From Depression to Living My Dreams: How I Prepared to Live Around the World: Part 2 of 3

Can you say Freedom & Flexibility! From a sedentary lifestyle to a location independent lifestyle!


Hiking in Blue Mountains in Australia

I’ve pretty much lived in Chicago my entire life with the exception of college and a couple of travel nursing assignments. That is almost 35 years. For me, that means I know a lot of people who specialize in a lot of things and these people have helped to make my life full. When I thought about what my life would look like if I moved away, let alone out of the country, I was filled with anxiety. I mean, I had the same doctors, same accountant, same bankers and same cleaning lady (So we will talk about my lightweight breakdown about leaving my cleaning lady of 18 years in Part 3!) for over 15 years.

I’m a worrier by nature and I don’t like surprises that I believe I can plan for. It’s nice to finally accept that part of myself and traveling abroad help me get there. I knew that in order for me to really embrace my dream of living abroad, that I would have to plan contingencies for emergencies. I also knew that I needed a plan to make money to supplement my savings. In today’s blog, I’m going to share with you a couple of the emergency plans that I put in place and also how I prepared to make money while on my journey.


1. Survey your skillset and acquire new skills or enhance existing skills to make yourself more marketable for remote positions.


I am a Registered Nurse with almost 20 years experience. I have worked in Corporate America for the last seven years. I knew that I did not want to continue doing the same work, so I researched several continuing education courses. I took courses on Coursera, Udemy and Teachable. However, the one course that helped me the most was Find a Dope Remote Job by Sheila K. Brown.

Ms. Brown does an excellent job of explaining the remote jobs industry and she gives a comprehensive list of websites and resources to help you find remote employment. So instead of me listing everything that I learned in her course, I recommend you purchase the course for yourself. Here is the link!

Trust me you will not regret it!


2. Designate an Advocate (DA) to control your finances or make decisions on your behalf in case of an emergency.


I’ve experienced two financial hiccups while traveling that could have been worse if I did not have a Designated Advocate (DA) and a financial contingency plan. The first hiccup occurred in Egypt. I was checking out of my hotel in Luxor. I found out that the hotel only took cash and I was out of Egyptian Pounds. My internet service was poor so I could not log into my account from my cell phone. So I text my DA and asked them to transfer money into my travel account so I could withdraw money from the ATM in the hotel. It was done within the hour. (Whew!)


Statue in Luxor

The second hiccup was when I arrived in Nairobi, Kenya. The ATM ate my travel debit card at the airport. Luckily, I always carry two ATM cards for separate accounts. I just keep them in separate places. All was not lost, I used my back-up debit card at another ATM. I texted my DA so they could cancel the old card and transfer money to my back up checking account. I also downloaded both bank apps on my phone. It took almost two weeks for my replacement card to arrive. Mostly because I had to sit still long enough at a physical address for the bank to FedEx it to me. Shout out to Capital One 360! Good thing I had a back-up debit card and credit cards!


Naivasha Lake with Wilderbeasts

3. Create a mobile repository of important documents.


  • Buy a portable external hard drive that is at least 2TB to back up computers. I like Seagate because I could back up both my HP and Mac on the same hard drive. 
  • Join Cloud based system to back-up documents. I am a huge fan of I scanned in all of my important documents, receipts, tax returns etc. Neat allows customization of folders and has an excellent auto recognize feature.Other Cloud Based systems to consider:
  • Dropbox
  • Box
  • iCloud
  • Google Drive

I hold professional licenses in a few states. I also have all kinds of vaccinations that regular people don’t need because of my profession and I needed access to those documents when requested. I also wanted to be able to reference some of my papers and projects that I completed through out my career. Creating a mobile repository allowed me the storage and mobility that I needed.

4. Get a Safety Deposit Box.


Good for storing jewelry, family heirlooms and original copies of legal documents. I left keys with two close girlfriends.

5. Get a P.O. Box or forwarding address.


Designate someone to check at least once a month.

Although I signed up for paperless statements wherever possible, I still want to maintain residency in the U.S. and I still receive mail there.

6. Consult an attorney about:


  • Living Will
  • Power of Attorney
  • Medical Power of Attorney
  • Establishing a Trust

These legal documents are great to have in case of an emergency. Because of my experience working in the medical industry with chronically ill patients and unexpected accidents, I made it a point to discuss my wishes with my immediate family and my designated advocate (DA) if something were to happen to me.

