Wrapping up 2008 and getting ready for a 2009 adventure
Cincinnati Travel Blog› entry 1 of 136 › view all entries
So 2008 has been a very odd and interesting year for me. Without getting into a large amount of detail, the company that I work for hit a troublesome patch over the summer and had to reduce head count drastically. I survived the cut but was left as one of only three people in the Cincinnati area office. By September 1st, the three had been reduced to one (me) by further attrition. And at the end of October, the Cincinnati office finally closed its doors and I've been working from the spare bedroom of my apartment on a daily basis since then. Like I said an interesting, chaotic, and uncertain time. About the time that I was left as the last one standing in Cincinnati, I started thinking about the "big trip". It was a rough idea that I had had for a while but the timing never seemed right. My apartment lease was due to end at the end of January 2009 and I was questioning whether or not my job would even last through that period. I figured that if ever an opportunity was to present itself to take some time off and travel this would probably be it. So the planning began in full force.
My itinerary is roughly set in some places, more firmly set in others. But this is the gist of the plan for the first half of 2009 when I will be on the road.
Jan 14 - mid March -- Volunteering in Thailand - I found a project along the Andaman coast outside of Krabi that works with the local community in cleaning beaches and coastline, replanting and caring for the mangrove forests in the area (the natural barrier to actions like the tsunami that hit in 2004), and tending and cleaning the coral reefs out in the Andaman Sea.
After the volunteer project I will head up to Bangkok for a week or so to explore the city and surrounding area before moving to phase two of the journey. Of course much will be dependent here on the political situation in Thailand as well. Hopefully everything will remain calm in this fascinating country.
March 21 - April 30 -- Depart for Kathmandu, Nepal - Himalayan Treks, Everest Base Camp, Annapurna, trying to tie down a few treks in the region over the 5 weeks that I will spend in Nepal.
May 1 - May 23 -- Hong Kong and China - 3 weeks to travel through China to reach Beijing
May 24 - Jun 13 -- Trans-Mongolian Train Journey - signed up with a small group to take the Trans-Mongolian Railway from Beijing to Moscow and then travel onwards to St. Petersburg before finally returning home from Russia on the 13th of June.
From there it will be time to couch surf back home, decompress, and start figuring out what I want to do with the next stage of my life.
I have two weeks of work left (finally let them know last week - which also freed me to start the blog) and much work to be done in the final stages of planning. And the holidays don't make this any easier. Thankfully I am getting a ton of assistance from my family as I try to make this adventure happen. It hasn't been without hiccups so far and I am sure there are more to come. I look forward to sharing all the good times and not so good times with everyone via this blog.
Happy Holidays and I'll see everyone on the road!!!