We didn’t realize until we arrived back in the US how much work we had to do when we got here. Perhaps, we were trying to keep our time in Florida easy and uncomplicated. But, once we arrived, we realized all the tasks facing us had to be completed before we will leave on April 8. They include:
- Purchase travel insurance for upcoming cruises – DONE
- Upgrading Costco membership to Executive and applying for the Costco Visa card. (As it turns out, we ended up having to provide extra proof of our identity due to “South Africa” popping up on our credit reports) – DONE
- Get a fraud flag off one of our best credit cards since we used it for multiple purchases worldwide, and it was flagged as “possible fraud.” Tom has provided all the documents except for an original social security card he doesn’t have. All social security offices are temporarily closed due to Covid, and applying online is a mess. We are still working on this.
- Purchase clothing and shoes for Tom for the upcoming Cunard Queen Mary 2 cruise – DONE (picking everything up next Wednesday, April 6, for our April 8 departure).
- Purchasing odds and ends and shoes for me to complete my clothing for the Queen Mary 2 cruise – DONE.
- Purchase various cosmetic items and costume jewelry for upcoming cruises – Almost done.
- Apply for renewal of our passports that expire in 20 months. (Most likely, we’ll save this task for Minnesota when we arrive on May 1)
- Cancel the changed cruise to Russia and Ukraine to ensure the credits go to our future booked cruises. Tom was on the phone for at least 90 minutes. Once the credits show up in our email in 30 to 45 days, we can go back in and transfer the credits to the future cruise. Azamara refused to make the funds transfer from one cruise to another. We have to call again when the credits appear to have this done.
- Order a new phone for me. DONE (More on that in tomorrow’s post with the solution to our Google Fi dilemma)
- Arrange for Covid PCR test at nearby CVS pharmacy – DONE
Of course, other situations might arise in the next several days, but we’re ready to tackle them as they occur. Karen commented on how much work it is for us to travel. She is so right. The mountains of documents and processes never cease to amaze us.
Whoever thinks traveling the world is a constant vacation/holiday is kidding themselves. The work required to book venues, stay on top of pricing, and take advantage of price drops, plus book flights, hotels, holiday homes, can be daunting.
Imagine how much time you spend planning one vacation, let alone where we’ll be for a year at a time or more. Record keeping is vital during these processes to ensure we don’t forget a thing. We keep detailed notes online on our travel calendar we can easily refer to at any time.
Staying calm and friendly when speaking to representatives is an integral part of all of these transactions, whether they’ve made an error or if we missed something. It’s not unusual for us to sit side by side, planning and handling obstacles for an entire day. Keeping an upbeat attitude is vital to this process, and after over nine years of doing this, we’ve learned the true meaning of “patience is a virtue.”
No, we haven’t had time to drive around and take photos of this lovely area. By the time we have completed our tasks for the day, helped Karen make dinner, do our laundry, shopped for groceries and other things, including preparing the post, and responded to countless email messages we get each day, we feel it’s important to spend valuable time with our generous hosts.
This leaves us little time to run around taking photos. Once we get on the cruises when all of our needs are included, we’ll have time to take photos since all we’ll have to do the daily post (WiFI signal permitting), take photos throughout the ships, and enjoy ourselves.
Photo from one year ago today, March 30, 2021: