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Preparing to leave the country for a while…

It’s now under 6 weeks until we embark on our adventure, and what a time we have had trying to get organised!

We moved out at the end of November and lived in a converted garage for just over a month. I don’t know if you’ve ever moved from a 2 bedroom flat into a garage, but you don’t realise how much stuff you have until you do.

SO it’s been the ultimate clear out time, which is great except for the small problem of it being winter. Car boot sales are an ideal way to shift your belongings, but we haven’t had that option. I’ve been using Facebook groups, the Friday Ad, Gumtree, and whatever else I can find to sell our stuff, as well as the Amazon marketplace and a little on eBay. This week, we’ll be taking a lot of our DVDs and games to CEX for a small amount of cash. And now we’re staying with friends and family until we leave, giving us even less room for possessions!

It’s no secret that one of the best ways to save money for travel is by SELLING YOUR STUFF.

This can be hard for some people – I’m not materialistic, but I AM a hoarder. I wouldn’t sell most of my CDs, but I’m having no problems listing most of my clothes. Back in November, we sold the majority of our furniture and made almost £200 – considering a lot of it came from charity shops or were cheap second hand anyway, I’d say we didn’t do too badly! We probably almost made a profit.

Now we’re down to all the little bits & pieces, and I have to admit it’s difficult without car boot sales going on. We could get rid of half this stuff in one fell swoop (or one very early Sunday morning), but luckily what we do have is Facebook selling groups – unlike eBay and Amazon, you have zero selling fees and if it’s a local group, no postage fees either. This has been my main selling platform, and over the past week, I’ve made roughly £60 just on a few random bits including kitchen stuff, CDs, decorative lights, even a box of dominoes! Plus two Studio Ghibli DVDs on Amazon for £7 each (after fees), Matilda for a few pennies and a book. It’s not making millions, but it’s giving us enough for plenty of dinners in Asia, or paying for our Cambodian visas.

This is what’s important. Stop thinking, ‘but I might want to watch this DVD again one day’ when you haven’t watched it in five years. When your alternative is ‘the money I make from this will pay for a meal in Thailand’, that logic will disappear. Focus focus. (something I am regularly having to tell myself, trust me!)

Lots of bits are about to hit eBay so fingers crossed these boxes of things will disappear and turn into cash!

Being so tied up with that side of “travel preparation”, it’s been difficult to do the REAL preparation. We’ve got our Vietnam letter of authority, our Australian working holiday visas and a lot of the little important things (like travel adaptors and wash bags) are stowed away in a little box that we know the location of at all times.

However, we still have to apply for our Thai visas, buy insurance (does anyone know what STA Travel insurance is like?) and stock pile some passport photos.

Wait, apply for Thai visas? But we’re British.

What with the constantly changing laws surrounding visas at the moment, I thought it would be safer to get a 60 day visa in advance. We are arriving in Thailand by land and while some websites say it’s changed to a 30 day visa for British passports, others still say 15. We will be volunteering at the Elephant Nature Park during that cut-off point, and furthermore we know we will be staying for longer than 30 days, and a 60 day visa costs less than renewing a 30 day visa. It saves the hassle of visa runs (which they’re cracking down on) and generally just seems like a good idea.

Plus we get a whole page in our passport dedicated to Thailand and I quite like the idea of that!

I’ll be posting some advice regarding visas, including the Australian working holiday one.

I also managed to get in a quick break to Budapest last month, with a great friend of mine! Budapest is now one of my favourite European cities, so expect a blog post on that very soon!

Speak soon, travel lovers! 🙂

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