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Plans are in the works! Things are going slowly but steadily. I finally made a concrete list of official Things To Do, which was a lot harder than I anticipated. I had mustered up half-hearted things to do, none of which deserve capitalization, because none of them were very concrete. Things like “Buy ticket. Research WWOOFing. Etc” topped the list, and I’ve found that for me, those types of lists don’t work super well.

I’m a visual to-do-lister. My planners, starting even in middle school, listed every single thing I had to accomplish for the day. Even throughout college and beyond, through the advent of google calendar and smart phones, I used a planner (I prefer this Moleskine) wherein I would detail every task at hand. Third parties gazing over my shoulder usually exclaimed things like, “How can you read that?!” and even one of my students recently remarked at how messy my lesson planning calendar was. Messy to you, maybe, but not for me. In any case, I”m a big list-maker. My thoughts settle, I can prioritize, I can feel accomplished when checking something right off that list. I finally changed course when I got my Droid Razr, and now use the calendar and To-Do functions on my phone. As evidenced by my student’s comments, though, I still prefer writing when it comes to the important stuff.

This is what my vague, new but relatively more specific To-Do list looks like. I made sure to save it to my Desktop, to make it totally T D L worthy. The adjective modifying this wonderful list is: ULTIMATE. It’s missing a few things, I know, I know. And it’s obviously  not listed in order of urgency, seeing as “buy plane ticket” should happen pretty soon. It will (and you’ll be informed, don’t fret)!

TO DO:
Make a list of countries you want to see and the entry/visa requirements
Call regional consulate or visa office re: travel within Schengen
Go to Verizon store to ask about phone options
Make doc appointments!
Buy plane ticket
Get copy of glasses/contacts prescriptions
Buy travel insurance
Notify bank
Get a credit card
Get wwoofing position
Research volunteer options
Go through clothing & books to purge non-essentials
Yard sale for stuff!

Now I can cross off 2 things. Sort of. 
Thing 1: Figured out phone stuff. Normally when I travel, I use a phone I bought a few years ago in Rome. It’s nothing special; just a Nokia. I’m pretty sure it’s this: 

C1-01_Hero_LP
Thanks for the pic, Nokia.com!

The handy thing about European phones is that they operate usually with SIM cards, so you can pop it out and put a new one in in the event that a) your SIM expires and you can’t use it anymore or b) it gets lost or c) aliens come down from outer space and remove all chips and electronics from your bag, leaving only the husk of what once was your communication device to the world.

What I did not know in January, when I caved and bought my fancy (and admittedly awesome and slightly addictive) Razr is that I would be traveling for many months. I did not know, when I bought it, is that it is not really internationally compatible for data and voice, unless I want to pay beaucoup bucks. I do not. But! The friendly folks at Verizon answered all my questions, and I plan to travel with it and use it with WiFi. A cool thing about that, is that there’s this app, called WhatsApp. WhatsApp basically works as a messaging service, but it’s free and you can text internationally because it works via WiFi. So if I have WiFi, I can text you from abroad! (If you have a smart phone, that is.) And I’ll also be using my trusty Nokia. 


Thing 2: GOT MY FIRST OFFICIAL FARM GIG! So, my first reality check that this was real, that I’ve really decided to go off without a fixed itinerary to write and travel and adventure, was when I received my WWOOFing membership for Italia. A friend of mine worked on a family farm in Baschi, very near to Orvieto; she highly recommended it, raved about the folks who ran it, and per fortuna, they accepted me! I’ll be WWOOFing with them from September 1-29. Apparently, the back roads of Baschi look like this:

Beautiful and exciting are two words that immediately come to mind. This also means that I’m going to have to figure out a way to get out of the Schengen countries so I can be back in them for Christmas time…


In any case, two big things were accomplished today, and now my list looks more like this:

TO DO:
Make a list of countries you want to see and the entry/visa requirements
Call regional consulate or visa office re: travel within Schengen
Go to Verizon store to ask about phone options
Make doc appointments!
Buy plane ticket
Get copy of glasses/contacts prescriptions
Buy travel insurance
Notify bank
Get a credit card
Get wwoofing position
Research volunteer options
Go through clothing & books to purge non-essentials
Yard sale for stuff!

Still a lot left. But hey, I’ll take it. 

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