We survived it all..December 21 and MIFI rental for world travel...

As Tom's three sisters and two brothers-in-law walked out the door yesterday, the day after Christmas, they asked us of we were getting excited. 

Tom, not giving me a chance to answer, chimed in, "You know what?  Jess planned all of our world travels.  And I just went along with it, figuring that the world was gonna' end on December 21st and it wouldn't matter.  So now, it does matter and its time to start getting excited."

We all roared with loud bursts of laughter. I had nothing more to say after that.  They were all headed back to their winter homes in Apache Junction, Arizona and us, today back to our awaiting vacation home in Scottsdale to hook up with them again on December 30th for final goodbyes and sister Colleen's birthday party.

Yesterday morning, we met up with my dear sister Julie and her significant other at son Richard's office in Henderson to have our wills and health care directives witnessed and notarized which will be secured in family's member hands while we travel. Yes, it was morbid doing this but a necessary element of our travels and life itself.

Handing Julie our complete medical files put our minds at ease that should we ever need anything she'll have it readily available. Julie like me, embroils herself in the details, making her a logical choice.  Of course, she would immediately notify all of our children if anything happened to us.

In addition, we have designated Julie as our contact person.  We will report to her with the contact information, phone numbers and email for property owners prior to departure and arrival at each location.  For instance, if we are due to arrive in France on a certain date and Julie doesn't hear from us within 24 hours, she will immediately notify our adult children and begin the process of finding out what has transpired.  This is important.

We've all heard stories of travelers being kidnapped, lost in a jungle or any other possible scenarios.  Its unlikely any of this will occur to us. In the event an unforeseen situation does occur Julie will be highly diligent in tracking us down.

This provides all of our family with a sense of security.  Although a little time consuming, it's also is a comfort to Tom and I knowing that a nearly immediate effort would be instituted to "find us" if we're missing.  Julie, a TV producer, is an experienced world traveler with many worldwide contacts.  Its logical for her to be assigned this task.  Thanks, sis!

Yesterday, we ordered our MIFI from XCOM GLOBAL that provides us with global wireless Internet access for up to five devices from a small wallet sized
device.  I've mentioned this many times in this blog finally placing our first order.  Pricier than we anticipated at $538 for the first month, we bit the bullet. 

The usual cost for using the device in one country is $399 a month plus shipping which may be as much as $100 each time it is shipped to us, with the high cost of international shipping.  We refused the $3.95 a month insurance for the device, at another $120 month. 

The reason this particular first month's rental was so high is due to the fact that we chose to try the device while cruising through the Panama Canal which including it being set to work not only in Panama but also Mexico, Columbia and the US while we're in ports of call.  While at sea, it won't work being too far from a cell tower. 

During those periods of time, we'll use the ship's Internet access at $395 which provides us each with one hour online per day for each of the 15 days for this first cruise.  This is expensive at $26.33 at roughly $13.17 apiece per day. 

MIFI from XCOM GLOBALalthough represented on their website as offering unlimited access, will not allow more than 750 megabytes in any three day period.  If we do, they will turn off the system.  This allows us each 100's of email messages per day, many more than either of us currently receive. 

We had decided that this would not be sufficient online usage for us.  We have personal business to conduct, ongoing travel research and arrangements and of course, email messages from family and friends.  Thus, when Internet access if of poor quality or unavailable, we will order the device to be sent to us.  At this point we anticipate using the MIFI approximately six months of the year since many vacation home will have high speed Internet access.

We are asking everyone to please continue to send us email with text only beginning January 1, 2013 while we're using the MIFI.  Receiving text only email messages will mean "the world" to us being so far removed from everyone we know and love. Please keep the communication coming minus the videos and multiple photos.  Posting those videos and photos on Facebook will enable us to see them when we aren't monitoring our usage.  We love hearing from you.

Today we're heading back to Scottsdale, after more sorrowful goodbyes, for our final four days before our trip to San Diego for two more days before boarding our cruise to the Panama Canal, taking us away at long last.  Its hard to believe its finally only one week away. 

We have to repack all of our bags, clean our condo, finish our insurance planning, go to a birthday party and brace ourselves for what is yet to come.                                                                                                                     

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