I went to pick up my repaired glasses this afternoon (YAAAAAY!!!) and realised that there's a UPS store in the same building. So, I killed the proverbial two birds and took care of my mail needs for the next year! Wow, this is really starting to feel official!
Before I researched the issue, I figured that mail was going to be a hassle when on the road. I couldn't just get a box at the post office because the government requires a street address for things like tax documents and license renewals. Same thing for package deliveries, a PO box isn't good enough. So, the obvious choice at the time was to ask someone I know if I could use their address and to forward my mail to me. I really didn't like the idea of imposing on someone like that, plus it took away some of my independence and autonomy.
After doing research, I discovered that the UPS store offers a fantastic service: you can rent a mailbox for a length of time, but also have a civic number (ie. the store address with a unit number being your box number). Moreover, they can hold packages and you can contact the store periodically and they will take whatever is in your box, package it up, and send it off to you wherever you are. According to the brochure, the cost for this service for a 'small' box for 12 months is only 130$, plus tax, plus shipping fees. My 130$ bought me the service from today until November 30, 2009! I meant for the service to start on September 1st, but didn't realise that it starts from the moment you pay. So the clerk confessed that most of his boxes are empty and it doesn't matter if mine isn't available for rent for two months before I start to get mail in it. Then, my 130$ gives me 15 mos of service instead of 12. A bargain.
I don't get that much mail and plan to tell my various 'official' mailers, like the government and utilities, that I'd prefer e-correspondence, so I doubt I'll actually have much mail for the UPS store to worry about, but, at least, I have a safe place to send my mail to, a street address, and my independence.
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."