To help with planning, I put together this checklist. It has taken most of a year to complete. Feel free to use it and let me know what I forgot.
- Rent a storage locker for the household items I want to keep until I return.
- Find Mac, my cat, a temporary home. (Take him to the vet for his annual screening first.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Buy new tablet and accessories.
- Import my contact list.
- Set up 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.