Back in the Saddle

Published: September 8th 2016
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Getting back in the saddle:

It’s that time of life again. I’ve decided to take another multi-country trip. Though I don’t plan to physically circumnavigate the globe again, I do plan on hitting a good number of countries over the next 3+ months. I’m hoping to take some of the lessons from my last trip. This time I got a friend to rent my place for a few months. I also have credit cards that don’t have international fees. Most importantly I switched to T-Mobileand get free text messages, unlimited 2G data, and $0.20 phone calls if I’m not on wifi. On wifi it’s as if I’m in the US. This is a huge difference over the last time, as I was constantly jumping into coffee shops or McDonalds’ to check my email or Facebook. Back then I kept my phone off local networks as I got changed for each text message. Now, feel free to send me a text!

The last 3 years were good to get back on my feet after spending 10 months traveling the world. I got a job at Sony Pictures and worked on the Business Intelligence team. Unlike the last time when I voluntarily quit Deloitte Consulting to travel, Sony let me go with a nice severance to soften the blow. To me that equaled travel money and the trip planning had begun before I got back to my desk to collect my things.

The tentative plan is to fly to South Korean, head to Japan, New Zealand, and then to trek through South America for a few months before heading back to Los Angeles to figure out what to do next with my life.

Most of what I needed travel wise was ready to go. I decided to upgrade my electric converter. I got one with USB plugs on it and it is a single piece. I had one my brother got me that had loose parts and a surge protector. This one is one piece and has all the major connectors. Secondly, I had to get a few shots. This is where I messed up. I went to the doctor and told him that I was traveling and where I potentially. I needed 2 shots – Yellow Fever and Typhoid, since I'm still not sure if I'm going into the jungle or not. I knew they were expensive – but $948 later I realized I should have asked exactly how much first. Got to love UCLA health. Do yourself a favor and go to Passport Health.

Before traveling I started asking around for travel tips from expert traveling friends I had met and people I know who had lived/visited in countries I planned to visit. Thanks for everyone's help!

Quick tips:

If you’re going to Japan, I would recommend getting a Japan Rail pass. I got mine in a few days. You can’t get these in Japan.

Lastly, I recommend having at least 1 credit card that doesn't charge you for international transactions. I'm using my SPG American Express and Bank of America Travel Rewards Visa card.

Let the travels begin. First stop, South Korea!


8th September 2016

Excited for you! I will pray for you and safe travels in the next few months... Looking forward to hearing more about your trip/adventures!
9th September 2016

Hi Ted!
I am folloing you now. It was nice to meet you in Japan. I hope you enjoy SA a lot and can't wait to see your post on NZ. It is still on my list of countries to visit. Another tip for US travelers is to get an account with Charles Schwab, they don't charge any fees from any ATM anywhere and they reimburse all fees charged by foreign banks. It has worked really well for me. See you in LA someday...
27th September 2016

Same here Catalina - I'm following your travels as well. Can't wait to catch up back in LA.

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