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Published: December 7th 2008
So it's Christmas day and only 9 days left until my departure!
I've bought a truck-load of equipment, clothes and gadgets (and some fantastic socks!) My parents have also been brilliant and bought me an amazing camera for my birthday (which I'll be spending on the shores of Lake Baikal in Siberia!) and I'll be uploading my favourite photos onto this blog.
So to sum up these last few months of preparation, I've bought an RTW (Round-The-World) ticket which consists of about 12 flights for around £1,800 including all taxes (which seems amazing value). I've had about 15 injections covering everything from rabies to yellow fever to Japanese B encephalitis (whatever that might be). I've booked tours with Intrepid Travel and also with the Vodka Train (sounds promising). I've sent off for and received all the visas which I can't get on arrival at borders (i.e. the Russian, Mongolian, Chinese and Vietnamese visas). And hostels have been booked and equipment has been bought. Oh and I've also spent literally hundreds of hours browsing the internet and downloading music.
I've also arranged travel insurance which covers pretty much everything except trekking over 2000m so I'll just have to be a bit careful when in Nepal but everywhere else I don't need to worry about trivial things such as safety (joking mum!)
But of course, I've also had to actually save money for the trip and so over the course of the last 6 months, I've worked in a pension company, Nuffield private healthcare, Canon (the printer/camera company), the NHS (which unfortunately was a bit of shambles from the inside) and also in my old school researching the Mary Rose (a ship) for an exhibition being put on in the summer. Some of the jobs have actually been enjoyable but others were bordering on abysmal. Most involved customer service, basic admin and call centre work. However, Canon would probably top the list of jobs in which I'd most likely hang myself with my own telephone cord. I was only working there for 2-3 months but spending 9 hours a day on a complaints line really started to depress me, however fortunately that's now all in the past and I've got tremendous respect for anyone that does that sort of work for a living seeing as I wimped out after just a few months.
Anyway, my next blog should hopefully come from some random internet cafe in Russia and, in the meantime, if anyone needs to email me for any reason, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wish me luck!
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