30 is the magic number


As soon as I opened my eyes this morning, I felt happy. I stretched my arms above my head, feeling the blood surge through my joints, and my body begin to buzz with excitement for what was to come. I knew instantly what day it was. The golden Om symbol on the wall above my bed smiled down at me knowingly, and I smiled back.

Have you ever noticed how much the Om looks like the number 30?


In exactly four months’ time, on the 30th September, we will be bidding a fond farewell to life as we know it and beginning anew, out on the open road.

My dream grows more real by the day, and with it, I feel myself becoming more real too. I feel lighter; more free and able. I can’t really put it into words.

I guess I just feel really good.

But with this growing reality, comes a rather long list of real things that need to take place before our adventure can begin. It would appear that I have spent months dreaming, planning and procrastinating, but not actually doing much at all. Holy crap.

I sat down earlier today and started to write a list of things that have to be done over the next four months. It was a lot harder than I expected.

Despite being a consummate planner, it turns out I actually suck at list-making, so I turned to my friend Kim and her biggest baddest RTW to-do list for help.

Once I’d finished having a minor freak out, I was able to compose myself long enough to collate my top ten most important things to take care of. Here they are in no particular order – seriously, I spent ages trying to think of which order they should go in but had to give up. I truly am the worst list-maker ever.

  1. Renew passport – kinda important
  2. Get a bunch of passport size photos taken
  3. Apply for Indian visa – also kinda important as we already booked our flights!
  4. Scan in important documents and save them to Dropbox
  5. Make an appointment to get vaccinations and malaria tablets
  6. Research and buy travel insurance
  7. Apply for an international driving permit
  8. Design and order business cards and thank you notes
  9. Research accommodation in India
  10. Buy a new backpack

So, armed with my stellar action list and a G. I. Jane style attitude, I got to work. My business cards have now been designed and ordered,  I downloaded the application form for my international driving permit, booked a doctors appointment to get my vaccinations and even bought my backpack. Woo hoo!

I then decided to research accommodation for a trip I am taking to Jaisalmer in India at the end of December. I will only be there for a few days and will probably need to book a hotel in advance, so I checked out prices on Dealchecker and bookmarked my favourite results to come back to later.

After that I felt a lot more relaxed, and my to-do list now looks like this:

  1. Renew passport – kinda important
  2. Get a bunch of passport size photos taken
  3. Apply for Indian visa – also kinda important as we already booked our flights!
  4. Scan in important documents and save them to Dropbox
  5. Research and buy travel insurance
  6. Design and order business cards and thank you notes

Much better.

Now I just have to keep up the momentum and make sure I procrastinate less, and become more proactive instead. I was so used to our travels always being far away in the distance, almost mythical, that I guess I grew a little complacent. Now time is catching up with me, and the slow burn effect I was so comfortable with is blazing down towards me, ready to set my whole world on fire.

It’s going to be pretty magical.


{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmel May 30, 2012 at 20:40

Yeah, I need to do that whole passport thing, too. I realized mine had expired about a month after it did, but I was getting married a year later, so I thought I’d just wait to do it then. I’ve now been married for a year and a half and still haven’t gotten it. Guess I’m a bit of a procrastinator, too.


Hannah May 31, 2012 at 22:52

It’s definitely time to get that passport, Carmel! I would put that at the top of your list 🙂


Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) May 30, 2012 at 20:58

Ditto on the passport thing as well. I can’t do that until we’re in Toronto, though, so that’s getting put off until the end of next month. But I should probably look into vaccinations before my student health insurance expires, and pretty soon Tony and I need to look into buying our Japan Rail Passes… and getting our international drivers permits…and selling all our stuff and packing the stuff we aren’t selling. Yeesh, once all this is done, I’m gonna need a vacation!


Hannah May 31, 2012 at 22:55

Haha, yes a vacation will definitely be in order 😉 Sounds like you have a list even longer than mine!


Kim May 30, 2012 at 22:03

I STILL have things on my to-do list which I said “oh, we’ll just do that when we’re back in Ohio for three weeks” but one week has already whizzed by and I haven’t done a thing!
I did want to tell you that in a whirlwind panic Brian and I applied for our Indian Visa’s on THE LAST DAY WE HAD A PERMANENT ADDRESS! We applied for 10 year Visa’s and just got an email that they have been approved… now just have to wait and make sure they gave us 10 year and not six month, which would be bad!
Anyway, congrats on knocking things off your to-do list!


