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My move is officially 4 months away. That’s not a very long time to get things settled at my 9-5, sell all of my belongings, ship the important things to my sister, change my name, get a new passport, buy my ticket, complete my coaching certification, apply for visas, get vaccines, and say buh-bye to life in DC.

Nope, time is not on my side.

What is on my side is my compulsive urge to prepare. I’m a pretty logical person, and I really like to think things through. So, I am doing that now. I know that I can’t prepare for everything, but I can do my darndest to make sure that I’m as prepared as possible.

When I chose my date, November 16, I didn’t open the calendar and just point. There was a thought process behind it. My biggest goal at the moment is to complete my life coaching certification. The course itself is ending in September, so I basically gave myself 6 weeks to get everything completed post-course. I have no idea if that’s enough time, but I’m willing to work my butt off to try to make it happen.

I also did a bit of research on how much it’ll cost me to live in each country per month. If I’m smart with my money, I think I’ll be able to live for about $500-$700 per month. (Just to give you perspective, my crappy, 700 sq. ft. apartment in Bethesda, Maryland cost $1653, monthly.) Even if I spend $800 a month, I’ll be able to spend <$10,000 a year…which is perfect because I have $10,000 in savings. I’m obviously hoping to bring in money from my business, but even if I don’t, I can still live for 12 months off of my savings account. How awesome is that!

I’m also trying to do a few things NOW so that I’m not as stressed out these next 4 months. If you haven’t notice, I don’t exactly work well under stress.


Here’s what I’ve done already:

  • IUD – I chose the most long-term, most-hassle-free birth control option I could find. Sterilization was off the table, per the doctor NOT ME, so this was the next logical choice. Done and done. Plus, while I still have insurance, it was FREE.
  • Found a buyer for my car
  • Went month-to-month on my apartment lease


This is what I’m working on in the next couple of months:

  • Google Voice – a Google voice number is free and is supposed to be quite simple. I don’t exactly know how it works, but I’m looking into it. I need to be in constant contact with my sister.
  • Name change – well, I can’t exactly control this one. I’ve done my part and now I’m waiting for a judge to approve or deny my request. Once this goes through, I can get a new passport, buy my ticket, and start applying for visas.
  • Research on visas – this has already begun. I *know* I need a visa for Vietnam before I leave, so that’ll be top priority. Apparently you can get a visa on arrival in Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia. I’m too Type-A to just leave this to chance, so I’ll be applying before I leave.
  • Vaccines – ugh. The bane of my existence. I talked about all of the vaccines I need earlier, but I don’t know that I’m willing to spend $1300 on shots, nor do I know if all of them are necessary. Luckily I have a friend getting her PhD in epidemiology (hi Kari!), so I’ll just trust her advice. Plus, after being in the military for 6 years, I wonder how many of those are still good.  I’m also asking myself, “How serious is typhoid?” (Just kidding….sort of.)
  • The “Donate Now” button – I’m just not sure how I feel about this. So many people have told me that this button is golden because you simply click the button and people like you can send me a little gift via your PayPal account. That seems great, but it also seems….terrible and invasive. And it kind of goes against everything I stand for regarding independence and integrity.  It’s hard enough for me to ask people to give me a ride to the airport. How am I supposed to ask people for money? I just don’t know….
  • Insurance – I’ll obviously lose my benefits once I quit the 9-5.  I believe that I am required to have some type of insurance under the Affordable Care Act, but I’m not sure how that works if I’m not even living in the country. (Thanks, Democrats!) I am looking into travel insurance, just in case I need a new arm or something. I think that might be a better option compared to the ACA requirements. I also want some type of protection that someone will come get me if I get stuck in a location with a devastating natural disaster or a terrorist attack. Wouldn’t that be a bummer if I needed to be evacuated?!?!  My Noni would probably have a heart attack.  And, I’ve worked for the government too long to think that I would be at the top of their “evacuate now” list.  So, is insurance worth it?  No idea.


I’ve also begun thinking about packing, which will be very fun for me because I get to pack and organize things! But I’ll talk more about my packing list later. It’s still under construction.

So, that’s my quick update exactly 4 months out. Hopefully the next time we talk I’ll have a new last name. But, alas, I do not control all of these things.   <sigh>


Four Months and counting…

by Amber time to read: 4 min

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