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Los Angeles Travel Blog› entry 1 of 89 › view all entries
We make decisions every day‚Ä¶ Regular or decaf? White or brown rice? Evening News or Simpsons? We just don‚Äôt notice how ‚Äúdecisive‚ÄĚ we are forced to be every day. So, work or retirement? For some reason, we call these choices with significant consequences, ‚Äúlife decisions‚ÄĚ, but really‚Ä¶it‚Äôs just another decision. This year is the consequence of my retirement decision. If all goes according to plan, (which it always does‚Ä¶it‚Äôs just that the plan changes), I will spend the next 9 months traipsing about the world and then back to the States to get my MBA and MRS and maybe a few BLTs.
After a long and exhausting process of introspection, my b-school apps are pretty much done and waiting to be shipped off for meticulous judgment. I think I know how guys feel on their third date, because I cannot possibly answer another question about my feelings on the future‚Ä¶I just want to know if I‚Äôm in! But now that that‚Äôs behind me, I‚Äôm ready to get some living on! The world is my oyster and I plan to slurp it up with relish!
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Send me emails along the way but please do NOT reveal what happens on the following TV shows: Heroes, Grey‚Äôs Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Chuck, Ugly Betty, Gossip Girl (I‚Äôm not kidding), Brothers & Sisters, and Big Shots (although with the writers‚Äô strike, there may be nothing to reveal). Please feel free to ramble on about: the Hills, Real World, and America‚Äôs Next Top Model. I‚Äôve been able to pick up quite a few shows on my retirement schedule.
Trip Overview (tentative)
Trip 1: South America (also known as Checking out the Dirty Souf)
Galapagos Islands: I will be volunteering, working with local teachers and students on conservation education. Check out the project: http://www.realgap.co.uk/Galapagos%20Islands%20Environmental%20Conservation.
I also plan to do a bit of diving with turtles, hammerheads, and lots of fish.
Why I want to go here: 1) I like turtles and by extension, tortoises. 2) The name is fun! I challenge you to name 3 more fun-invoking place names. I‚Äôll give you the first one: Djibouti. 3) If it was good enough for Darwin, it‚Äôs good enough for me!
Peru: I will be on a 2.5-week tour, including the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon. Go altitude sickness!
Why I want to go here: 1) The Secret of the Andes is a book we read in 6th grade. I can‚Äôt remember what it was about but I have generally warm feelings about it and it took place in Cuzco. 2) Chewing coca leaves. Yup. 3) Machu Picchu. Another fun name and just looks cool-Apocalypto style.
Back to home base in Los Angeles: recharge, refuel, repack!!! (in 3 days or less)Trip 2: Australasia / Asia Pac (also known as Back to My Roots!) Oz (‚Ä¶there‚Äôs no place like home)
Sydney: Going to show the ‚Äėrents around my old ‚Äėhood in Sydney. And now I can try all those nice restaurants!
Tasmania: Will check out Northern Tassie and see how long it takes for me to get used to driving on the other side of the road again! Fun! I‚Äôd guess about 2 days and 3 wallabies, give or take a wallaby.
Townsville (Queensland): The Yongala wreck diving should be amazing. There are sea snakes and guitar sharks residing in and around the wreck. They recommend staying near the wreck because tiger and bull sharks lurk in the nearby abyss. Not to mention the poisonous box jellyfish that populates the waters during the summer months. Gotta love Aussie fauna!
Asia (Yellow Fever Season)
Hong Kong: Going back to the motherland to take Cantonese classes and try my hand at professional mah jong playing. I may be a lost cause on both counts but at least there‚Äôll be exotic cuisine and loud shouting everywhere! Will be there for Chinese New Year and my birthday‚Ä¶I hope I get double the red envelopes. Or at least have a firecracker birthday!
Colombo, Sri Lanka: Going back to the motherland‚Ä¶of Ceylon Tea. I‚Äôll be hanging out with Klaire and her family, so in a way, it is my family. Not really sure what to expect but I like the food‚Ä¶although mild spiciness. Egad! I‚Äôll bring the Maalox.
Phuket / Krabi / Bangkok: Will hit the beaches of Thailand with Klairey (I have very idyllic views of the beaches minus the carnage thanks to the film, the Beach) and Bangkok for what I hope to be a Happy Ending.
Cambodia: Angkorwat will be the main stop in Cambodia where I will jump around the walls and pretend to be Lara Craft, Tomb Raider. I‚Äôll be careful to wear the appropriate double-holster gear and avoid any security guard-looking people.
Los Angeles: The shortest distance between two points is not back through America. But it‚Äôs time to trade my cherng sam in for whatever Spaniards wear‚Ä¶Zara?
Trip 3: Europe / Africa (Return to the Old World)<!--[endif]-->
Spain Part 1: I intend to go to two Spring customs that I‚Äôve never been in Sevilla to attend, Semana Santa and La Feria. Semana Santa is a religious week with a lot of processions throughout the city with cloaked people that look like klansmen. No joke. But it‚Äôs an incredibly serious week. 2 weeks later, the Sevillanos party for a week in a big expansive field dedicated solely to this annual party. Everyone comes out: you‚Äôll see 4-year-olds and 84-year-olds dancing until 3 am. This is why I love Spain. They just know how to get it done.
Africa (Jungle Fever Season?)
Uganda: I will be building houses for Ugandan orphans. One of the listed supplies to bring was your preferred hammer or trowel. Oh dear. This is something I am really excited to do even though I know my body will not respond in kind. I have the weakest stomach of anyone I know. In any case, I am incredibly stoked to tag along with Ruth, my coworker in Sydney. If anyone would like to donate money to the cause, contact me directly. The child sponsorship program is called Watoto Child Care Ministries.
Safari: not sure where we will safari (can it be a verb?) but I look forward to seeing lots of Gorillas in the Mist and Mufasas. Circle of life, dude.
Zanzibar: Perhaps, another diving trip? I owe it to all clubs called Zanzibar (including the 18-and-over one in Waikiki) to go.
Euro Trip, the Sequel
Spain Part 2: If I have any digestive system left from Africa, I will hit Sevilla for some paella! It is unclear what I‚Äôm intending to do for two months or whether I will stay in Sevilla (it will be hot!). But I am open to any suggestions / companion travelers.
London: I will be ready to hit the pubs for a few pints by this point in the summer. Not really much planned for London except aforementioned pints. I will try to make it up to Newcastle to reconnect with my Geordie brethren (bring your handheld translators!) and see my new nephew. It‚Äôs weird how people are ‚Äúnew‚ÄĚ when they‚Äôre babies‚Ä¶it sounds like buying a new car, one day you don‚Äôt have one, the next day, you do.
Back to the Future
LA / Hawaii: Back to mi casa for some R&R and hopefully to get my MBA on!