Leaving Your Life Behind While Traveling Around the World

If you'll be gone for a year, how do you deal with your life back at home, specifically with money, a house, and bills? Below is a checklist of things to think a out before you hit the road. And if you're having some existential questions about what it means to quit your job or be away from home for so long, then I highly suggest that you read this guide to taking a career gap.

  • First, you'll need to set up all of your bills to be paid electronically, or even automatically. Depending on how much of your life you actually leave at home, you may or may not have a lot of bills to pay while on the road.
  • Do you rent or own? If you rent, and you're going to be gone more than a few months, you probably want to end your lease (this is of course a personal decision). If you own, consider renting the house out.
  • If you're giving up your apartment or renting your house, you'll probably need a place to store your stuff. Think long and hard about what you want to keep, what you can sell, and what to throw away. If you live in an expensive city, think about storing your stuff nearby in a more rural area. This can be more cost effective.
  • If you keep your apartment, cancel as many of your bills as possible. Cable television, internet, and even basic utilities are not needed since you won't be there.
  • Decide what to do with your car. The best option is to leave it with a friend or family member. If that's not possible, consider putting it in storage. Make sure you get a cheaper insurance policy and update the registration before you leave.
  • Find a trusted friend or family member to handle your mail and any other paperwork that might arise while you're gone. If you plan well, they will only get junk mail while you deal with bills and other issues via the internet while you're traveling. Just in case, though, it's good to have someone to go through your mail every now and then.
  • Consider giving a very trusted friend or family member power of attorney over your bank account. If an emergency arises at home, it is nice to have someone nearby with access to your account.

This is a growing list and we will continue to add items here as everyone learns more over time.

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