize it had been since October something or other. Busy person am I.

I am looking forward to having all the logistical stuff done so I can think about the next bit. The “next bit” would be the fun stuff, hanging out on a Caribbean beach chatting with the locals and tourists, going for twice daily walks, and the bit you guys are waiting for ~ updating The Blog.

Logistical stuff ~ Bank, Insurance, Property Management, 

I finally got the bank in Oklahoma, the one with “totally free ATMs worldwide” to acknowledge my existence. I was not getting the response I wanted after months of trying, so I called asking to speak with someone other than the guy I had been dealing with. Crazy thing, I told the new person who I am, what I wanted and by golly it didn’t take her 24 hours to have the paper work in my hand. I followed all the instructions, express mailed it back and poof! I have a bank account in Oklahoma with FREE ATM fees. Now why did the dude I have been talking with since September or so never get it done? Who knows!

The auto insurance is another one of those things ya just as soon ignore. Sadly that would continue to cost me money so after having several conversations about options I made a choice, called them to find out what they had been telling me for months was not in the least correct. Get this, if I own a car, park it and insure it the yearly price is 43.14. If I do not own a car and want to continue my preferred status the yearly price is 168. 42. Does that make any kind of since to anyone? The agent told me, once upon a time,  the auto policy could be suspended so a person could still have preferred status when they return from where ever. The State of Colorado decided that was taking revenue from other insurances companies. No more suspension of policy. The agent said preferred status has several criteria, one was the amount of time a person was with a company but that no longer has a bearing. In the end I decided to cancel my auto insurance. The question became.. “What about rental insurance on my house?” I was flat floored when she replied “There is a $9 increase between the corrent policy you have on the house and a rental policy.

There are so many things in this world I don’t understand but I tell ya after that conversation I just accepted she knew what she was doing, thanked her and hung up.

I have been talking to a property management company. I need to get my head wrapped around having possible renters wander through the house but I can’t seem to get myself to make the dang call. Perhaps I can get it together next week. I have to get a guy in here to replace the fan in the bath room and fix the down spout on the back. The house is cleaner today that it was yesterday but being there is so little here the house will not show as well as it would have. Oh well, at some point ya just gotta get stuff done.

We decided to put Mom’s name on everything, real estate and bank accounts. That way if my plane goes down in the Red Sea there is no confusion as to who owns what. We still have to sign and notarize the paper work but it should be all kinds of easy. Quit Claim deeds, gotta love em.

My laptop is in the shop so I have been forced into experimenting with the Q1 (7” screen with key board). Good thing to, cause there has been a slight learning curve to transferring files (photos, text) from the Q1 to the thumb drive to then upload with a third computer. If this seems another language to you I understand, not only have I been researching countries, visas, transport, things to see and hostels, I have also been learning about the best way to keep ones identity safe while using internet cafes. Not to mention it’s a very good idea not to flaunt ones new miniature computer.

A quick lesson, USB thumb drive is a new storage device, it is smaller than a lighter. I am moving text flies and photos to the tiny drive, taking it down to Heidi’s house and loading them from her computer to the internet. Why you ask? Cause I only have dial up at my house, the Q1 is not dial up compatible only wireless. So, I have no way to get online from the house. I was taking the Q1 to Shawna’s place cause she has wireless but her drive way is a mess with all the snow we have had.

By the by the speed at which technology is changing is enough to freak out anyone.

Speaking of snow¦my pictures are on the computer in the shop. I hope to get one in the blog with a comparison picture of the island at some point. The laptop is not going to be back for about ten days. Silly, me I should have saved everything before I took it in but I didn’t understand how long the thing would be gone.

I am running out of time here, have to go feed a client’s horses.

I s’pose the biggest news is I have decided to come back, for an amount of time anyway.

Several of my client’s have been suggesting I change my mind or come up with another solution. Before Christmas all I could think about was not having the pressure of the job on me, I was so ready to be done. I have trouble during Christmas thinking of anything but what is next. I get tunnel vision,  I can only deal with what is right in front of me. The weather (huge snow) this season sure didn’t help any.

