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Preparing to Go Abroad
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BostonBMW Offline
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Preparing to Go Abroad
Admittedly this is at least 8 months away for me, but I want to start prepping for my eventual exit from the U.S. for one year and possibility more. I wanted to ask the more experienced people about what they had to do before leaving for a year (or forever). So far, I have:

- Started to sell my books (I have tons).
- Stopped buying materialistic shit like new clothes, electronics, and furniture.
-Paying down my debts (Credit Cards, Loans etc).
- Working really hard at the job.

Before I leave:

- I'll set up a PO box to have all my mail forwarded there.
- Freeze my credit.
- Start selling my furniture 1 month before my departure.
- I won't have to pay the last month's rent.
- Give away my books (whatever is left) to the library and most of my clothes to goodwill/charity.
- If I have brought property by that time, I'll make sure that there is a strong property manager on site + 1 year leases are in place.
- Close all my accounts (multiple banks, utilities, etc.).
- Get an years supply of contacts. Get a Dr. check up.

What else should I think about?
02-05-2012 01:55 PM
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Tigre Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
Open a credit card that allows ATM withdrawals anywhere in the world with no transaction fees or clips on the exchange rate. Verify that card is working.

You should have minimum two ATM cards ready to use, issued by different banks. Your second card is kept in reserve just in case you lose your main card or it stops working.

PO Box for mail would not be the obvious choice. Think about redirecting mail to a family member, or use a paid mail forwarding service (Earth Class Mail is one).

As much as possible, reduce any reliance on physical mail. Do things online if possible. For anything that you're not planning to close before you set off traveling, add it to a simple payment schedule so that you know which days of the month or months of the year to review things.
02-05-2012 02:27 PM
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thegmanifesto Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-05-2012 01:55 PM)BostonBMW Wrote:  - Started to sell my books (I have tons).

Where are you going to sell them?

I need to do that too. I was thinking of just Goodwilling them and get the write off.

Quote:- I'll set up a PO box to have all my mail forwarded there.

Make sure you get someone to check it.

You may want to forward to your parents house or brother or something.

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02-05-2012 07:55 PM
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November Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
Your list seems pretty thorough. My biggest piece of advice is to make sure you're with a good bank that's not going to screw you once you go overseas. Schwab seems like the best choice right now.

Quote:Open a credit card that allows ATM withdrawals anywhere in the world with no transaction fees or clips on the exchange rate. Verify that card is working.

My recommendation is American Express. Go for the platinum card if you can afford it and have good credit. Capital One is pretty solid too.

Quote:Started to sell my books (I have tons).

I still maintain my collection of books. My friends/family mostly hold on to them. It would be tough for me to part with those. I'd like to hold some property in a foreign country where I can store them all eventually.
(This post was last modified: 02-05-2012 09:23 PM by November.)
02-05-2012 09:22 PM
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BostonBMW Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-05-2012 07:55 PM)thegmanifesto Wrote:  
(02-05-2012 01:55 PM)BostonBMW Wrote:  - Started to sell my books (I have tons).

Where are you going to sell them?

I need to do that too. I was thinking of just Goodwilling them and get the write off.

Quote:- I'll set up a PO box to have all my mail forwarded there.

Make sure you get someone to check it.

You may want to forward to your parents house or brother or something.

G,

To sell the books, I am posting them on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sell-Books/b?ie=UT...2205237011 and since I live in Boston, selling the textbooks to college kids. I am selling them below used bookstore prices.

Goodwill is the last option. Anything that doesn't sell will definitely end up there.

Also, I am getting rid of my off the rack suits (customs will go with me). I want to donate to a homeless charity, so that someone can rock those job interviews.

PO Box: I'll have a friend of mine check it time to time.
02-06-2012 11:34 PM
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BostonBMW Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-05-2012 09:22 PM)November Wrote:  Your list seems pretty thorough. My biggest piece of advice is to make sure you're with a good bank that's not going to screw you once you go overseas. Schwab seems like the best choice right now.

Quote:Open a credit card that allows ATM withdrawals anywhere in the world with no transaction fees or clips on the exchange rate. Verify that card is working.

My recommendation is American Express. Go for the platinum card if you can afford it and have good credit. Capital One is pretty solid too.

