It seems that preparation for travel has to happen in a specific order because the paperwork requires progressive detail. For example, the first thing on the list is to determine when and exactly where you are going. With the dates and locations confirmed, then you book your flights. Now that you have flights, you know how much your travel costs and you can get travel insurance. Now you have the details you need to get your visa and see the travel nurse.
I’ve finished most of these tasks. I have plans to travel to Chicago on Monday to go to the Chinese Consulate to organize the visa. I’ve also gone shopping for some new outfits, I’ve pulled out the luggage I intend to bring, and I’ve started piling some of the essentials into it.
My next big undertaking is setting up my tech. The Chinese firewall is formidable, and I need to make sure I’ll be able to access everything I need while I’m away.
I also need to plan for things here that I won’t be able to take care of for a few months. Things like bills, taxes, storage of gear.
Then there’s the social aspect; people to tell, parties to throw. A month of preparation time may seem like a lot of time, but the preparation is essentially a second job, and the month goes by fast.