OK, It is time to wrap up what has been going on for the past months and weeks. We have been very busy planning and organising the future steps of our life. The big news is that we decided to move on and leave China and life there as it is. We got rid of our rental apartment and the extra stuff that we don’t need when travelling. Obviously we had to leave the current jobs as well.
We gathered here a few points that we think are important for anyone who is considering a similar change in their life.
- Make an initial travel plan on a country level and searching best flight options well in advance. This will help you find good deals and find best routes. Then simply make the decision and buy the flights. The first step is done.
- The plan for the becoming months for us is: Sri Lanka – Indonesia – Australia
- Check up in advance what you might need in the region / countries you will be visiting. For us, we needed to update a few basic vaccines as well as our Japanese Encephalitis vaccine. Better safe than sorry.
- Btw – this was surprisingly difficult to organise in Hong Kong. Maybe we Finns are too precautions about these things. We have to say that organising vaccinations has been previously super easy in Finland. Go Finnish health care!
- We also needed to do some medical tests for a dive master course (yeah you got the idea about our plans now…)
- Updating some gear. For example:
- New backpack for Erja
- Backpack travel covers for aeroplanes
- Sun lotion, insect repellent, painkillers and such travel essentials (that we heard might be a bit difficult to find from Sri Lanka)
- Little bits and pieces of gear here and there.
- DAN (For diving!) – DAN offers great insurance for divers and it is really recommended for anyone who is planning to dive. The cost is low and the coverage is great. No one is planning to have an accident, but if it would happen, you would be glad to be covered.
- World Nomands travel insurance – well it is not cheap, but as we have been living abroad for so many years the options are limited. The great thing here is that you can get it when already left home and you can extend the insurance while travelling too. They do not offer refunds if you return home early so plan well.
- Check your visa requirements well in advance. For us, we needed to apply for the following.
- Sri Lanka (https://www.eta.gov.lk online – easy and fast online application, price 35 USD).
- Work and Travel Visa for Australia (a bit more complicated for us, as this required health check as we have been living in China). We got these: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/417 . Online application is easy and simple. Based on your situation you will receive info about the additional info you need to provide.
- Indonesia – this could have been handled in Hong Kong, yet our investigation shows that on arrival visa is easier and cheaper for Finns to arrange (hopefully the process of extending the visa goes somewhat close to the info we have received in advance).
We have recently renewed passports, so that was not on the to do list now. Also current bank/credit cards should be (hopefully) enough.
We will save you from the long stories about handling other paper work and practicalities leaving Shenzhen/ Hong Kong. Or giving/selling the extra stuff we owned. Maybe that will be another post in the future. Anyhow, it takes a surprisingly long time.
Obviously the most long term preparation has been saving money (old post about it here). We are always saving money for travelling, yet this time we had to be very patient. However at some point you just need to let it go and trust that you have enough money, or possibilities to make more money on the road.
So what next:
Sri Lanka is a country we have been dreaming of visiting for many years. We have been investigating potential activities and locations, yet pretty much everything is open at the moment. We have accommodation booked in Colombo for first two nights, and then we are heading… somewhere. Do you guys have good recommendations for Sri Lanka? Remember to check our first Sri Lankan pictures soon on instragram.