Quote:Started to sell my books (I have tons).


Good points. I have started looking into Schwab and Amex.

I love my books but realistically don't NEED them. I have acquired the knowledge and can get most of them electronically/library. I am not sure when or if I am going to be back to the US, so there is no point in holding on to them. I do feel that attachment to the books but have to realize that times are changing.

I am getting pretty excited about this trip, haven't anyone that I know in real life. Will drop the news when things get finalized.
I still maintain my collection of books. My friends/family mostly hold on to them. It would be tough for me to part with those. I'd like to hold some property in a foreign country where I can store them all eventually.
(This post was last modified: 02-06-2012 11:40 PM by BostonBMW.)
02-06-2012 11:39 PM
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sine wave killer Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
What types of books are these?

Are they just college textbooks, or are they books like novels/non fiction etc.?

I had amassed a huge book collection from the age of 14-22. These weren't text books but they were novels, non fiction etc. I would say books that added to your life after reading them. I had to move in 07 to a different town/city, the new apartment that I was living in was really small so I had to sell half of my books.

I have very little regrets but this is something that's a bit hard for me to get over to this day. A couple of these books had some real sentimental value and I treated them as if they were worthless. A few months ago I had to move again to a different region of the country, I didn't want to repeat my actions again with my books. I had found a really cheap storage space and I stored them all there. Lately whenever I fly back home I've checked on them periodically, but I can see that if your going to be leaving the states that's a whole other thing. Plus you can have a Kindle/tablet and amass a large library that way as well.


I would still look into getting some "small" storage space. You can pay your bill online with most self storage businesses, only give a key to someone you really trust to check on your stuff.
02-10-2012 12:41 PM
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Smitty Away
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
Follow the advice about the credit card with no foreign transaction fee. Capital One has the best cards with no transaction fee. Not worth paying between 1-3% every time you swipe. I like AMEX, but keep them as a backup when I go overseas because they charge for each swipe. Always have a backup credit card.

Charles Schwab checking is the best for ATM -- no fee to withdrawal anywhere in the world.

Overall, good list. I'm in the same position as you -- preparing now to leave later this summer for extended overseas living.
02-10-2012 11:00 PM
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Roosh Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
Start a text file with this list. Things will come to you and you can add and take away things.

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02-11-2012 11:30 AM
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BostonBMW Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-10-2012 12:41 PM)sine wave killer Wrote:  What types of books are these?

Are they just college textbooks, or are they books like novels/non fiction etc.?

I had amassed a huge book collection from the age of 14-22. These weren't text books but they were novels, non fiction etc. I would say books that added to your life after reading them. I had to move in 07 to a different town/city, the new apartment that I was living in was really small so I had to sell half of my books.

I have very little regrets but this is something that's a bit hard for me to get over to this day. A couple of these books had some real sentimental value and I treated them as if they were worthless. A few months ago I had to move again to a different region of the country, I didn't want to repeat my actions again with my books. I had found a really cheap storage space and I stored them all there. Lately whenever I fly back home I've checked on them periodically, but I can see that if your going to be leaving the states that's a whole other thing. Plus you can have a Kindle/tablet and amass a large library that way as well.


I would still look into getting some "small" storage space. You can pay your bill online with most self storage businesses, only give a key to someone you really trust to check on your stuff.

I feel ya. I am also a bibliophile for sure. I have a mix of textbooks and non-fiction personal interest books, some first editions, others signed by authors.

Obviously it has been easier to get rid of the textbooks, but not sure about the rest. In terms of books with sentimental value, I have forced myself to pick the top 10 and I'll store them at my parents place.

I thought about the storage fees and whether I want to keep paying for it -> Realized that I need a clean break.

Thanks to another member, I am crossing off the PO Box and replacing it with another service: http://www.earthclassmail.com/
02-11-2012 05:47 PM
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BostonBMW Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-10-2012 11:00 PM)Smitty Wrote:  Follow the advice about the credit card with no foreign transaction fee. Capital One has the best cards with no transaction fee. Not worth paying between 1-3% every time you swipe. I like AMEX, but keep them as a backup when I go overseas because they charge for each swipe. Always have a backup credit card.

