It's not just a 'what to pack' list. Oh no. When you leave for 6 months, you have a few more things you need to do before locking up and hiding the key under the stone by the door. The stone marked 'Door Key Below - Do Not Remove.'
Just think of all the services you need to ask to be suspended or shut down or if you've paid for a year of cover, to try and get a refund. - gas appliance insurance, car insurance, car breakdown cover, tv licence, road fund licence, cable tv, internet, phone and so on. You need to inform your bank so when you use your cards abroad, they're not blocked after the first purchase. You need to collect proof that you're going to return to the UK in order to keep US Immigration happy and that's no easy task.
All this is on top of sorting out the electricity, gas and water so that the house doesn't burn down, blow up or get flooded over the winter.
It could all be very stressful but like I said, I have my trusty checklist with policy numbers, phone numbers and basically what to do for every service. Sorted.
One extra chore I have to deal with is taking a 6 month supply of my medication with me and that little task used to present quite a problem, I can tell you. Well I just have, so there. Doctors aren't keen on giving you a prescription for 2 months supply, never mind 6 months. Thankfully my going to America for the winter coincided with a VERY helpful pharmacist taking over the practice across from my docs and every year at this time, he just gives me as many drugs as I need.
Some are even prescribed for me !! Only joking, officer.
So I've just opened all the boxes in order to save space in my carry on case as there is NO way I'm risking those pills in my checked luggage. Those pills are my life, literally, and I'm not prepared to have them turn up in Azerbaijan or Bora Bora on Friday evening. This often means my case is opened at the security checkpoint as the x-ray machine flags up that I'm possibly a Columbian mule.
Here are the empty boxes I threw on the floor as I went along........
So you can imagine what my case looks like with well over 1,000 pills in it. Thankfully they don't weigh much so there is still room for my other absolute necessity and one that also can't be risked in my checked luggage.
Yes of course, my laptop !!
The very thought of 6 hours without t'internet, never mind 6 months, is enough to bring me out in a sweat - and that's before hitting the Florida humidity.
Anyway this will be my last post (no trumpets please, it's an old joke) until I'm on US soil, unless those nice Immigration people don't believe my drug story and send me back.
To be continued........