Sunday, April 16, 2023

Details Details Details

 

Tuesday March 28, 2023

I called the Coolibar company and tried to order the swim gear I saw in their catalogue yesterday. The agent was great, knew exactly what I wanted. As it turned out, the catalogue being new was the issue. Life lesson. Their computers didn’t even show the swimsuit, etc. yet, but she could handle it live. So, she did. Very nice. Had a lovely chat about my upcoming trip while she resolved the issue.

Spent most of the day planning and thinking about all I need to do. Making a to-do list for each month is helping me move things out of my mind, and onto paper.

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Meds Onboard

 

Monday, March 27, 2023

This was a tiring day. Did the chores around the house that I should have completed over the weekend. Once the excitement wears off, I hope to balance my time better. Watched another webinar, this one live. Many questions were answered. It helped me make an executive decision to sign up for mail and package forwarding. It’s expensive, since you must sign up for a minimum of 18 months. But it will be worth it to receive prescription medication and Amazon orders on the ship. However, if the ship pharmacy has the meds I need at a reasonable price, I’ll skip it and save the money.

Many of the items I ordered yesterday arrived. Everything was great, including Bob, the cute critter I bought to bring with me, CLICK HERE (ad). I ordered a bow tie for him to wear at dinner, CLICK HERE (ad). I don’t know how often he'll appear on the ship, but I’m certainly taking him ashore with me. Life lesson. He'll be great for a little added humor in my photographs.

Found a sun protection swimsuit with matching coverup in a Coolibar catalogue that came today. Looked for it online to order, but it wasn’t there. So annoying. I’ll call tomorrow. Don’t send out catalogues if you don’t have the items in stock. Sheesh. It can’t be gone already. The catalogue just arrived!


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Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Good Friends Help with Planning


Sunday, March 26, 2023

I woke up this morning having made an executive decision about my car. I’m not going to leave it with my nieces for three years and let them drive it like I had planned. Instead, I’m going to find a place close to where I live now and store it. I looked online and found all sorts of options, but unfortunately my car is 1 inch too long to fit the 10 x 15‘storage units. That extra 1 inch means I must rent a 10‘x 20‘unit which is, of course, way more money. I looked online and found several options. I checked to see what they had, and actually found 10‘x 20‘storage units. but most of them are upstairs. No help.

I called Public Storage and talked to a nice young man named Tyler. He explained their 15’ storage units are exactly that, 15’ precisely. Bummer. So now I know I need a 10’ x 20’ unit, more money. He also told me he can only see availability for 2 weeks going forward. My options are getting narrower. It looks like I may have to wait until the last minute to find a storage solution for my car or sell it.

Just had a series of phone calls with my friend, Connie. We brainstormed solutions to logistical problems. The number one is, of course, my car. She convinced me the easiest solution would be to sell it. There would be no ongoing automotive costs incurred. It would also mean I could rent the smallest storage unit for the few pieces of furniture I want to keep. 

That’s another positive. When I get back, who knows what life will be like? When I returned from living in South Africa for two years, 1997-1999, much had shifted, and I had to adjust. After all, I might want to use Uber instead of driving. It would certainly cost less each month than operating a car.

This afternoon I ordered earphones, CLICK HERE (ad) for my cruise, and a cute little stuffed critter I named Bob. Bob will sit in the seat next to me if I am ever sitting with new friends at a table with an empty seat. Been there. Done that. Was once asked to go sit with strangers so a married couple could sit together at a wine tasting in Bordeaux, France. Life lesson. Nope. Never again. Ruined the excursion for me.


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Saturday, April 8, 2023

Money Matters



 
Saturday, March 25, 2023

I spent much of the day watching webinar videos from Life at Sea and doing more research. I still can’t believe I signed up for a three-year around-the-world cruise.

I was able to save the itinerary on my laptop and study when we’re going to be where. That really matters to me because of the weather. It’ll let me know what kind of clothing to bring. I’m happy they’re sending us a pod (which is like a portable closet). We will use it to pack everything we want to take on the ship. This means we won’t have to take lots of luggage. 

