A lot goes in to preparing for a trek such as Her Odyssey. I have been poring over maps, books, and other people’s treks for 5 years. Until now, the vision for this journey was conceived and nurtured relatively quietly, mostly emblazoned inside me.
These past few weeks, everything is being turned inside out, as we are now experiencing the pains and joys of bringing this project into the wider world.
Verbalizing the message of what we seek to achieve with each step and story, while I simultaneously prepare to bow out of civilization for the foreseeable future, has presented challenges on many fronts. Much as the journey itself will.
I’m thrilled we have picked a name and to see its beautiful face.Created by the talented Kelly Anderson.
I’ve cleared my life of most trappings, including a home, steady job, and the security of having a “someday” dream. This space has been immediately filled to overflowing with travel plans such as today’s topic: how I intend to access funds.
Accessing funds from abroad requires a balance of having necessary cash, in various denominations ( some countries will only accept USD at border crossings), on hand without carrying so much as to become a target. I will rely primarily on a checking account with Charles Schwab, as it has no ATM fees worldwide, no monthly service fees, and no minimum balance requirement. Moreover, their customer service phone line is conducted scrupulously and delivered courteously.
This gem of travel savvy was handed down by Elly, who recently spent a year traveling South America solita. She said, “other travel blogs knew before I did,” but I credit her with my not heading out relying solely on credit cards which would have to be paid off each month before the APRs started chipping away at each hard-earned dollar.
We also had a great experience at the local branch of US Bank when we went to get the Power of Attorney notarized, authorizing Emily to manage business and finances while I am abroad. Experience has taught that “trail brain” does not do banking well.
I have opted to carry a credit card as a back up and, as per a conversation with my Defense Consultant, will keep them separate between my kit and person.
After a quick visit to CreditKarma to check my history and make sure everything is hunky dory (thanks to the guidance of the wise Drea), I narrowed my options down to the 3 most appealing travel credit cards.
- Capital One Venture Card – Can be either Visa or Mastercard. $59 annual fee after first year. 12.9%,17.9% or 22.9% APR.
- Capital One Venture One– Can be either Visa or Mastercard. $0 annual fee. 11.9%, 16.9% or 21.9% APR
- Chase Sapphire Preferred– Visa. $95 annual fee after first year. 15.9% APR.
Being the penny pincher that I am, have opted for the Venture One card. Mileage perks are less but it has no annual fees.
Work with the team to verbalize succinctly and clearly the vision of this project is ongoing. Presenting a mission statement to you all will be the first litmus test, so stay tuned, spread the word and please know, your feedback informs what is to come, so all input and connections are welcome! We love to hear from you. In particular, please contact us if you have connections in Santiago, Chile, where Neon and I will stage for the first season, trekking Patagonia.