I’ve been thinking a lot lately about personal choices and how we do things or have to do things when we travel long term. We have to make choices about basic things and how we will manage our affairs if time finds us in Cambodia or Vietnam or elsewhere.
I found a few things that have come up in my experiment of one that were significant. Luckily there are solutions for these things with how the cloud operates to our benefit. See what you think about my things:
- Postal Mail Service. If you are gonna be gone what happens to your mail? Do you rely on family to help out with picking it up, sorting through it, finding things you need to deal with? Do you rent a USPS or UPS mailbox and let it go? Give that one some thought.
- Dual Factor Authentication and retaining US Phone Services. I have a need to have things like SMS and phone calls go to a US phone number but I am in Vietnam. I need to get the SMS authorizations to a number in the states. I also want to be able to send SMS as though they are from US phone numbers too. Secondarily I want to be able to make and receive calls from US Phone numbers and also have voicemail. What do you do about this?
- Debit and credit services while traveling. I believe you need to have two different accounts with different banks with different travel philosophies. I use BofA because its what I have used but in all honesty their travel stuff sucks rocks. So I also got a Capitol One 360 checking account and its debit card. I don’t use credit cards at all. They are evil incarnate. What do you do?
- Personal technology like laptops, cameras, phones and charging them. You need to be able to carry the devices with you easily but you need to charge them in a variety of rooms in a variety of countries. What do you do?
- Personal luggage solutions. Do you check your bags or carry on? What kind of bags? Does it really matter? Short answer is yes it does.
I purposefully am not posing answers to the questions because I am working on a longer document which relates how I have solved these problems which I will be posting as a story on my blog. I spent some months planning each of the things, looking at alternatives, and finding finalist things which now I use on a daily basis. Each one of the things is significant for traveling but remaining in contact at home and there are services you can find that will solve the problems for you.
I have solved every one of these and found the solution to be very easy to maintain. There are some prerequisites to them though which I will also be discussing.
The main goal with long term travel or forever vagabonding is feeling secure that your basic needs which still require some kind of presence in your home country can be solved. It may cost some dollars to get there but the goal is to find the services and products that will be the best fit. The second need is to find solutions which scale for you and identify whether you have to have things like two debit cards with completely different banks or institutions. The final things are around personal choices you make to hit the road. What technology, what bags, what choices do you make for your life on the road?
The difference can be wide as you travel to new places. Its one thing to let some randomness seep in and let things happen. Its another thing to not be able to get cash from a ATM machine in a new country. Do you wanna eat, sleep, need a SIM card? Basic stuff folks.
My Story will be…
Some answers to the questions and perhaps more questions to go explore. I will look at what I did to retire overseas and try to take care of the needs I had in the states still. I have not found a way around the need to have US based SMS and voice phone services even though once I thought a smartphone was the height of luxury and not needed. Forget that part guys. I hope also to pose questions about how you travel and what you do to prepare and do the travel. Finally the story will pose some personal tech questions and whether you will chronicle the voyages with camera, blog, journal and diary.
Stay tuned for the story on my blog. I hope that it may help answer or pose some additional questions on how I did things and the why of them.