Here are some of the items I'm going to need to work through in the coming weeks and months:
- Getting it cleared through work. My boss's boss said it was fine the other day in our skip level meeting, but I still have to clear the idea with my leader. He's an understanding guy and I think it should be okay, especially if I can figure out the next item.
- Technology. I have to actually be able to do my job down there, so that means having a good enough LAN internet connection (wireless isn't allowed even in my home office now) to handle VOIP calls, WebEx, and SaaS applications. I also have to set up a soft-phone configuration on my laptop. I don't think it will be a big deal but I have noticed that her internet connection at the museum sometimes cannot handle a video Skype call, but can definitely handle a voice call. A workaround is to figure out a way to do most of my work via email and less on weekly calls with customers. Oh, and we have to convince the landlady to let us install internet on the property.
- Phone backup. A workaround to make international calls through my personal computer would be great. If for some reason my soft phone application on my work computer doesn't work, I think I'd need some sort of backup available through my personal computer (such as using Google Voice or the gmail phone plug in) to make calls to the U.S. occasionally, especially if I dropped off a conference call with business clients. I'd be fine paying a per minute rate, but any advice readers have for a certain service or software would be appreciated.
- Mrs. Done by Forty's advisor and committee. I think her committee will be understanding of the extra time needed and she already was planning on not taking classes in the spring. But she'll still need to seek their approval of the revised plan.
- The dogs and the house. I talked to our renters, N and C, about possibly watching our dogs and the house for a few months. We own two of the most needy golden retrievers known to man, so this is no small task. But the upside is they'd now have the whole house to use. Our housemates can use our office as a music room for C (who, it turns out, is an amazing guitarist), and they can have his and her bathrooms. They are thinking it over. I'd even be willing to concede a little lower rent if that's what it took to seal the deal, but I get the impression they think getting the whole house for $400 sounds pretty good.
- Costs. Rent will be the same in Peru whether I am there or not. Food, utilities, and transportation costs should be cheaper there, too. The main expense will be the flight to get me to get down to Lima, and then a shorter flight and a bus ride in country, which cost about $1,000 total for Mrs. Done by Forty this fall. And then we'll also need to purchase the same travel tickets for my wife, too. Still, there is actually an outside chance this trip would save us money, compared to living in Arizona.
- Taxes. I don't know how this stint of working in Peru would affect taxes, if at all. I believe I still owe the same federal and state income taxes even though I'm physically working in another country. But might I also owe income taxes to Peru? My hope is that since I'll be there for ninety days or less, maybe the situation isn't that complicated. I think this will be a question for H.R. but if any of you readers have experience in this area, it would be much appreciated.
I am sure I'm missing some key points, but those are the things I'll be working on for now. (Advice is welcome!) We still have a few months to figure it out but I'm already excited with the idea of it. I've never visited another country for more than a couple weeks. I might even learn Spanish, which would be cool. But mostly I am excited with the idea that I'll get to see my wife! It's not logical because this is the same time that she originally was going to be back in the states, but my monkey brain, as Jason Hull would say, doesn't see it that way. It's just happy that it gets to spend time with that hot red-head that used to live with us.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
*Photo of Macchu Picchu is from bazzat2003 at Flickr Creative Commons.