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May 4, 2006

First Tickets are Purchased!

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I’m getting really excited about my trip, 6 weeks from tomorrow is my last day at work! Woohoo!!! So far I still feel like I have time to get everything done, but I keep thinking of more stuff to do. Since my last update I went to a travel doctor to get advice and immunizations to keep me healthy. I ended up getting a tetanus booster, mmr booster, polio, Hepatitis A and B shots, and some pills for typhoid. I have to get one more Hep B shot next week and should do one more A and B shot when I get back to complete the process. He also gave me a general antibiotic prescription for just in case and a prescription for malaria pills. I had checked that the doctor was covered by my insurance, but it turns out that is only the other parts of his practice so it ended up being ~$450 for all of that. Worth it not to get any of the not so nice things that I am now protected from.

As many of you know I have ulcerative colitis (www.ccfa.org) and it is a concern of mine about the trip, but I’m not going to let it stop me. I started stockpiling some of my medicines when I first started thinking about this trip last summer and will be in good shape by the time I head overseas.  It has been an up and down year with it after two good years. I have been back on Prednisone for a few weeks now and that is reducing the symptoms and hopefully putting it in remission for a while. In many ways my day to day stress will be going way down without work, but being on the road and having no routine will take some getting used. We’ll just see how it goes and use the adage of plan for the worst and hope for the best. I will have emergency medical coverage while I’m overseas, but it will just cover big stuff.

From all accounts Sydney (my dog) is adjusting to city life just fine in addition to sharing the house with a cat. She is getting lots of walks and doesn’t have to worry about the coyotes anymore. Actually, I was the one doing all the worrying since she was fearless in going after them which just made me worry more! I went camping at Cedar Lake last weekend near the Arkansas border with my friend Michelle and it was a great weekend. Rained Friday night which kept everyone away then nice weather the rest of the weekend. The hike on Saturday was gorgeous, all of the hills full of cedar and pine trees really make you think you’re somewhere other than Oklahoma. It did make me want to be able to do that everyday which I will be soon enough. Speaking of which I have finalized a lot of plans for the rest of this year. Here is a current list of where/when I will be places. I really don’t have anything planned for times in between flights and excursions so it will be just getting to the next place and seeing what I want to do in between.

June 16, Oklahoma – Last Day of Work
June 24, Chicago, IL – Cousin Jenna’s Wedding
July 7, Ely, MN – Five Day Boundary Waters Canoe Trip
July 12, Boston, MA – Baseball excursion with my Dad, Danny C, Daniel B, JJ, and Jimmy
July 13, Boston vs Oakland Game
July 14, New York, New York
July 15, Yankees vs White Sox Game, Uncle Ken is coming down for this one
July 16, Minneapolis, MN
Aug 1, Glacier National Park, MT – Five Day Backcountry Backpacking Trip
~Aug 11, Portland, OR – Spend some time with my sister
~Aug 20, Start heading south
~Sep 1, Arrive in Santee just in time for Labor Day Weekend (river trip hint, hint)
Sep 24, Depart San Diego
Sep 25, Arrive Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Sep 28, Fly to Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Oct 2, Depart Cook Islands, cross the international date line
Oct 3, Arrive Auckland, New Zealand
Oct 4, My 30th Birthday!
~Oct 24, South Island, New Zealand
Nov 25, Fly to Hobart-Tasmania, Australia via Melbourne
Dec 12, Fly to Sydney
Dec 17, Parents and Sister arrive in Sydney
Dec 18, Head south to Melbourne
Dec 23, Back in Sydney
Dec 30, Family goes back to the US
Jan 2, Leave Sydney for …

All of the plane tickets up to this point are purchased and I did great on the prices so far.  It helps not flying it at the holiday times like my family. I have $3,000 budgeted for plane tickets and I’m at $1,300 so far so its nice to have some cushion there. My plans in Australia are still up in the air. The north coast of Australia gets buckets of rain starting in Jan and hopefully tapering off in April so I will do my best to minimize my time up there then, but won’t be able to do so completely. Getting scuba certified is on my list to do while I’m in San Diego and since I will be within 100 miles of a coast for most of the time overseas I should get lots of chances to use it. Well that is probably more than 90% of you have ever heard me say at once so I better save some for later. The website seems to be working well so sign the guestbook and leave lots of comments or let me know if you have any questions.

Brian

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