It feels like only a few weeks ago that we booked our flights but now we have exactly one month before we go! It feels a bit like it has snuck up on us but in reality, we’ve been doing a bit of planning every day…so we are *fingers crossed* quite prepared!
The past couple of weeks have been largely focused on vaccinations (ouch!), our Vietnam visas and deciding on a rough route through South East Asia.
Vaccination wise, I just have the full course of rabies injections and Kim has to have her Typhoid (which I’m afraid to say has the worst arm ache afterwards, I still have a glowing bruise after nearly 2 weeks!) and her full course of rabies. We’ve been receiving mixed advice regarding the Japanese Encephalitis vaccination…most websites say that if you’re in an area of high risk for mosquito bites (i.e. Laos, Cambodia, some parts of Vietnam and most of Malaysia and Indonesia), you should have it but one of our nurses has advised that if we aren’t camping/hanging out in rice fields, we don’t need it. Another large factor in this one…is the price. It would cost approximately £180 to have this injection. That’s a LOT of dinners/nights accommodation…so at our various vaccination appointments, we will try and pin down exactly whether we’ll need it for the countries we’re visiting or not. But yes, we’ve accepted that it will be sod’s law if we both contract Japanese Encephalitis…
Kim has her antimalarials and has gone for Malarone, which are the more expensive ones but with the least side-effects. I’d been advised to go for doxycycline previously but I think I might follow suit with the slightly more expensive tablets. Another benefit to these tablets is that you don’t have to take them for 28 days after leaving the risk area, only 7 days AND, you don’t have to take them and then stand up for 30 minutes…I’m going to ask at the travel clinic tonight apres rabies injection numero uno. Then I’m going to get my prescription and tick another thing off the to-do list!
Last weekend I got EVERYTHING out onto my bed, decanted shampoo and toiletries into mini bottles, wore-in my converse shoes, practiced using my Swiss Army Knife (!) and sorted out what I still needed to do/buy/book. I was lucky enough to be lent a bag from a friend, which I was planning to take but when I was practice-packing and getting used to it, I found that it wasn’t really very comfortable for me so I thought I’d pop into Sports Direct (not a sentence I ever thought I’d willingly say…) and see if they had any. They had bags for 50% off! So I tried on loads of different bags and found one that was a) comfortable b) light (yes, I know it was empty at the time) and c) 50% OFF! So I have my own bag now, which is probably the best idea in the long run as I’m planning to do more travelling in the not-so-distant future.
We’ve also both received letters from the Student Loan Company, acknowledging that we’re leaving the country and stating that we do not need to make payments while we’re away (NB: make sure you send your form off in plenty of time as it can take 2/3 weeks for them to process it), our visa forms were sent off last Thursday so we’re execting the visas and our passports to be returned either by the end of this week or early next week as it takes 5 days to process the applications (do this in plenty of time too, in case – heaven forbid! – your passport goes missing and you have to get another one. You have to send it via Special Delivery and they return it via that too so hopefully all will be fine).