Long about the 3rd of January my gray matter kicked in again. It occurred to me I may be able to come up with a solution for my wander lust and my client’s needs. I rolled it around in my head for a few days and decided it may be possible to come back for several months a year. I would love to be in Colorado for September and October but those are not the best times for client’s. I came to the conclusion part of summer break and winter holiday would be the best way to serve my clients.  I will be back for July and August then again for November, December and part of January 2008. I have wiggle room on both ends of these dates. One of my clients has asked me to come back October 20th, I will get a bit of October this year.Leaving was never about my not loving the job and my clients, it was always about my needing a break from the 24/7 aspect and a desire to see the world. If this all works out to the best possible end I can travel and serve my client’s best interest. Cool huh?

Alrighty, off to feed some horses and see if I can upload this to the web from Heidi’s computer.

Holy buckets!

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 12:36 pm on Friday, October 27, 2006

It’s been forever and a day since I updated this. Stuff starting happening very fast.

I have several ads on Craig’s List offering my furniture for sale. I did pretty well selling my plants. Mom took a load of stuff  she wants to keep. I was slightly un-nerved when I came home from morning chores and all the art was off the walls. The quilts are off my bedroom walls, the house echoes and feels a bit colder.

I can’t remember when I started telling clients but they all know now. It took me three months to design the card I was sending then it took 3 days to make 52 cards. I think I missed a couple people and I want to send one to my father to let him know what I am doing.

An old friend from Alpine surfaced the other day. We had a long chat and might get together to visit with a friend of hers who may be willing to rent my house and perhaps care of some of my client’s horses. We also made tentative plans to see some of the Stock Show with another friend of ours from WY. It’s like a mini Alpine reunion. None if us have worked for the place in over 10 years.

Mom’s car was totaled by the insurance company so she is going to buy mine. Talk about working out. Woohoo.

The City still has not decided what kind of payment plans they are going to offer to the residences of the neighborhood for the paving project over 40% of us voted no on. Its all driving me a bit mad.

The bank I found offering no ATM fees world wide and absorbing the currency exchange fees finally got off their hinnies to send me the contact. I sent my contact person a email telling him the contract didn’t reflect what we had discussed. It took him over a week to let me know he has changed it and will send me another one. I am so glad I got started with the process in May. It took me four months to find a bank offering what I wanted now its been another three to get to the contact stage. Shezz!

I have been all kinds of waffling about my health insurance I think I finally decided to not worry and continue to pay Kaiser. During the next year depending on what happens I will review the options.

On to Gear! Woohooo!

I ordered three pairs of Fisherman pants. I love these things cause they are light weight and fast drying. I have a pair of long underwear I can put under them if it gets cold and I will have rain gear of some kind if I need another layer.

I bought some trail/gortex/padded socks I just love. The reviews were amazing! I will take three pairs of those with me. When not wearing socks I will wear Tevas or something similar.

I have had two pairs of light weight, gortex, breathable, water proof, hiking shoes in the house neither one fit well enough not to hurt my feet. I think it’s time to see a professional about foot size.

I have been researching backpacks for months. I tried on several packs at various stores but the best deal on any of them was online. Free shipping both ways. Can’t beat that! I decided to order a 40Liter put all my stuff in it and see what I think. I can upgrade to the 49L+ 20L if the 1st one is to small. The pack may even be here today.

The airlines changed the liquid rules again so I may be able to go just carry-on. You can now take 3oz bottles of liquid that all fit in a quart size bag. I bought some 3oz bottles and have shampoo, face soap, face lotion and anti itch gel in four of them. They fit well in the bag with a bit more room. I am hoping to squish in sun screen and deodorant. And some camp soap that washes cloths well. I took some with me last year to Roatan. I may have to buy sunscreen. Big bummer I like that “No Ad” stuff.

Well Pickles!

Filed under: Preparation — she_travels at 11:03 am on Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I was all set to spend oodles of time in Europe learning wine making, from planting the vine to labeling the bottle, same with olive oil and many other things. Silly me, I was remiss in my research, one can only stay in some countries of Europe 90 out of 180 days.

Ireland, UK, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Turkey are not part that group. If one tried hard they may be able to work out some thing. I mean 90 days is a long time and its not a cheap place Europe. I will have to make a list of the places I can’t miss.

I saw mention of a place called Milford Track in New Zealand. It’s three days of hiking through the hills of the south island. They have huts kinda like B&Bs. Sounds all kinds of fun.

Being I am going to Ireland first I was searching for some thing like the Milford Track. They have a vast system of “Way Tracks” where you can walk for days from town to town staying at hostels or B&Bs. The system covers Ireland and the UK. There is a track traveling from Kerry in Ireland across Europe to Turkey.