7. Consult an accountant:


I had many questions about the tax implications of traveling and working abroad. Questions like:

  1. If I work abroad, how much of my income is taxable?
  2. At what percentage would my income be taxed?
  3. Can I file taxes from abroad?
  4. What special forms would I need?
  5. Can I call him with questions once I’m gone?


8. Consult your primary healthcare provider for a full physical and gather information for travel vaccinations and medical advisories.


Please note that if you plan to travel for longer than 12 months to get your annual screenings. For women who are sexually active, this includes your Well Woman Check, pap smear, pelvic exam, pelvic ultrasound, breast exam. If you are over forty, please schedule a mammogram. I have been getting annual mammograms since I was 34 because my mother died of a very aggressive Breast Cancer. Know your risk for developing any chronic illness and please get checked before you depart for your trip. If you are over 50 please schedule a colonoscopy. If you plan to travel to developing countries, please check for vaccination recommendations and requirements.

9. Research and obtain Global Health Insurance.


This is VERY important. I know people who travel without trip insurance and they say nothing ever happens, but I believe in the philosophy that it is better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.

[bctt tweet=”It is better to have it and not need it: then to need it and not have it. ” username=”MableTaplin”]

I got sick in Vietnam, and I felt it necessary to go to a clinic there. I was confident that if I was not satisfied with the care that I received that my insurance covered a hospital transfer by airlift back to the United States or to the nearest country with a hospital that was rated the same as the hospitals in the United States.

Me and Hospital Staff Dr. Monika


No, the insurance policy that I have is not inexpensive. But before I started my journey, I read a few instances where accidents happened abroad and the injured people did not have adequate travel insurance. I did not want that to happen to me.

Please make sure your policy covers life insurance, repatriation in case of death and flight and lodging accommodation for a family member to be transported where you are if you are hospitalized.

I’ve compiled a list of reputable insurance companies that offer global health insurance. I currently use Allianz


Download Today’s Resource List


If you charge your trip (flight and/or accommodation) on your credit card, you may be eligible for coverage through your credit card provider. (Please check)

10. Establish an Emergency Communication Plan:


I don’t know about you, but I have received quite a few of those emails that tell a story of someone being stuck in a foreign country and they need money to help with their situation. To avoid any confusion or concern with my family and friends, I established a communication tree with an emergency password just for me. They were instructed that if they received an email, text or phone call from my designated advocate, or me it must contain the password. However, if communication, whether email, mail or phone did not include the password, then it is not legit.

a) Purchase an unlocked smart phone and choose a cell-phone provider with the best international coverage.

I struggled on whether I would list this, because we are living in the millennium, where 1 in every 3 people own a smart phone. But I wanted to highlight the benefit of international coverage and planning to be in communication with family and friends while traveling. I was a Sprint customer for almost 15 years, but T-mobile had the better international plan, so I switched. It was important for me to have an unlocked iphone so that I could switch the SIM cards to local SIM cards in the countries that T-mobile does not have coverage. I bought two refurbished iphones. One is my primary phone and the other is back-up in case of accident or theft. (I like to be prepared. ;))

11. Download free text, video and phone applications and share those apps with your friends and family.


This may seem obvious, but I have several family members that were not familiar with apps or social media etc. Namely my daddy and my uncle. Shhh, my daddy thinks he is hip so don’t tell him I said that! But anyhow, I sent a text to my family and friends asking them to sign-up for What’s App so they could text and call me for free. For my fellow Apple users we Face-time. What’s app is very popular outside the United States. People change their status on What’s app like it’s Facebook. What’s app has allowed me to communicate easily and cheaper outside the United States because I can text or phone using my data plan.

I compiled a list of Cell phone apps and websites that have helped me in my journey. From communication apps to currency converter apps to flight deal apps, all the apps that I use are on this list. Did you know there is an app to hire a motorbike in SE Asian countries that operates like Uber?


Download Today’s Resource List

As I was writing the blog today, I was reminded that most of the things on this list are things that if I thought about it, I would have in place even if I was not taking a trip around the world. But my decision to take this trip added the extra urgency that I needed to put these things into action.

Even if you are not planning a trip, I believe that preparing for emergencies or accidents etc. can provide you with peace of mind. Make a commitment to do at least two things on this list! Don’t forget to download today’s Resource List!

I have so much more to share! Please let me know if you found the blog post informative. Leave a comment or email me at

Remember, The world really is your oyster! Don’t let fear or anything else stop you from living your dreams! Can’t wait to share with you Part 3! Keep Dreaming!

Chief Encouragement Officer


P.S. Don’t forget to share this blog post with your family and friends!

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