Night Before Departure

Trip Start Nov 08, 2007
Trip End Jan 03, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Maryland
Thursday, November 8, 2007

It all started a few months ago when Becky and I decided that it would be fun to take a 4-6 month backpacking trip around the world.  As luck would have it, our friend Kirsten was able to house sit for us for several months, so the planning began...

Initially we wanted to go to Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia (Thailand, Mayanmar, Vietnam, etc), and a few places in Europe, with a potential visit to Egypt.  Very ambitious to say the least.  I began looking into airfare options, mainly considering airline alliances that provide "Round-the-World" tickets (RTWs) - Oneworld and Star Alliance are two such alliances.  There are so many different travel plans for each alliance that it took weeks, on and off the phone, to research which would be the best plan for us both financially and logistically.  As I became more familiar with the different RTW fare options, our itinerary changed drastically.

At some point, South America was added to the mix - it was going to be a trip around the Pacific Ocean.  Having nailed down the general route we would take (or so I thought at the time), we headed off to the library to check out books on any country that might lie in our path.  The more I read about South America the more exicted I became at the prospect of exploring this continent.  It soon began making more sense to save some money by cutting the trans-Pacific flights from our itinerary and concentrating our efforts on exploring Central and South America.  That is the plan at the time of departure, however we still haven't ruled out the possibility of hopping a plane to Auckland or Sydney to hang out down under for a little while as well...

So here I am, 12:14 am on November 8th, 2007 - 5 hours and 46 minutes before our flight leaves to take us to California.  We've taken care of our affairs at home (I hope), we've read up on places that we'll visit, we've gotten the appropriate shots and vaccines, we've purchased our traveler's checks, and we've booked transportation for the first few weeks of our trip.  After packing everything that we have that we think we'll need - we're as ready as we'll ever be.  Becky is asleep (courtesy of a monstrous sushi feast procured by Kirsten and her boyfriend Kenny) and, to be perfectly honest, I'm awake doing things like writing this blog and copying christmas music and spanish lesson mp3s to my webserver so that I can get to them from any computer down the road (they won't all fit on my mp3 player).

In a few hours my mother will take us to the airport to catch a 6am flight.  We'll get in to San Jose at 11:15am, take the Caltrain a few miles north to San Mateo to meet up with a friend and former coworker of mine (the infamous Ted Achtem Slacktem Jacked'em).  Then we'll continue North to San Francisco, where we'll hopefully figure out some way to get over to my brother Rick's apartment in Berkeley.  We'll spend a few days in San Francisco with friends and family and then it's off to LA on an overnight Greyhound bus.

So this is it.  We'll be away from home for the holidays and a good chunk of winter.  I'm both excited and nervous.  I can't wait to explore Latin America with the woman I love (I know, I know - sappy, but true), and at the same time spending the holidays at home is something that we will both miss terribly.  "You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet"???

I never thought I'd be the type of person to do what I'm about to do, but I have to say that we'll miss our cat, Macon

We will not miss the chickens...
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