Now that it’s June, the countdown is officially on for the Mongol Rally. It doesn’t start until July 19th, but I will be leaving on the 28th of June to head to India for two weeks prior to my Mongolian adventure. This means, that I have to prepare myself for the coming two months of my life during the month of June.
I know that time will begin to quickly tick away, especially with the winding down of the school year on top of everything, so reality is about to hit. In order to be as prepared as I could possibly be, I’m narrowing down my final Mongol Rally preparations.
Apply and Wait for Visas
Since several visas are needed for the journey, I’ve been a bit stressed putting them together. My trip to Italy, last month, didn’t help the process because I was a little last minute in sending out the applications. My trip to India before the Rally also doesn’t help, but at least I am on my way to getting these complete. To cut out any extra headaches, I used Visa HQ, so that I could send all of them at once. I usually prefer to apply for my visas on my own, but this was a bit more overwhelming than I am used to. Currently, my Kazakhstan visa is being processed, and then I’ll be waiting for my Russian and Indian. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to also process my visa for Uzbekistan, so my plan is to work on that visa during my two weeks in India.
Visit the Travel Doctor
A visit to the doctor before a big adventure is always a good idea, and although I knew I had most of my vaccines, I felt a trip to my local travel doctor was a necessity. Although, I shocked the entire staff with my list of countries and thirst for adventure, I left without a single vaccination. Instead, my doctor gave me malaria tablets for India and a couple of doses of antibiotics for the long journey, just in case.
Learn How to Drive Stick
Our trusty stead for the Rally is not automatic, and unfortunately, I still have yet to learn how to drive stick. Luckily, I’m a quick learner, so I hope to learn during one of the weekends before I leave.
Continue Gathering Donations
We were lucky enough to have a lot of support for our gas fund donations, but we still have more money to raise before we venture off to Mongolia. Being part of the Mongol Rally means raising money for a charity and one of them is Cool Earth. If you’re interested in making a donation, you can find our donation page here. If you do plan on donating, thanks a million!
Ready the Playlist
This is probably the least serious pre-Rally matter, but in all seriousness, it’s one of the most important. Four of us are going to be together in a car for at least four weeks, and everyone knows that a road trip without decent music is a complete and utter failure. If we all manage to create epic playlists for the trip, then we should be able to complete the road trip without getting sick of any of our music.
Pack My Bag
Yes, the dreaded words: packing. Two months of my life will have to fit in one backpack and will be carted around the world with me. While I’m a light packer, and a pretty talented one at that, it’s still a complicated art form. I’m not entirely worried about it, but it’s still on my pre-Rally to do list, and the backpack on my floor serves as a constant reminder.
This is my very least favorite task. I need to contact my banks and prepare any bills that will need to be paid while I’m away. I’m not looking forward to it now, but I’ll be grateful I prepared when I’m on the road with no Internet access.
Purchase Travel Insurance
For an adventure such as this, travel insurance is extremely important. I want to know that if something happens to me, or my belongings, along the way, that the damage will be covered. Hopefully, I won’t need to use it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Usually, I use World Nomads for my trip insurance, as it’s convenient and digital, which I like, and I plan on using them for this journey as well.
Deciding an End for the Trip
The most exciting part is that I still have not purchased my flight home. We will arrive in Ulaanbaatar around August 24th, and I will still have about a week before I need to be home for the new school year. Right now, I’m weighing the options and costs of nearby destinations to end my summer adventure. The world is my oyster at the moment, which is exactly the way I like it.
Clearly there’s much to get done before the big adventure around the world, but I’m excited to see how the journey will unfold. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about how this is all going to get done in the next three weeks, but sometimes the unknown is part of all the fun.