Clearing the decks


Preparing for an adventure of the magnitude I have in mind will require radical changes to every aspect of my life. Leaving the company I own. Selling my house. Living with less.

To help with planning, I put together this checklist. It has taken most of a year to complete. Feel free to let me know what I forgot.

Purging possessions

  • Rent a storage locker for the household items I want to keep until I return.
  • Find Mac, my cat, a temporary home.
  • Sell the car.
  • Cancel all subscriptions.
  • Hold a moving sale of unwanted household items.
  • Donate whatever is left to charity.
  • Buy tenant’s insurance to cover stored items.

Selling the house

  • Make updates and repairs to improve its appeal to potential buyers.
  • List and sell it.
  • Cancel utilities and property insurance.

Leaving my company

  • Plan for transition with my partners.
  • Finalize the buy-out agreement.
  • Inform staff and clients.
  • Clear out my desk.

Planning finances

  • Set up financial planning and automatic fund transfers.
  • Set up bank accounts with accessibility from Europe.
  • Close any unneeded accounts and credit cards.
  • Contact credit card companies regarding travel plans.
  • Reserve safety deposit box for important documents.
  • Set up online document and password storage.
  • Meet with accountant regarding future tax filings.
  • Share access to financial information with kids.

Obtaining health care coverage

  • Buy international health care coverage.
  • Complete annual medical screenings.
  • Get any necessary vaccinations.

Setting up communications

  • Set up a mailbox.
  • Buy an inexpensive unlocked phone for limited use.
  • Set up new tablet with apps, including email.
  • Set up this blog and hosting.
  • Notify family and friends of my new contact info.

Planning the sabbatical

  • Plan the initial itinerary.
  • Book lodging and transportation.
  • Make sure passport is up to date.
  • Buy travel insurance.
  • Obtain Global Entry Program approval.
  • Update Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
  • Buy a GPS device or download map apps.
  • Renew international driver’s license.


  • Make a packing list. Cut it in half.
  • Include passport, proof of insurance, vaccination certificates, driver’s license, health-care card, spare passport photos, airline tickets, and lodging confirmations.
  • Back up documents online.
  • Build a medical kit.
  • Fit everything into two carry-on bags.

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