Charles Schwab checking is the best for ATM -- no fee to withdrawal anywhere in the world.

Overall, good list. I'm in the same position as you -- preparing now to leave later this summer for extended overseas living.

I'm opening a Schwab account. Might look into Capital One. I am not so sure about Amex. I am familiar with them because I currently have a corporate card: My company pays lots of $$s and their customer service SUCKS.

Also, good luck with your plans, definitely let me know if you come across anything else that should be done before the great escape.
(This post was last modified: 02-11-2012 05:54 PM by BostonBMW.)
02-11-2012 05:50 PM
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BostonBMW Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-11-2012 11:30 AM)Roosh Wrote:  Start a text file with this list. Things will come to you and you can add and take away things.

Good point Roosh.

I have clothes strategy. I'm planning on taking 2 suitcases, one with clothes and another with mixed stuff (glasses, laptop etc). In terms of clothes:

- 2 Custom Suits
- 10 Ties
- 10 Shirts
- 5 Pants/Jeans
- 10 Undershirts/Boxers and Socks
- 3 Sweaters
- 2 Rugby Shirts
- 2 Colognes
- 2 Hats

Putting your life in 2 suitcases definitely resets the priorities.
02-11-2012 06:10 PM
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rudebwoy Away
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
Where are u off too?

I would store the non-textbooks, these are going the way of vinyl records.

Our New Blog:

http://www.repstylez.com
02-11-2012 10:04 PM
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BostonBMW Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-11-2012 10:04 PM)rudebwoy Wrote:  Where are u off too?

I would store the non-textbooks, these are going the way of vinyl records.

Either the UK or Switzerland.

is there really value in keeping the books in storage? I mean it took me a while to come terms with getting rid of them, now you guys are making me rethink that decision.
02-12-2012 12:40 PM
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rudebwoy Away
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
Wow, Switzerland hands down if you have a choice.

So did you sell the Bimmer as well?

I have a small book collection and a few of them are hard to replace, maybe it is an age thing but as I get older I tend to want more books. Knowlege is power and all that, I would rethink that.

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02-12-2012 12:55 PM
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Smitty Away
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
I made the decision to part ways with my books/DVDs and all those types of accessories. Got rid of every single one of them and never looked back. Only time I ever missed my books is when I remembered I had $1,000 stashed inside one of them. Fortunately, I later remembered that I moved that same stash from the book to another location.

No better feeling than getting rid of all your belongings that you don't really need but held onto for so long. It helps you keep things in perspective about the importance of life experiences vice material possessions. Unless something is irreplaceable, I recommend you get rid of it and lighten the load.

+1 from me for posting your packing list. Very helpful. I bet you can trim it down even further. Look into Ex-officio boxers if you like the boxer briefs. They are pricey but they are the real deal. Comfortable and you can wash them in a sink and they dry so quickly. I've tested these things out a lot in advance of my trip, and I can actually wear them two days in a row without having to wash them. No smell at all. Not a big deal if you have a washer/dryer handy, but even then you can cut the amount of boxers in half by wearing them more frequently between washes and lighten your load.

How many pairs of shoes are you bringing? Shoes are always the killer because they are awkardly shaped which makes them difficult to pack and they are heavy. If you're bringing suits you'll need at least one dress pair, one casual, and maybe one athletic to work out. Shoes are a real bitch.
02-12-2012 01:38 PM
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BostonBMW Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-12-2012 12:55 PM)rudebwoy Wrote:  Wow, Switzerland hands down if you have a choice.

So did you sell the Bimmer as well?

I have a small book collection and a few of them are hard to replace, maybe it is an age thing but as I get older I tend to want more books. Knowlege is power and all that, I would rethink that.

I think I'll know for sure in the next few months. If its Swiss, then I'll be staying in a smaller city/town (Lausanne, St. Gallen, etc).

Bimmer was sold in January. Surprisingly, that was easier to part with. I had not been driving around these days except to run errands.

