Preparing for the trip

Minimal luggage
I’m determined to do this trip with carry on luggage only. That’s 7kgs. I’ll be moving around a fair bit and don’t want to be lugging heaps of stuff around and making myself a target. The freedom of being able to pick up and go is so appealing, handwashing my clothes when I can is a small price to pay.

This means everything I take must be useful and practical. Very pleased there’s so much great travel gear on the market now. I don’t need to wear khaki or zip offs or unfitting unflattering gear. Stylish, colourful and comfy – that’s me 😉

It also means changing my thinking about what to pack. Instead of taking items because I might need or want them, the criteria is essential items only. And of course I’ll be able to buy things when I’m there, and leave things I don’t need.

Macpac Koru bag to backpack

My luggage

Mastering the lingo
I’ve had a few Spanish classes yet not feeling overly confident – in fact I’m realising how little I know. I’m sure it will be different when I’m surrounded by Spanish speakers. Am being positive that I can learn a new language – at least well enough to get by off the gringo trail and to at least make an effort (with accompanying gestures). I will have some more lessons in Suchitoto in El Salvador and I can have hourly lessons pretty much anywhere if I’m stuck and feel I’m not progressing.

Mastering technology
Using my tablet to write blog posts, resize and crop photos and manage my travel information. Tablet will be my wee office and I’m going to need to understand its quirks and foibles pretty quickly – or get frustrated. Me and technology – I just expect it to work.

Mastering money
There seems to be so much preparation to do and as I tick one thing off my list another bounds in. Take today for example. I thought I had a cash passport sorted then checked the exchange rate and I was getting considerably less than the Oanda.com rate. At what point do I accept that’s just how it is, or do more research to make sure I am getting the best exchange rate and minimal fees?

I do need to make the dollars go as far as possible. While these countries are relatively cheap to travel in, buying US$ and the airfares and back home expenses make it a big endeavour.

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