Behind the scenes of a 10-month adventure...
Trip Start Oct 18, 2007
51Trip End Aug 2008
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Nope, I haven't left yet on my BIG adventure, but I thought I'd share some thoughts about planning for this trip. I looked into buying a RTW ('Round The World) ticket, but this didn't suit my needs and is quite costly! I've saved up quite a few aeroplan points so redeemed 53,250 points to buy my tickets for Montreal to Vancouver (mid-Oct 2007), and Vancouver to San Francisco (early Nov 2007). I've also bought a one-way ticket from San Francisco to LA (mid-Nov 2007) as I'll be attending my cousin March's wedding, and am waiting for additional info from Malaysian Airlines before purchasing my ticket from LAX to MNL. I'm also putting together my application for the trans-siberian train trip through VodkaTrain (www.vodkatrain.com). Check out the site for more info.
If you're in Montreal and planning a similar trip, I recommend checking out Robert at Les Routes du Monde (www.lesroutesdumonde.com). He's the charismatic agent I'm working with and is a wealth of knowledge when planning a trip off the beaten path. He regularly leads tours in India and SE Asia. I'm seeking his expertise in planning the segment of my trip in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and China and he's helping me sift through other important info re: visas, travel insurance, etc. Another great resource is Marie who also happens to work at Les Routes du Monde. This feisty and adventurous woman wrote a travel guide for families wanting to travel with their kids ("Guide du voyage en famille: partir à l'aventure avec ses enfants"). Among her family's other adventures, Marie was pregnant with her first child when she and her husband travelled through China, Tibet and Bali!!! She really knows her stuff. I skipped over the sections that cover travelling with kids (duh!) but a lot of her book is relevant for ANY traveller, namely, the sections that cover money, and health issues, etc.
T has been a major cheerleader in the planning and prepping for this trip. I'm so thankful that he's come into my life! At his insistance, I finally made an appointment in mid-April to get my vaccinations in order at Medisys (www.medisys.ca), a private health clinic located on 500 Sherbrooke W.
When I look to buy something nowadays (mainly clothes, shoes, accessories, apartment stuff...), I ask myself, "Will I need this on my BIG trip??! Do I/Can I carry this in my backpack?" If the answer is no to either question, which it typically is, then the item stays on the shelf! And MEC (www.mec.ca) has also become one of my favorite stores! I bought my Z-55 Gregory Pack from here (http://www.gregorypacks.com/prod.php?ID=85).
In preparation for the BIG trip, another subtle change is that I rarely wear makeup now. I usually loved dabbing on some eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara and a light powder foundation during weekdays or going out... I've eliminated this daily routine and it feels amazing! Guys can't really relate and probably take it for granted, but it's refreshing not to put makeup on or to take it off in the evenings! The only morning routine I've retained is moisturizer and sunscreen.
I'm also researching on new electronics, namely, a new digital camera (Canon SD630 or S5 IS) as well as an ipod Nano for music and memory...
There may be a few more entries between now and October when I officially leave Montreal. Until then, I'd love to hear your comments and get your feedback!