I hear you on that, I have some books that have a lot sentimental value and my book collection is pristine (no markings, great condition) so there is a struggle there. I spoke with my parents regarding storing them them. I'll feel better about doing that, instead of paying a facility with no guarantees that the books will remain in good condition.
02-12-2012 03:20 PM
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BostonBMW Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-12-2012 01:38 PM)Smitty Wrote:  I made the decision to part ways with my books/DVDs and all those types of accessories. Got rid of every single one of them and never looked back. Only time I ever missed my books is when I remembered I had $1,000 stashed inside one of them. Fortunately, I later remembered that I moved that same stash from the book to another location.

No better feeling than getting rid of all your belongings that you don't really need but held onto for so long. It helps you keep things in perspective about the importance of life experiences vice material possessions. Unless something is irreplaceable, I recommend you get rid of it and lighten the load.

+1 from me for posting your packing list. Very helpful. I bet you can trim it down even further. Look into Ex-officio boxers if you like the boxer briefs. They are pricey but they are the real deal. Comfortable and you can wash them in a sink and they dry so quickly. I've tested these things out a lot in advance of my trip, and I can actually wear them two days in a row without having to wash them. No smell at all. Not a big deal if you have a washer/dryer handy, but even then you can cut the amount of boxers in half by wearing them more frequently between washes and lighten your load.

How many pairs of shoes are you bringing? Shoes are always the killer because they are awkardly shaped which makes them difficult to pack and they are heavy. If you're bringing suits you'll need at least one dress pair, one casual, and maybe one athletic to work out. Shoes are a real bitch.

Thanks. I am feeling the same way. Its kinda like you realize what is really important. We all end up buying all these material possessions and don't get me wrong, they serve a purpose at the time, but experiences > material things.

I am actually inspired by this forum. I see many guys coming out with datasheets in far off lands, heck Roosh has been globetrotting for sometime now. I realized that this is my time to make moves.

I'm not a big fan of boxer briefs because they "cling" to me, but I'm willing to check them out (anything to consolidate the clothes list). You're absolutely right about the shoes, I am bringing 3 pairs with me:

- Black Lace up Oxfords (for the suits)
- Brown/Tan loafer styled casual shoes (for jeans and going out)
- Some cross trainers (for the gym/running).

Packing shoes is awkward but I am putting a shoe shaper in the shoes and putting them in cloth bags before putting them in my suitcase.

Also what are you doing for computers? I was thinking of taking a laptop there, might be too bulky to pack. I have looked into tablets (not really an Apple fanboy) and still debating it.

Financials:

- I am taking some travelers checks with me for a few grand (split up in $500 increments). I have deposited another $2Gs with my parents (in case I need the cash/they can wire it to me) and definitely carrying 2 credit cards + bank card (soon to be Schwab). I'd like to have the cash available in case I need it.
02-12-2012 03:48 PM
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Smitty Away
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
For computer, I bought a 13" macbook air specifically to take with me. Never been a mac guy, but this laptop was one of the best purchases I've ever made. Slim, light, very fast. The portable market is becoming competitive so you can probably find one of the PC equivalents for a better price, but i've owned over a dozen computers and laptops and the macbook air is clearly the best quality. Pricey though.

Another thing I did in preparation for the trip is pay for the 4-year plan to Crashplan. Now, all my files are backed up securely online and I don't have to worry about losing them when overseas. When I leave on the trip, I'm not going to keep all my files on my laptop -- just music and some photos. All my other documents (tax returns, etc) will stay on Crashplan's servers and my PC (which will be stored at a friend's house). I'll likely add Crashplan to my mac as well so I can back up new photos and files while overseas.

I'm still not sure what to do on the phone front. Was thinking about buying an unlocked smartphone that will work on all network (quad band), but I'm still thinking through the cost. Might go with a more basic phone with no data plan, but still time to figure this one out.

Are you going to work somewhere, or just moving for fun?
02-12-2012 04:54 PM
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BostonBMW Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-12-2012 04:54 PM)Smitty Wrote:  For computer, I bought a 13" macbook air specifically to take with me. Never been a mac guy, but this laptop was one of the best purchases I've ever made. Slim, light, very fast. The portable market is becoming competitive so you can probably find one of the PC equivalents for a better price, but i've owned over a dozen computers and laptops and the macbook air is clearly the best quality. Pricey though.

