The full scope of our trip is finally starting to hit me. I’ve been spending a lot of time—nearly all my free time, in fact—researching possible destinations and itineraries. I have a mountain of six heavy travel books stacked on the desk. Taking notes on them until late at night makes me feel like I’m in college again. I have an appointment with a travel doctor tomorrow. (I decided to book it very early in case there are any series of vaccines that I’ll need.) To prepare for the appointment, I wrote down a list of all the countries we may be going to. It’s pretty overwhelming to look at:
New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, Japan, Korea, China, Nepal, India, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Madagascar, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Britain and Ireland.
Holy cow. Keep in mind that we won’t actually go to all of these countries; they’re just the ones we’re considering. I highlighted the ones we are “for sure” going to. (I put for sure in quotes because nothing is really for sure when backpacking. War could break out, we could leave a region early, we could go somewhere else entirely, we could run out of money, you just never really know.) But still, there are fifteen countries on my “for sure” list.