The next step to travel the world are the documents.
Are you aware of what you need to say goodbye to your beloved home town?
Well, it takes much more than I first expected.
At the beginning, I had to write a list with all the commitments I have. It's not easy to remember everything and it took a long time to get it complete, but before you go away from home for a long time, you better clarify everything you need. I guess nobody wants a welcoming team of the military police when entering the homeland again after 3 years, just because he didn't show up to the duty.
Here are the most important things you have to know before you leave:
- Military Duty (depends your country, but in Switzerland you go to jail if you don't sign out correct)
- Health-Insurance (it can cost you your life if you aren't insured and you have an accident)
- Mobilephone contracts (look what you need and what opportunities you have on your journey)
- Taxes (do you have to pay taxes, even if you are away? very important to know how to handle this)
- Subscriptions (Newspapers, Magazins, and other stuff with period payment and longtime contracts)
To the Military Duty, I just know the situation in Switzerland.
I know that many countries in Europe don't have a Military Duty like Switzerland does, but anyway it's better to think about it once before you go away. Sometimes can be other commitments you have to sign out before you leave.
In Switzerland it's not a problem to go on a longtime journey, but if you go away for a longer period than 12 months, you need to announce your absence to your commander. They usually give you the permission to travel, but you have to give back all your equipment before you leave the country.
Health-Insurance is another very important point, and that's for everybody, no matter where you are from.
If you travel around the world, be always aware of the handling with money in hospitals. In some countries the hospitals are free for everybody, but you have to buy medicine and operation equipment first (South America), other countries give you all you need, but you have to pay for it when you leave (Central Europe), and some countries will even let you die if you don't have money or an insurance (especially in Africa). So check it first how and where you get an insurance.
To your mobile-phone I would say goodbye when you start traveling ;-) but that's a very personal decision. I like it to be not available for the time I travel, but if you need an emergency phone with you, there are some really good offers of worldwide phone companies. The contracts of your home town are often more expensive to travel around, because of the roaming charges, but if you get a sim-card with a prepaid contact to travel the world, you can live much cheaper. If you decide to stay in a particular country for a longer period it might be useful to buy a local sim-card to be in contact with your new friends. For this reason I would advice you to buy a dual-sim mobile-phone for your international number and the local sim-card. But later I will talk more about mobile-phones and internet while traveling.
Taxes and other subscriptions can be a quite expensive problem on your journey. So take care of it as soon as possible. Often you are in charge to pay for 3 or 6 months from the day you cancel a commitment. Also your apartment, car, train-ticket and many other things are part of your to-do-list before you start traveling.
In Switzerland I will sign out as a resident to become an expatriate. This allows me to travel as long as I like to, without ever paying taxes in Switzerland. I have no address, no duties, but also almost no rights in Switzerland. But it gives me freedom to go wherever I want and for all the time I want to.
At the end of this process - and that's a long and exhausting process - I am free to go. I don't have to worry about any money problems with my homeland.
Viva la vida :-)