Another thing I did in preparation for the trip is pay for the 4-year plan to Crashplan. Now, all my files are backed up securely online and I don't have to worry about losing them when overseas. When I leave on the trip, I'm not going to keep all my files on my laptop -- just music and some photos. All my other documents (tax returns, etc) will stay on Crashplan's servers and my PC (which will be stored at a friend's house). I'll likely add Crashplan to my mac as well so I can back up new photos and files while overseas.

I'm still not sure what to do on the phone front. Was thinking about buying an unlocked smartphone that will work on all network (quad band), but I'm still thinking through the cost. Might go with a more basic phone with no data plan, but still time to figure this one out.

Are you going to work somewhere, or just moving for fun?

+1 for the advice

I'll look into a Macbook. Why not take an iPad? Basically whats the advantage of a laptop over a tablet? I am debating this right now. I am going to check out Crashplan and get my files backed up.

I'll be filing my taxes (online) in 2013 so I am setting up an appointment to see an accountant to understand the impact of moving abroad for a year. You might want to do the same.

Phone: I'm taking my blackberry, besides the quad band capability, I know that the BBM network is pretty strong in Europe. More importantly, I don't want to spend too much money on a new phone. If you are interested in BB, you can always pick up a used model or even something cheap, since they are no longer "in style."

My plan is a little bit of both fun and work. I am still trying to set things up and want to make sure that they will happen before I disclose them to the forum (superstitious that way). I am definitely concerned about the cost of living out in Europe, so I am cutting down my expenses while in the US and also stacking up the savings.

Also, what kind of suitcases are you taking? I want something durable, that will take a beating.
02-12-2012 05:36 PM
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Smitty Away
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
Thanks for the tip on the blackberry. I'll check out some used models on ebay.

My friends are addicted to the ipad, but I just can't get into the style and form factor. I like having my laptop on my lap and banging away on a traditional keyboard. Check out the forums on macrumor.com for discussions of macbook air vs ipad. A lot of people have posted about using the ipad as a primary computer...and most people seem to think it's not feasible as a primary computer. The ipad 3 is due out in the next month or so and could be a game-changer though.

I haven't decided on the suitcases yet. I have a few good travel bags, but I think I'm going to opt for something of a more traditional suitcase style for this trip. I'm gonna do some research on suitcases this week and I'll let you know if i find anything worth looking into.

I'll post up as I come across other tips and articles I've saved that might be helpful for you.

Edit: one additional thought re luggage. I'm thinking of bringing standard suitcase and my osprey porter 46. The osprey porter is a great bag (great reviews). I've beat the hell out of it and it's still in like-new condition. Fits a lot of shit for a carry on bag. And it converts into a backpack, albeit an uncomfortable one. But it's great for 3-5 day trips. Some have used it for round-the-world trips. I think it will come in handy for short week long (or less) excursions from my home base.
(This post was last modified: 02-12-2012 08:26 PM by Smitty.)
02-12-2012 08:15 PM
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OSL Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
I just got a macbook air. I love this thing, it's a total game changer.

Can't really comment on it in comparison to the iPad, since I haven't used the iPad to a large extent - although haven't used it periodically during my previous Singapore trip, I can say that I wouldn't personally consider the iPad a legitimate replacement for a macbook air. Not even close. Just my two cents.

I'm going to get an iPhone 4 soon.
02-13-2012 07:17 AM
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germanico Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
(02-05-2012 07:55 PM)thegmanifesto Wrote:  
(02-05-2012 01:55 PM)BostonBMW Wrote:  - Started to sell my books (I have tons).

Where are you going to sell them?

I need to do that too. I was thinking of just Goodwilling them and get the write off.

Quote:- I'll set up a PO box to have all my mail forwarded there.

Ill be happy to take off your hands any books that you no longer need.
(This post was last modified: 02-13-2012 08:18 AM by germanico.)
02-13-2012 08:16 AM
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jdelisi Offline
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
I have had problems with the internet in hotels with ipad. Can't seem to connect much a lot of the time. Now I just use my android phone wireless feature, operates much better
02-13-2012 10:00 AM
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Smitty Away
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RE: Preparing to Go Abroad
Good video for folding suits for the trip, if you don't want to take a garment bag.


02-18-2012 10:41 AM
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