The big unstructured plan.

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, August 22, 2004

Maybe I'll drive from Seattle and up to Alaska, sell my Japanese car for gold nuggets and catch a flight south to Guatemala City. Or Oaxaca, Mexico, or... Maybe I'll drive to LA or Houston, Texas instead. I'll probably find a cheaper flight to Central America from there, both are flight travel hubs after all. They probably have nicer weather down there in October too. But no "Top of the World Highway", that's for sure. Maybe I'll just sell my car here in Seattle and find a flight to Cancun. Head down towards Belize for some scuba diving. Blue Hole! Havana sounds fun too. Maybe I can get there on a cheap flight from Mexico......or swim across, right. Enough dreaming, now we need some execution. It's funny I've been dreaming, thinking and planning this trip for so long now, and I don't even know the exact date I'll go or where I'll start this RTW ("Round The World") trip. It used to be structured with neatly plotted destinations and dates. Now it's in shambles, because I've become a ripe and seasoned armchair traveler and like it that way. The only thing I know now, is that I have postponed this trip long enough. That's the easiest thing to do. It's never the right time to go, and be sure to find excuses, semi-commitments, comfort zones, financial worries, career considerations. Shouldn't you settle down and get a normal life, you're 34 man. The list goes on. Well screw that. Now I just need to buy a backpack, something called an universal sink plug... and tell my boss that I'm leaving the company after 9 years and a bit. It's been some great 9 years in 3 foreign countries, but nuff's enough.

The big unstructured plan is to leave early October 2004 on a flight to southern Mexico or Guatemala City. Continue south to and towards Panama, and hop aboard a plane to somewhere in South America (I'll skip the Darien Gap this time around). I say somewhere because that's exactly where I plan to go, somewhere. I figured this out during all the hours it's taken to plan this trip. To plan and dream about a Round The World trip is great fun, and a big part of the whole trip I would think. However those plans will change during the actual trip. Maybe I'll stay longer or shorter than I think in Central America. Maybe the flight to Rio is cheaper than the one to Quito. Maybe Tierra del Fuego isn't that fun in July, or Colombia that scary... Only time will... I do however have a must do/see list. I'll get back to that in a future update.

How long will I be gone? Again, when I started planning I figured 12 months. Now I don't know. I've heard experienced travelers recommend a fixed return date, but I have decided to be flexible again. Hope it pays off. I've been traveling before, also alone at times, but never for so long. So I consider myself an RTW rookie. I hope to get to New Zealand, maybe Oz and parts of Asia as well. If I can get on a flight from Santiago to Auckland that is. Apparently it's a bottleneck. Maybe I'll end up in Cape Town instead. Maybe the trip will take me exactly 12 months. Maybe I'm back after 6, or possibly 18. Just hope I don't come running home to Mom after barely 6 weeks on my own out there. Total failure.

Through this blog I hope to keep in touch with family and friends around the world. Hopefully I'll have the time, energy and creativity to update it regularly. It will probably take a bit more effort than from my cocoon here at work. It's the first time I will try to keep a "diary", and I'm surely not the best writer out there. Just ask the Norwegian professor who failed me many years ago on my Norwegian exam. Why? Because I turned the Amnesty International exam subject into a criminal novel, Hardy Boys style. English not being my native tongue, probably won't help either. Well, you'll have to live with that my friend.

Maybe the blog can inspire other itchy feet's to take the plunge as well. This classic quote from Mark Twain should probably do it for you:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

For the Norwegians out there, the saying probably translates to something like "Dra på Lopphavet!".

See you around!
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