The logistics of leaving.  It’s an interesting situation in which we find ourselves as we continue to wait, wait, and wait a bit more for our Portugal visas to come through.

The line between disorder and order lies in logistics…Sun Tzu

The Logistics of Storage

It’s one thing to put your mail on hold for a couple of weeks, stop the newspaper and maybe ask a friendly neighbor to keep an eye on your house while you’re gone. It’s a whole other ballgame when you consider the logistics of actually packing your life into a mountain of boxes and stacking said boxes into a 10 x 30 storage garage.  And, it’s not just about the stuff. It’s about compartmentalizing pretty much every aspect of your life.  What to take? What to leave?  And, do we really want to pay for storage?!

And, what about our car?  After much back and forth on the topic, we decided to park our car in storage, turn in the tags and cancel the insurance.  When we return, we’ll just pick up where we left off.  Seemed silly to pay for tags and insurance while the car sits in storage.

See the taped off parking space for our car?

The Logistics of Moving

If you’ve been following for a while you know we sold our house.  That was the #1 big ticket logistical item.  We sold our house in part because we are going to travel, but more importantly we sold it because although we loved the house, it just wasn’t the right fit for the long term. The timing of the sale has left us homeless for several weeks.  But, as fate would have it, we received a gracious offer to house sit, even though they really didn’t need it.  Kindness.  I think it plays a role in logistics.  Or, at the very least it should.

Our lovely temporary home.

No longer owning property the next step for us was to update our living trusts.  Easily done.  We have one son so it’s pretty much a no-brainer logistically, he gets it all, but still a good idea to have a written document for those just-in-case scenarios.  We keep electronic copies, as well as a hard copy.

The Logistics of Banking

The logistics of banking.  Because we’re going to be in Europe for who knows how long, we will of course need money.  Electronic banking makes it easy, but there are still considerations such as transaction and exchange fees and having a credit card that does not charge a foreign transaction fee.  We’ll primarily be using VISA, since AMEX is not widely accepted in Europe.

The Logistics of Health Care

When you leave home for that long-awaited vacation, it’s pretty easy to pack along any necessary prescription meds.  Leaving for an indefinite time period makes it a bit more interesting.  There are online prescription sites and many insurance companies will work with customers for vacation overrides, but again, the indefinite time period makes it all a bit sticky wicky.  I take one prescription tablet every single day of my life.  After consulting my doctor, she ordered blood work and then wrote a new prescription for six months, with one six-month refill.  Since my prescription insurance coverage is minimal, and really not worth the effort, I ordered all 12 months of meds and I paid cash.  Fortunately, it is not an expensive drug.

Pin it!

In the past, we’ve purchased travel health insurance.  But, just when we had decided we would go without this time, our Portugal visa applications required us to purchase insurance.  After many hours of research, we chose Allianz and we bought the absolute most minimal coverage we could find, basically, just major medical.  In Europe, you can walk into any pharmacy and pretty much buy anything you need to make yourself feel better, so paying for travel insurance is one of those, “is it worth it” quandaries.

The Logistics of Packing

Packing.  We’re minimalists when it comes to packing and we’re big believers in don’t pack with the “just in case” mindset. I should tell you that packing for the indefinite, and all four seasons, put my packing skills to the test, but I did it.  And, I have to admit I did pack one “just in case” nice outfit for each of us.  Are you in love with packing cubes?  I am!  Cold weather gear and that “just in case” nice outfit; they are what packing cubes are made for.

I’m a big fan of the packing cube.

When we travel our standard practice is one suitcase and one backpack per person.  This leaves us each with a free hand, which is always a good idea, especially when moving through airports and train stations. Unfortunately, there are those who lie in wait to “carry” your bag up/down stairs and then basically hold it hostage until you “tip” them.  Never!  And, because I have the upper body strength of a limp noodle, my absolute limit of being able to lift a suitcase is about 30 pounds, and that’s pushing it.  With all of that being said, I managed to pack everything we’ll need into these two suitcases and they each weigh in at 32 pounds.  Why do I think they’re going to gain weight as we travel?

We have locking straps and tags, just haven’t put them on yet.

The Logistics of Portugal

As I’ve said on several occasions, we really have no idea where this journey is going to lead us.  But, as Abi says, we won’t know until we find out, and we can’t find out unless we better position ourselves. I won’t bore you by repeating myself, so here are the links to our posts about the process of applying for residency in Portugal.

Redefining Retirement – Again

Portugal:  The Expat Experiment

And, that my friends, is just a glimpse in to the logistics of leaving.  Don’t even get me started on the logistics of planning an eight-week Eurail trip.  But, here’s a hint… 13 cities in 62 days.  It’s going to be amazing!














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