If possible, I’m thinking about only taking a small carry-on bag,
 CLICK HERE (ad). In the bag, I’ll put my laptop, Kindle, iPad and chargers, so I can keep them safe with me. I’ll stuff any medications I need for the few days between leaving LA and arriving aboard the ship into that suitcase as well.

My goal is to not bring anything else to the airport, except my coat and purse, of course. I’m going to let the airlines know I need a wheelchair at LAX and later upon arrival. That should make life easier in both airports. That’s important because of the back injury I suffered three years ago. I have two compression fractures in my spinal vertebrae. They still hurt. So, a wheelchair will be helpful. A side benefit is we can skip lines. I always tip the people pushing the wheelchair well. They’re angels who make it possible for me to travel.

I also need to let the airlines know that I have this disability. If my little carry on won’t fit under the seat in front of me (it usually does), it will need to go into the overhead. I can’t lift it. It might cause another fracture, even though it is small and light weight. When I’ve asked for aid in the past, airline personnel have not been helpful. Luckily, there was always a male passenger nearby, and when I asked him to put it in the overhead for me, there was no problem. So that’s my fallback, if airline personnel refuse to help.

Much of my day was spent thinking of things I need to do. Since I live alone and won’t be keeping the house that I’m renting during the three years I’m gone, I had a decision to make. What to do with all my stuff? Well, I’m going to lighten the load. I’m only going to keep the things that I really love. The rest will go to an estate sale or be donated to charity. That’s the plan for my furniture. It could include the television as well.

All my knickknacks, and the pictures that are currently hanging on walls will go into storage. Some of my clothing might as well. I’m going to use this as an opportunity to get rid of anything I haven’t been wearing. Who needs to have it hanging in the closet? I think I’m going to dump a lot of shoes too, maybe all that I don’t take on the trip. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

In the evening, I made a list of things that are going to cost me money while I'm not in the United States. That includes insurance, cell phone, Prime, storage, virus protection for my computer and two software services I use to keep my Etsy business running. I plan on selling my car. My goal in making this list was financial. I wrote down how much I pay each month/year for each of these items. I need to know because handling money is a balancing act when you travel.

In fact, the use of money itself is a balancing act. You must balance what you need to spend and what you want to spend with what you have coming in. I also intend to continue saving money even though I’m traveling. I’ve been saving each month since I retired. 

My plan for this nest egg is to cover any help that I might need once I get old. Yes, people might think I’m old now; according to the calendar, maybe I am, but I don’t look at it that way. Old is when you can no longer take care of yourself. That could happen to anyone in their 30s or 40s or, in my case, much later than that.


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Sunday, April 2, 2023

Adventures Ahead



Friday, March 24, 2023

Join me in my upcoming adventures, where I will be touring the world for the next three years. But first a little background on why I’m starting this blog. Being outside, especially by the sea, is my happy place. So, when I learned about this cruise, I pounced on the opportunity. I’m sharing my photos and experiences here at the request of dozens of my Twitter followers.

The goal of my blog is to encourage other singles to travel more. By showing how I’m doing this, I hope it reduces their fear of the unknown. Travel is such an enriching experience, it would be a pity if fear of the unknown was a deterrent.

This morning, during our weekly Zoom meeting, my friend @DeborahDian, described a segment she had just watched on Good Morning America. It was about a three-year cruise around the world embarking this fall. She was shocked that the price was only $30,000 a year. I know how much I spend annually living in Laguna Niguel. So, I knew this was within my reach.

When we finished with Zoom, I went to my iPad and started investigating. I watched the online video of the segment from Good Morning America and liked what I saw. I then did more research on Google. “Wow. This looks great. I need to do this.” When I looked up, it was almost midnight. Yes, I had accomplished almost nothing else all day. I think I had lunch at around 3 o’clock. Dinner? What’s that?

It wasn’t easy for me to actually sign up for the cruise. I had difficulty picking a stateroom on the ship. Perhaps it being well after midnight had something to do with it? But after that, it was simple. Goodbye $5k, hello MV Gemini, cabin 3218. Life lesson. When an opportunity shows up, do a little research. Then pounce. 


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Sur le Pont d'Avignon