I would like to walk many of the tracks in Ireland and the UK. Maybe decide to do parts of the others. What a grand way to see new places.

Everyone says you should take extra passport photos. I was surprised by the price, they are so expensive.

We are still sorting and selling. I am so very overwhelmed by the whole idea. Mom suggested we make a list of things for sale and post it at the flea market. Perhaps some interest will show.

Slight Plan Change

Filed under: Day to Day — she_travels at 11:06 am on Sunday, August 20, 2006

I now have several tickets. Roatan for three months, San Diego for a few days before leaving for Dublin. I decided the weather in Bangkok would not be to my liking in May/June. I am going to start from the other direction. Ireland 1st. I may even end up with a theme for this adventure. Once upon a time Mom gave me a book called “1000 Places You Should See Before You Die”. Theme ya think?

I started telling clients my deadline last week. Its going to be hard on all of us. I have had many a month to get used to the idea.

Mom and I moved some stuff out last week and will continue to do so with the stuff I want to keep.

I still have not found a bank I am happy with nor have I an answer about insurance. Silly Kaiser can’t seem to answer any of my q’s.

The job is a bit easier Mom went home two days ago.

Paid off the car so if I decide to sell it I can.

The weather cooled off.

All in all things are going well.

Closer

Filed under: Day to Day — she_travels at 12:34 pm on Friday, August 11, 2006

Mom and I have been having conversations about when it would be comfortable for me to get out of town. We think all the stuff on the house plus moving plus renting can all be done by the 1st of Feb so I am bailing Feb 3, being the first Saturday available for direct flights from the US to Roatan.

I found what I thought was a super rate from Denver through Atlanta to Roatan coming back through Atlanta to end up in LA. Great price so I bought it. What this means is I have a time limit for bailing out of the county. Feb 3 to Roatan and arriving in LA on April 28. There it is in black and white. Deadline.

I will hang with “The Boys” (friends from my last visit to Roatan, who live in LA/moving to San Diego) for a spell in California before I hop on a plane to Bangkok. That is where the real adventure begins.

I tossed The Boys a note telling them when I would be in LA. I tossed a mail to Foster’s people letting them know I found a place to live but if they would like my help over Spring Break and Easter I would be willing.

On another note ~

The job of late has been just this side of hell. Man! Has it been tough. Thank goodness Mom was able to come down. I would have been able but it would have sucked even more than it did. I keep thinking if I can just get to Monday it will all be much better.

I was telling Mom this morning I think the only reason I can deal at this point is cause I know I am leaving. It’s nice to know one is making the correct choice. There is no waffling about the leaving ..there will be no waffling about the leaving, it is all kinds of time to be done. Ten/thirteen years of this kind of pace is enough to make anyone want out.

I talked to Kaiser today. Would you believe they have ZERO documentation on just what they cover outside the US. Crazy huh? All the chick would tell me was emergencies are covered the world over.  I asked about a time limit but she was so busy repeating emergency that I don’t think she answered my q. She is going to send me an explanation of policy, what ever that is, once I read it I can call back with other questions. I think I have decided to continue to pay Kasier and get some evacuation insurance from NoMads.

I still have to talk to a lawyer about power of attorney and will/trust stuff.

Mom and I have been going through stuff off and on. We are making a pile to either put on Craig’s List or we may be able to get one of the people from the Flea Market to pop by.

We are getting closer.

Silly System

Filed under: Day to Day — she_travels at 11:07 am on Monday, August 7, 2006

My isp has been on again, off again. I called ISP support several times, the last guy I talked to flat gave up. I talked to the phone company, she said if you can speak clearly in the phone the dial up should work. I talked to the Toshiba people and they said $35 bucks please, with no guarantee it would be fixed. I finally decided to take the computer to Shawna’s house to see if it would work with her phone line, it did. I had to feed the Hutton’s horses so I took the time to check the computer with their phone line, it worked. I brought the computer back here tired again, nothing. Took it outside to see if the connection was working to the house, nothing.

Then,  low and behold,  the next day~ Yesterday~ the thing was working grand again. Next time I will call the phone company, I have more info now, perhaps they will understand it is there line. At least I think it is.

On to other things.

I have decided to go to Roatan first. Hang about for 2-3 three months, Soak up the sun, walk the whole of the island, hang about with Foster’s people, read and get some much needed sleep. I might see if the people at the hydroponics garden need help. There is also a lady raising Arabs some where. Might drop in to see what’s the what there.

