I (26/male) am leaving Los Angeles in January for at least one year of backpacking solo around Australia, NZ, SE Asia, and possibly some other places! Other than enjoying my remaining time before I leave (going to favorite restaurants, hanging with friends, etc.), what pre-trip activities should I be thinking about, and what preparations should I be making (especially while I have good insurance)? What do you wish someone had told you before you left for a trip of this length and scope?
is me! I have a few months left before I take off and start my working holiday visa in Australia. Obviously I'm heading to a first-world country to begin, and should be able to buy plenty of things that I may want while I'm over there.
I did my research and bought a great backpack, and plan on packing lighter than I ever have before. I've been trading in some of my must-have things (camera, laptop, etc.) for smaller and lighter versions. I'm planning on keeping my website updated with my past/future/current whereabouts, and posting blog entries, pics and video as the opportunity presents itself. I'm considering printing up some Moo
MiniCards to pass out to people I meet, to make it easier for them to track me down. And I may get one of those recently announced Amazon Kindles with international downloads, instead of my usual approach of lugging around a small library.
In addition, I have about 10 more weeks of good medical/dental insurance from my current job, which I'll be leaving just before Christmas. I'm planning on getting a physical, and asking about immunizations for some of the less developed countries I may end up visiting. Beyond that, I'm not sure if there's anything I should be taking advantage of while I have the chance. Once my coverage runs out I'll have travel insurance with emergency health coverage, but nothing as nice or comprehensive as I have now.
For the past two months I've been aiming to get rid of 3-5 pieces of personal property each week, either by selling, giving or throwing things away. I'll be selling my car before I leave, and anything remaining will go into a small storage unit. Then I'll be living out of my backpack. Crazy.
I'll probably do occasional freelance programming work (old clients and new) to keep some money rolling in while I'm away, so I'm looking into gadgets/software that'd make my computing life easier... I've seen some external USB WiFi antennas that have received excellent reviews.
Any advice relevant to my specific situation would be appreciated, or any tips that are applicable in general. Thanks so much!