Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Toughest Part of Travel Planning (So Far)

I tend to let myself feel overwhelmed by the idea of things.

Getting my travel vaccines and choosing travel insurance seemed like two of the most daunting tasks on my to-do list, yet they were both much easier than I expected. Once I got over my initial fears and jumped right into those processes, everything was totally fine. Piece of cake. Bring on the next thing.

But something I never thought to worry about has cropped up as the most difficult task yet: picking up my travel prescriptions!

In one corner, we have an extremely busy and understaffed pharmacy, complete with brusque technicians and a pharmacist who shouts her drug counseling at you from 15 feet away. Who needs privacy?

In the other corner, we have an insurance representative who says he can override 30-day fill limits, but only if he puts you on hold one thousand times while you roam the grocery aisles listening to The Killers ask, "Are we human, or are we dancer?" (I won't even comment on that grammar abuse.)

Somewhere in the middle, we have a massive, soul-sucking vortex of red tape, where efficiency and good customer service go to die.

OK... deep breaths... I'm done ranting. I know that some stuff just won't be easy, and I've been outwardly patient and polite to all parties involved even though I have a bit of internal frustration. Luckily, I have plenty of time to get this stuff sorted out, even though it has taken much longer than I thought.

The lesson here is to get started early when you have to deal with doctors, pharmacists and insurance companies — especially if you need to skirt the usual rules due to extensive travel plans. I'd hate to spend my last few days in Seattle frantically convincing my insurance company that, yes, I really do need that many malaria pills. (Don't worry, parents — I finally got 'em.)


The highlight of this week has been the fact that I've received daily packages filled with the travel stuff I ordered from the Interwebs. It feels like Christmas all over again! I've almost forgotten that I was the one who paid for it all. Almost.

Is this the perfect cozy, lightweight, moisture-wicking top for layering that I've been looking for? I think so! I'm a sucker for thumbholes.

My strategy is to pack versatile clothes that I can mix and match with ease. Dark neutrals on the bottom (black, navy, gray) will work great with deep, bold colors on top (like this blue, purple, red, etc.). I'm no fashionista, but even I don't want to look mismatched on the road.

I'm beyond excited to get my hands on a Versalette — the signature piece of the brand-new sustainable clothing line {r}evolution apparel.

Co-founders (and world travelers) Kristin Glenn and Shannon Whitehead designed the Versalette to be worn more than 15 different ways, including as a scarf, tunic, dress, skirt and bag!

{r}evolution apparel Introduces the Versalette from {r}evolution apparel on Vimeo.

I threw some funding toward Kristin and Shannon's wildly successful Kickstarter campaign and, in return, will receive one of the very first Versalettes in March. Well, my mom's house will receive it... and I hope it'll find its way to me eventually. I think it'll quickly become a must-have for any female traveler.


My friend Caleb Wojcik of Pocket Changed put together a great list of 35 Cubicle Renegades to Watch in 2012. If you like learning about folks who've bucked the nine-to-five grind to pursue other dreams, you'll want to check it out and add several new blogs to your reading list — I sure did.

I'm very lucky to count numerous friends among those 35 faces, and I somehow made an appearance as well. Thanks, Caleb, for labeling me a cubicle renegade rather than an unemployed bum!

Also this week, I discovered LandingStanding, a travel blog written by a young husband and wife who've just begun their RTW trip in Santiago, Chile. Meg and Tony kindly included Answering Oliver in a Best of the Rest roundup of their favorite travel posts from around the Web — thanks, guys!

I love those kinds of posts because, again, I find so many new blogs to read. I look forward to following Meg and Tony's adventures and maybe even meeting them on the road this year.


I'm not sure how else to end this post except to say that I leave for New Zealand in 24 days! Ahhh!


New here?


  1. The Versalette looks so cool! I hadn't seen that before, thanks!

    Also, "are we humans, or are we denser." < correct lyrics! I'm trying my best to scare away the rain we're having here in New Zealand at the moment for your arrival!

    1. I looked up the lyrics as I wrote this because I was so confused, and it's "dancer"! This MTV article explains it:

      "It's taken from a quote by [author Hunter S.] Thompson. ... 'We're raising a generation of dancers,' and I took it and ran. I guess it bothers people that it's not grammatically correct, but I think I'm allowed to do whatever I want," he laughed. " 'Denser'? I hadn't heard that one. I don't like 'denser.' "

      Thank you for scaring away the rain : )

    2. MIND = BLOWN. I sang 'dancer' for aaages until someone else corrected me! I was right all along... crazy!

    3. I always thought it was "dancerS" because, you know, that actually makes sense. It hurts my brain to think about the fact that it's just "dancer," but I still like the song!

  2. You are like the most organised person I have ever seen. I need to take a leaf out of your book, certainly not leaving anything to chance. Maybe you have OCD? :P

    How many times a day do you wash your hands...

    1. Haha, I wouldn't doubt that I have a bit of OCD when it comes to being prepared! Not so much when it comes to keeping clean and washing my hands, though... : )

  3. Thanks for the shoutout! It is so fun watching people gearing up for their travel now that we have finally gotten on our way.

    We were finalizing our clothes and medical options almost up until we left (two weeks ago). Definitely get on that stuff early!

    More importantly though... how on earth did you get your insurance company to cover malaria pills? This needs to be a post by itself!

    1. I have no idea! My pharmacy went back and forth with my insurance company for like two weeks, and when my prescription was finally ready, I got 120 pills for $16!! I guess the delay was worth it in the end : )

  4. OMG that versalette looks SO COOL! must, must, must preorder! thanks for sharing :)

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