With that in mind I have been looking for an place affordable to rent monthly. There is a small unit on the beach between West End and West Bay. It belongs to the people from Montana. Cute little place $600 a month. Lizard’s Thicket has delightful looking studios for $450 a month, they are located 5 miles east of French Harbor. The place I have been talking with the most is in French Harbor, $215 a month plus water and Elec. She said it may come out to about 245. Great price. The last is a friend of Mom’s who has a house with a lower unit in Lawsons Rock. I will wait a bit to see if she gets back to me. If that doesn’t pan out I think I will go with the French Harbor place.

Mom came down to help with the job. It just go to hard with the dogs here (11) plus the three barns. Sure makes my life easier not to have to worry as much about the dogs I leave at the house.

I need to call Debbie at Roatan Charters to see what kind of a deal on a plane ticket she can make me from where.

Connection Catastrophe!

Filed under: Day to Day — she_travels at 1:53 pm on Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Whew! What a few days I have had.

My ISP went south, then when I borrowed a friend’s computer to check my mail that system was down as well. Two days, five calls to the ISP and three disks later I finally have the thing working again.

It’s amazing how much I depend on the web to answer all my questions. If you need a thing or an answer…poof there it is at your finger tips. Slight addiction I am thinking!

I have not heard from my friend in Saudi, hope he is in Cyprus and well.

On the sale of things front, Mom and I when through the kitchen to decide what we could not give up and what we would. She is going to take my truck to replace the one they have had for over 20 years.

I may talk to Star about property management if Barb decides not to rent the house.

I think a made a good contact in New Zealand. He has a house sitter service which matches sitters to houses. I think it will be a excellent way to start building an international clientele. That with the House Carers site I think will set me up.

New Zealand offers a nine month tourist permit to those that qualify. They allow ya to stay nine out of eighteen months. I am unsure how many times you can go back but it seems an idea to stay nine months, find some thing else to do for nine months and go back.

Sure, looks like we are shaping up to an adventure! WooHoo!!

Gear Concerns

Filed under: Preparation — she_travels at 10:52 am on Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In addition to an electronic solution to journaling, insurance and the basic woes of organizing the logistics of this undertaking there is gear on my mind.

I want to travel very light. I would like to have a backpack of a size that I can wear all day so at any given time I can make a choice on where to go.

With this is mind, a single pair of shoes seems a grand idea. I have seen some fairly sturdy sandals and a few pairs of all terrain, water proof, light weight shoes. The problem with real shoes is socks are a must. Yet another thing (s) to pack. I have myself a bit of a dilemma.

In my head I don’t have a lot to pack. I have not yet had a chance to get my hands on any packs so I am unsure of what size truly is.

The list looks something like this:

Shoes on my feet ~ Sandals in the pack
Clothes on my body ~ one extra set
Hat on my head
Electronics ~ paper/pen, international plugs

Toiletries including ~ TP, first aid kit, clothes line, Earplugs, Hand wash lotion, sewing kit,

Sleep sheet
Flashlight
Freezer Bags

This list will invlove over the next several months.

Mantra

Filed under: Inspiration — she_travels at 3:29 pm on Monday, July 10, 2006

I have been searching for a solution to my journaling boggle. When I was in Honduras last year I took my lap top, this way I could down load my pics and keep a journal, not to mention watch movies and listen to music. I do love my laptop.

This trip, if that’s the best thing to call it, is not going to blend well with a laptop. I posted my needs to Lonely Planets, Thorn Tree. Those folks are suggesting a PDA with a foldable keyboard for the journal along with CDs to load the pics to.

One of these days when I am not swamped with work I am going to pop on down to my local “We have every electronic device known to man” store and see what we come up with.

The other bit of business running about in my head is Health insurance. I have been with my insurance company for about 15 years. Ya just really hate to give up that kind of relationship. Sadly, they don’t do international anything. It was suggested I talk to Blue Cross, someone was under the impression they do both national and international. I called they said no.

Several travel web sites recommend Nomad Travel Insurance. The boggle there is if and when I come back to the states I have to go thru the acceptance process of a company here.

Goodness the more ya think about bailing to travel for an undetermined amount of time the more you realize why very few people do it. The list of things ya gotta deal with is growing by the minute. Not to mention the money aspect.

The thing one has to keep in their head is

Everything always works out. Not to worry”

The above has become my mantra.