First, my apologies for the silence that surrounded Bunch of Backpackers lately. I’m incredibly busy with my regular job(s). I’m in the final stage of my Ph.D. thesis and this demands most of my time. However, soon I will give you regular adventure updates from far away lands in Southern Africa and Central Asia (more about the route here)! Being busy meant I haven’t been able to prepare much for my travels, but I managed to tick off three important boxes of my to-do list:
- Saved up enough travel money!
- Found someone who will sublet my apartment
- Got travel insurance
More about all this below!
In one of my previous articles I estimated I would need 13.000 euro’s for BoB’s Epic Adventure! Last month I managed to reach that amount!! Unfortunately, I probably won’t have much (any) savings left after the trip, but I plan to start saving again as soon as I get back ;)
Closely related to my financial situation was subletting my apartment! About two weeks ago, my apartment was listed on a housing website. Last monday, to my surprise, I already received a phone call from the housing company that they had found a Malaysian couple who’ll be renting my apartment for the full period!
Furthermore, I finally arranged my travel insurance. After extensively comparing the different Dutch insurance companies specialized in long-term travel or backpacking (such as Allianz, OOM, Tasman and the international company World Nomads), JOHO Special Isis seemed the best option, mainly because it also covers travel in countries with a ‘negative travel advise’ from the government, which in my case applies to Turkey and Tajikistan. This insurance will cost me 37 euro’s per month. It does not cover health care costs, but my Dutch healthcare insurance also covers medical expenses abroad.
I also redirected my mail to my parents house for the time that I’m away. If needed, my parents can sort out important letters and bills. The Dutch Post offers this service for about 4 euro’s per week.
As always, I’m not bringing a tablet or laptop on my travels. However, this means I won’t be able to easily transfer photos from my DSLR to my Iphone. Fortunately, I discovered the Eyefi memory cards! An Eyefi memory card wirelessly transfers selected photos from your camera to your mobile phone (or tablet/computer). For me, not needing a computer to transfer photos is the main advantage. Futhermore, the Eyefi card also offers other cool stuff like an unlimited cloud service. I have a 32 GB Pro card and I’m also giving one away! Hurray! Scroll down for the giveaway!
In terms of other photography preparation:
- I got my DSLR cleaned at my local photography store.
- For storage, I plan to bring my Lacie 500 Gb to back-up my photos and I may use my Dropbox account as additional back-up.
- I also decided to replace my standard kit lens for an upgrade: a Tamron 17-50 mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC.
- In addition, I bought a zoom lens for my upcoming African wildlife/safari adventures: a Canon 55-250 F4-5.6 IS STM.
- Finally, I bought a Rodenstock polarization filter, UV filter and a lens cleaning kit.
It was a big investment, but I love photography and I hope these fancy lenses will make it even more fun!
Overnight contact lenses
Besides new lenses for my DSLR, I’ve been busy with another type of lens. The past year I noticed my eye sight slightly deteriorated. After visiting a local optometrist, it turned out I needed glasses. Unfortunately, my head isn’t exactly a great match with glasses. Therefore, contact lenses seemed a better option. According to the optometrist, night lenses would be perfect for long-term travel in dusty areas. And I have to say – even though I’m a doctor – these lenses are almost a bit magical. While asleep, the night lenses temporarily reshape the cornea, resulting in a normal sight during the day! Unfortunately it also means a lot of hassle putting them in and taking them off every night and there is a substantial risk on eye infections. But hey, I’m glad I’m seeing everything sharp again!
I love hostels! A few years ago, I wrote this post on my favorite party hostels in Asia. However, these days I’m especially fond of quirky hostels, those that are just a bit different. These two cool hostels below often return in lists of ‘Quirkiest Hostels Worldwide’. Of course, I plan to check them out during BoB’s Epic Adventure!
Packing list additions
– Lonely Planet Turkey
– GoPro backpack strap mount (gift by my friend Bruce)
– Package with a Burton toilet bag, Smaak Amsterdam make-up bag, passport cover and money belt (via Travelbags)
– Insight Guides Namibia (gift parents)
– Fjallraven pack bags (gift parents)
– O My Bag luggage tag (gift parents). (Read more about O My Bag here!)
– Transport / rain backpack cover (gift parents)
– Tamron 17-50 mm F/2.8 XR Di II VC
– Canon 17-250 F4-5.6 IS STM
– EyeFi Pro memory card 32 GB
– Lens cleaning kit
– UV and polarization filter
Summary of ‘How to prepare for a RTW-trip 3-4 months before take-off’ tips
- Continue saving money!
- Get your photography gear in order (memory cards, back-up storage, right lenses, clean camera etc.)
- Re-direct your mail
- List your apartment/house on a housing website!
- Arrange your travel insurance
- Check your responsibilities at home (e.g. tax, other expected bills etc.)
This article also contains two Hostelworld affiliate links.
Only two months until the take-off of BoB’s Epic Adventure (February 16th 2016)! The next post on the ‘RTW’ preparations will appear at the beginning of february :) What are your (dream) destinations for 2016?
Nog maar twee maanden tot de start van BoB’s Epic Adventure (16 Februari 2016). Het volgende artikel over de ‘wereldreis’ voorbereidingen verschijnt begin februari! Waar zou jij in 2016 graag naar toe willen?