Almost there, yeah!!!

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
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Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United States  , Washington
Friday, September 24, 2004

I'm sitting on the floor typing this, my US super sized sofa and TV just departed for new adventures in an unfamiliar home among kind strangers. Just some random words below for now, hope I can get this blog more interesting as soon as my travel starts for real.

The last 7 days I haven't done anything even remotely related to my upcoming RTW trip. I've had two friends over from Norway and they basically just left. We had a very good time, being Norwegian tourists in Washington. There so much stuff to do and see around Seattle (one of the main reasons I'm a bit sad to leave), so it's sometimes difficult to figure out how to spend your days when you have friends visiting. This time we decided on doing the Cascade Loop, staying in Winthrop at the excellent Sun Mountain Lodge. Not exactly backpacker budget though, but the Mojito was tasty. The rest of the time we just spent in and around Seattle, shopping, sightseeing, socializing with local friends etc.

I still haven't bought my flight ticket, but it looks like I'll just fly from Seattle to Guatemala City. I reckon I'll leave in about 10 days time, and head straight for Antigua when I get down there. I haven't sold my car yet either, but I think I'll skip the drive up to Alaska mainly due to visa issues. I don't have any vacation days left (isn't that ironic), and my US visa basically gets cancelled on my last official workday here. I don't know why, but apparently it's a lot of forms and bureaucracy involved in order to change my work visa to a tourist visa. Cannot be bothered to check it further. I don't want to risk going to Alaska on my work visa either, as I rather not be stuck in Canada with an US registered car that's supposed to cover a big slice of my RTW budget. Pessimistic I know, Canada is a beautiful country after all. Getting everything to work out smoothly with an Alaskan car dealer and flight departure times etc. probably doesn't help my enthusiasm either. Well, well, I spent last Christmas with friends in Alaska, and we had a blast, so I guess I'll just have to come back one day instead.

Insurance, insurance. It's a must, so I definitively need to sort that one out soon. I think I'll go with the Australian based World Nomads, they are cheap, extremely flexible and seem to cover most "backpacker activities" as well.

Tomorrow it's time for the leaving party at the "infamous" Longhorn Saloon in Kirkland. Looking forward to spend the day with friends, and I think I can guarantee a late night as the bar is more or less open 24/7. Well, it's actually a private in-house bar owned by friends.

I got 4 days left to work, but I realize it's probably going to be more trip planning than actual work. I still have a lot of stuff to organize. On my last workday, I'm supposed to have an exit interview, as well as help the moving company pick up my stuff for shipment to Norway. Then I have to vacate my apartment on the same day, practically leaving me homeless and left on the streets with my tiny backpack, dry-fit sweaters and travel towel. I'll crash the last few days here in Seattle with friends.

I just received a great gift from friends in England. Takk Cas og Gunnar!! It's an electronic gadget called 20Q. It's a perfect friend for my trip as you can play 20 questions with it. It's the classic game where it asks you to think of an animal, vegetable or mineral, and then it tries to guess what you are thinking of by asking you 20 questions. It actually works. "Rhino" and "a Fetish object" was no match for this little fella.

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