Yup, to boldly go for a three-months trip even when given less-than-ten-days prep to do so. Whaaattt… We don’t know about you guys, but as control freaks, ten days will never be enough to prepare a European trip, let alone a three-month traveling to Europe. So here’s the story, before the New Year, The Husband just got a call from his boss telling he has to go for work ASAP to Monaco for three months. Again, whaattt… Well The Wife just would not want to be left alone at home for three months does she? And Monaco, where is that exactly?
Then after the New Year, everything was a blur. We got all stressed out with the nitty gritty. The upside of not having children at the moment was you could just pack your bags and go. Fortunately alhamdulillah, all visa applications, tickets and accommodation have been handled by people at the office so that’s a relief. However, apparently there were still a lot of things not yet covered, few items we accidentally left at home. Bugger..
Anyway, if you suddenly get the opportunity to go far away from home for more than a month, we think that you should put your attention to the following items:
- If you have an on-going business like me (The Wife), you should have at least one person to handle things for you. Do not forget to prep him/her with email address & access and WhatsApp number (believe me it’s going to be very useful when you have more than six hours difference) and inform your colleagues or suppliers or clients that you’ll be going away plus notify them who will going to be your temporary liaison. If you have to go away for more than a month, please prepare something for the continuity of your payroll, tax, and other things relevant.
- If you have pets like us, yup we have three stray kittens and a koi pond at home, again you should have at least one person to look after them. We do not have house-maids like other families in Jakarta so it was quite a problem finding this person in less than ten days. Teach him/her how to clean the litter, what food or drinks they should have at what time, etc, and getting him/her a WhatsApp number wouldn’t hurt. The key is good communication, my friend.
- Before you go, do the things that will break your piggy bank if you’ll need to be doing it abroad. For our case, they were things like dental check-up, barbershop routine, ladies-waxing thingy, etc.
- Buy/bring your personal things that you might not find them elsewhere or you might find them more expensive. For example, cholesterol medicine, prescribed drugs, toiletries (soap, shampoo, lotion, fragrance; you name it, we can be quite picky), contact lenses, harddisk, powerbank, etc.
- Bring your can’t-live-without personal items like moleskin planner, iPod/iPad, laptop, internet banking token, eye-glasses, or things that can remind you of home like favorite airplane pillows, favorite ‘daster’ or home-attire, etc.
- Lastly, check what is the current season in the country you will be coming to, browse people’s comments when coming to the country on that particular month(s), is it winter-time, rainy season, dry season, how high/low would the temperature be like. This is very important information for planning your wardrobe list so as to accommodate the weather; you don’t wanna be too warm or too thin-layered or even worse, break your piggy bank by buying new attires there. Eventho in our case, we did buy one or two things just so that we could match with the peeps here. ;D
Long story short, we got the France three-month-stay visa on Jan 12th, Thursday afternoon, and got on the plane few hours later on Friday very early morning (01.30am that is). Flying coach with Emirates via Dubai and all we can say it’s been better flying with other airlines (SQ, GA, ANA); the food and service was mediocre. We suggest pick other airlines if you can, or another simple remedy would be just fly business 😀
We arrived at Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) on Friday noon and got picked up by a chartered minibus from Destin Azur and went for a 30-minute drive to Monaco. We were welcomed by the Husband’s boss and people from the Monaco office and then got a fast-track intro about the country, or we might say the town since it is the second smallest country in the world (Vatican is the smallest); by comparison, this country isn’t much bigger than ‘kelurahan’ Kuningan Timur back in J-town, less than 2,3 km2, so in 3-4 full days you would pretty much cover the whole country either by bus or on foot.
Fast forward, we are here for about a month now, still two months to go. We have covered more than seventy percent of the country. We even managed to travel around the Riviera, both the French and Italian side. We will cover that on the next postings. But if you’re that eager to find out what it’s like, simply check out The Husband’s Instagram feed or The Wife’s.
Au revoir !