Buying tickets (2009-05-07/08)

William on Lamma Island Path
Furlough travel plans led me to once again purchase international flights leaving 2009-05-16 and returning 2009-07-01. Here's the itinerary:
  • New Zealand (Christchurch to Aukland) 2009-05-18/30
  • Indonesia (Denpasar, Bali) 2009-05-30/06-13
  • Thailand (Bangkok) 2009-06-13/23
  • Japan (Tokyo) 2009-06-23/07-01
A Circle Pacific ticket appears twice as expensive, so these are changeable (for a fee) and refundable flights, in case we want to go to China or return to the US.


Planning contigencies (2009-05-06)

William on Victoria PeakThere's the chance of work in China, but I'm going traveling on furlough. It appears it's possible to obtain a Chinese business visa in Hong Kong, where an American citizen can visit for 90 days without a visa. I liked Hong Kong, so a trip there is a contingency plan in case of work in China.

Planning travel (2009-05-01/05)

William Overlooking Terracotta Army
There's time to travel. Once again the questions are "Where should William go?" and "What should William do?"

Where Should William Go?

I've been to Asia (China) since I last asked these questions on my blog. The continents (besides Antarctica) that I haven't visited are South America (though of course I live in the Americas) and Australia (though I have been to Oceania, which includes Australasia). If I went to South America I'd want to practice Spanish. I'm resuming Mandarin, so Australasia seems good.

In fact, it might be fun to circle the pacific (see "Part II of the Vision" and "How do you arrange your flights?" on The Art of Non-Conformity). Previous comments recommended New Zealand, Thailand, and Japan. I've found friends and friends of friends recommend Bali.

What Should William Do?

Below are my travel priorities:
  1. Photograph wildlife. Since fantasy was an early inspiration to travel, why not photograph a dragon? Another possibility is kiwi-spotting in Trounson Kauri Park.
  2. Walk. While it's almost winter in New Zealand, there might be great walks.
  3. See mountains. The Lord of the Rings movies suggest beautiful mountains in New Zealand. In addition, Ryan offered to climb Mount Fuji to persuade me to visit Japan.
  4. Visit forests.
  5. Sail.
  6. Visit ruins.
  7. See castles.
That's a lot to cover! Aside from living in Paris, my longest trip to date was one month in east Africa. I'd like to travel longer than a month this time.

[Resized photograph.]

Planning furlough (2009-04-27/30)

Sign on Trail to Tian Tan Buddha
Despite the prospect of work in China, there is currently little coaching or development management for me. Consequently my company sent me on furlough. The finances suggest the furlough could stop in 30 to 60 days; sales staff suggest it will stop sooner. Since I've saved (expenses and taxes at home average 52% of income), this seems like an opportunity to both help my employer and to travel while I'm still brave enough to do it. I think it is more likely than not that there will be work when I return.

[Resized photograph.]