07.02.2006 25 °C
Welcome to this blog. The story so far: earlier this year, Shane and Miriam decided it was high time to have a look at Europe. So far, their overseas experience has been limited to a week in beautiful Hawaii (Oahu and the Big Island, magic, if you get the chance go and enjoy it). Miriam commences long service leave in early March. Shane checks out the airline prices and detects impending uplift, so advocates a departure in late March.
Thankfully the Internet (and sites like this, thanks guys) provide a wealth of information relevant to planning a big trip. And this is big for us; leaving our two living offspring to fend for themselves while we travel for five weeks, and trusting them to keep themselves healthy as independent youngsters. Also, friends and work colleagues who have travelled far more (despite being so much younger than us) - have been full of helpful hints on how to tackle the wide range of tasks involved in planning this tour.
After extensive checking and comparison have settled on Emirates via Singapore and Dubai, with a two day stopover in Dubai on the return trip, as the best available deal for the time. I can only emphasise the importance of checking details, fine print, travel agent schmoozing, restrictions on changes to arrangements before you agree to the deal. Talk to people who have been there and done that (what ever that might be). I think I have learned a little something from just about everyone to whom I have mentioned this projected voyage.
Now I am developing a spreadsheet where I am keeping details of places I have researched and assessed as "maybe" in terms of visiting a particular city or staying at some specific accomodation option. Another sheet in the spreadsheet I keep "actual" details, eg bookings for flights, other travel, or accommodation that has been booked and on which deposits have been paid. I am doing this so that while travelling I will have all trip details gathered in one spot. I will also email updates of this file back home from time to time so kids and friends will have an idea of where we are.
The spirit of this trip will be one of exploring other cultures with a view to deepening our understanding and appreciation of the breadth of humanity.