Taking Care of Details in Preparation for Departure

OUCH! I rubbed my arm where I had bumped the big bruised swollen area. 

Geez, how long is this going to take to go down?

Two days before, I had received the second of three rounds of vaccines in preparation for my travels. This one was the only shot I’d received that left such a mark, and the nurse had warned me about it. “The Tdap shot will feel like someone punched yIMG_0954ou really hard in the arm,” she had said. She was right.

My first round of vaccines included yellow fever, Hep A, and Hep B. Some countries in South America and Africa require a yellow fever card that verifies you’ve had the vaccine. On that visit I also received my prescription for malaria pills and Cipro. The second round of shots included the Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis), Hep A and B boosters, and typhoid vaccine, which came in capsules I had to take for a week. I have one more round scheduled for this week, my final Hep A and B. I’ll also be getting prescriptions filled for a Z-pak (heavy-duty antibiotic) and a pain killer of some kind, probably Vicodin. It’s always good to go prepared. Rounding out my meds are Pepto-Bismol, aspirin, neosporin, moleskin, and band aids. I’m sure there’s more, but that what lists are for, right?

Yellow fever is nasty. The statistics are rather frightening: up to 50 percent of unvaccinated people die from it. I hadn’t had a tetanus shot in who knows how long. The reason the injection site swells is because the shot is full of (inactive) tetanus, and you basically get tetanus, also known as lockjaw, at the site. 

I feel very good getting all these vaccines. Besides the swollen arm, the only side effect I had was fatigue for a few days after the yellow fever shot. The good news about that one is that the CDC has just changed the prIMG_0953otection time from ten years to life. 

I’ve taken care of other preparatory details, too. I just got my passport back, filled with 48 more blank pages. Some countries won’t let you in if you have less than six blanks, so I’m covering my butt here. Only problem is, my passport no longer stays closed because it has so many pages!

I’ve researchVietnamed visas for my first several countries, all in Southeast Asia. Most of them allow visitors to pay for one at the border, although some are free. Vietnam is different, however. I have to acquire a visa before I get to the country. There are a few ways to do this. I can mail my passport and payment
to one of the two Vietnam embassies in the States: San Francisco or Washington, D.C. Or I can go in person to the San Francisco office. But it looks like the cheapest and most popular way is to buy a visa at a Vietnam embassy in Thailand or another SEA country. I think I’ll do that, because I’ll have a better idea of the date I’ll be arriving in Vietnam. They won’t let me in prior to the date on the visa, so waiting seems like the best option.

I have mentioned this before, but the Evernote app is fantastic for clipping information from the web to keep all in one place. Every time I read information that I want to refer to later, I click on the Evernote icon on my PC’s browser or use the app on my iPad. Since the two sync, they’re always up to date. I’ve made a notebook within the app for easy sorting. It’s truly fantastic!

I’ve also decided to not spend another dime on any clothing items beforeIMG_0956 I leave. I’m heading to Singapore first, where I’ll outfit my wardrobe with most of what I will need while in SEA. I’ve also tagged some great-looking Air BnB places in Bali and other countries. Some of them are truly gorgeous, and at $12 to $18 a night, fit right into my budget.

I’m almost down to the last of my stuff to get rid of. Tomorrow I make a huge haul to Goodwill, then I’ll post some specific sale items to see if I can get a little more money for my trip fund. I head to California in about nine weeks (!!!) to spend a month with my family before I go. It’s starting to feel real, this amazing adventure that I’ve been preparing for since December. I’m excited, nervous, scared, and thrilled to think that it’s really happening. I am so ready.

 

 

 

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. quiltbat
    Aug 18, 2015 @ 21:39:19

    Wow, it’s all coming together!! (double exclamation marks) How exciting!!

  2. Jessica Vineyard
    Aug 18, 2015 @ 21:54:28

    Thanks, Barbara! Yes, it’s getting close! Where in the world are WE going to meet up?

  3. bookandbowl
    Aug 18, 2015 @ 22:16:45

    Good info! I had no idea about the visa situation. Interesting! Good to know.

  4. Jessica Vineyard
    Aug 18, 2015 @ 22:32:16

    Thanks, Suz! Yes, I’m learning to carefully check visa requirements for each country!

  5. bustrainboatwalk
    Sep 22, 2015 @ 22:22:30

    Ooh! Happy for you! I’ve been planning my own adventure, and feel really connected to this post because I feel your excitedness and realization that this is really happening. The shots and the visas make it feel real don’t they? 😉 I’m not looking forward to that tetanus booster. I’ll be getting it in about 2 weeks, and a bit annoyed that I even need the booster, since I’ve already been inoculated for diphtheria et al YEARS ago, and I was told they are for life. I only need tetanus but can’t receive it unless boostered :/ That aside, CHEERS to adventures!

  6. Jessica Vineyard
    Sep 22, 2015 @ 22:26:18

    Thank you for your comment. Yes, the shots made it feel real, all right. And I know what you mean about the tetanus booster. I was surprised, too. And my arm was sore, but it really wasn’t that bad. Happy adventuring! Where are you going?

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