Pre-Travel Prep (and lack thereof)

Whew, things have been crazy as crayola in the Rasmussen household – I can’t believe it’s almost the end of January already! Beyond the emotional and relational ends to tie (seeing friends before we take off, psychologically preparing myself to be standing upside down on the bottom of the earth and 9000 miles away from our families, planning Kinner’s social calendar for his time in Iowa, completing my outstanding* tasks at work…), there’s a million bazillion logistic things to plan out.

Thank heavens for my husband. 

My list for New Zealand:
1. Get a job
2. Figure out if I need any more clothes for said job and buy them
3. Arrange our social calendar for before we leave and during our travels 🙂

Cody’s list includes (but is not limited to):
1. Get a job
2. Get plane tickets (with the best fare and timing)
3. Give our month’s notice at our apartment complex
4. Find a place to store all our stuff
5. Pack all our stuff
6. Arrange travel plans to Orange City
7. Get visas for NZ
8. Find lodging in NZ
9. Make sure our car can make it across the country first
10. Buy a car in NZ
11. Schedule the fun things we are going to do in NZ
12. Get a NZ bank account
13. Buy a phone once we get there
14. Figure out where we are going in Tahiti and New Zealand, once we get there

…and honestly, I don’t even KNOW what else is on the list, or how it’s getting done, except that everything is getting a nice pretty checkmark on the iCal list. I was going to make this blog post like “here is how you figure stuff out for doing a harvest in New Zealand,” but the only solution I have to that is to marry Cody. And he’s taken, folks. 

I WAS going to say, though, that it was super easy to get a visa for New Zealand. We had both gone through craziness to get visas for our other travels (Roma being particularly complicata), so I was expecting the worst. But nope! We did it all online and had our visas confirmed within a week. 

For our plane tickets there, we decided to invest in a travel agency and utilized the travel geniuses of our homeland at Siouxland Travel. Again, Cody handled it all, but I know they were incredibly helpful and got us an extended layover in Tahiti for no extra charge. In addition, the travel agents there are fantastic, kind people who happen to have a knack for finding great flights (and for getting their clients out of sticky situations – the Ejafjallajökull Volcano comes to mind).

One of the travelly things I DID do, though, was to suck it up and buy an e-reader – more specifically, an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. 

I didn’t take this picture even a little bit – mine hasn’t come in the mail yet 🙂 Photo Source.
I had resisted the e-reader trend for a long time, snubbing my nose and giving an excuse about needing to inhale each page of my bibliophilic object of choice. Well, I’ve been converted, mainly because it would look silly to have an entire carry-on suitcase full of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and the entire Jane Austen collection.  

So I invested in the Kindle Paperwhite. It was a surprisingly hard choice, because there are so many options out there for e-readers, even within the Amazon family. I decided to skip the high-def and app-filled capabilities of the Kindle Fire HD and stick with a basic e-reader. 

I haven’t even touched it yet, but I’m super pumped already. I got an entire collection of Jane Austen books for $0.99, and my entire ESV Bible for FREE (um, not in that order of priority).

I’m semi-addicted now to finding great deals on free e-books (I may have downloaded a copy of the Federalist Papers and some Letters of Abraham Lincoln because they were free. Shout-out here to AP European History). 

In summary, my travel plans have been to figure out how to read nonstop while travelling and to find a job.

Oh!

I should mention that. I just accepted a position at Clearview Estate in Hastings, about 9 miles from where we’ll be living. I’ll be doing everything from picking grapes to working in the tasting room, and I’m super excited to learn some wine industry ways from a winery, particularly one in NZ. 

Now I basically just need wool socks and I’m ready to go. Yep, Amazon Kindle, a job, and wool socks. And a husband who figures out everything else. Seriously, I wouldn’t be able to get myself through the front door in the morning without this guy.

P.S. One last awesome thing: as of this week, one of our best (and first) California friends is coming to Hawke’s Bay too! 

I’m clearly not doing a good job posting my own pictures lately. This one’s from Ashlei at Balletto. Photographic genius 🙂 
The dynamic duo of 2011 Balletto interns will be back at it in the vineyards of Hawke’s Bay. With the third Musketeer of me.  

(Luke will be working for a different winery, but the triad of fun is still totally there).

Yay!

*Isn’t “outstanding” a great word? It’s a perfect opportunity to be sneakily prideful while actually just making etymological, literal sense: things that are still “standing” “outside” where they should be; i.e. something that is not yet resolved. Our it can be a word to describe things that stand out figuratively, and are thus awesome. 

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