Hannah May 31, 2012 at 22:56

Don’t say that Kim, you are my list-making role model. If you can’t finish everything, what hope do I have?! Congrats on the 10Y visa – amazing 🙂


Carmel May 31, 2012 at 16:26

All this visa talk is making me nauseous. I haven’t even started to look at what we have to apply for….


Hannah May 31, 2012 at 22:57

I know. We’ll be kind of screwed if we don’t get ours!


Devin May 31, 2012 at 17:28

Yay! Upcoming travel is sooo exciting! I am also looking for a nice backpack for my travels, which one did you end up buying?


Hannah May 31, 2012 at 22:59

It’s an MEI Voyageur – I’ll be writing a post about it as soon as it arrives 🙂


Rhonda May 31, 2012 at 20:09

good for you! Take one thing at a time and soon enough you’ll be leaving on a jetplane!


Hannah May 31, 2012 at 23:00

Thanks Rhonda, the productivity is going strong 🙂


Ryan at Travel and Graphs June 1, 2012 at 01:25

I remember that magical feeling, I had it right before I left for my trip. Kind of glad that I did not have to go through all the paperwork you do, but then again super jealous you get to go to India!


Hannah June 2, 2012 at 13:59

Ryan, you should definitely try and make it to India at some stage on your travels – it is well worth the paperwork, believe me 🙂


Sarah Somewhere June 1, 2012 at 09:19

So glad you are feeling happy 🙂 I thought you must have done something graphicky with that ‘Om’ symbol, as I have never seen ’30’ in it until just then! Funny how you don’t see something until someone else highlights it… I just had a moment, reading your post, where I was like, ‘We are going to be sharing a room! I’m going to meet these amazing women and hang out!’ It still doesn’t seem real. Then I had a look at some hotels and got more excited, imagining us on the roof terrace overlooking a golden palace.
Please persevere with your list (a couple of which I better get onto myself) so we can DO THIS!!! Yeehaa!!!!


Hannah June 2, 2012 at 14:02

I never saw 30 in the Om symbol either, until Lee bought me that one for my 30th birthday! I guess sometimes you just need someone else to open your eyes to the beauty that is right under your nose 🙂
And yes, we are all going to be hanging out together so soon! I can’t wait for hotels and roof terraces – it’s going to be amazing!!!


Patricia GW June 4, 2012 at 15:42

Where are you planning on taking your spare passport-sized photos? If you’re a AAA member they will take them for free, and the post office will do them too but for a fee.
Did you know that aum encompasses all words of speech? The back of your throat opens at “ahh,””ouuu” travels from the back of your mouth to the front, and “mmm” closes your lips with the sound. Thus every word is a small fraction of the completed sound “aum.” And so the 30th is the day that encompasses everyday – the one where you realize your dreams, and every day after will be a small piece of that dream xxx


Hannah June 6, 2012 at 00:00

“And so the 30th is the day that encompasses everyday – the one where you realize your dreams, and every day after will be a small piece of that dream.” I LOVE THIS!!! Thank you so much for this perfectly beautiful comment Tricia. Your words are a gift xxx


Vacay Girl June 8, 2012 at 01:48

This makes me panic a bit. I know I have time to prepare for my move but I now have 11 months and I don’t want the time to bottle neck on me and I start running around like a chicken with it’s head off. Don’t worry you’re not the only cause for my panic. I’ve brought it on myself once May started. This blog definitely makes me realize I need to get it in gear. Thanks and aaaahhhh! >:-( :0)


Hannah June 11, 2012 at 20:44

Oh no, don’t panic! Just try to be as organised as you can, as early as you can. That way you can enjoy the process a lot more. 11 months will fly by, believe me! Good luck 🙂


Matthew Karsten June 11, 2012 at 02:41

You are breaking the #1 rule of list making! Always put the hardest stuff at the top, and do it first.
Time to get that passport & visa before anything else. 🙂


Hannah June 11, 2012 at 20:46

Oh I know, I really do suck at this! I’ve pretty much got everything done now though, save the passport and visa, which are on hold as I have a brief trip to Portland coming up. After that though, my list will be completed, and I will endeavor to be a lot more organised 🙂


Ayngelina June 26, 2012 at 20:26

I procrastinated everything right down to the wire, but don’t worry the important stuff always gets done.


Hannah July 17, 2012 at 16:11

Thanks Ayngelina, I’m feeling more organised and more ready by the day. Only 11 weeks to go now!


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