Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 37: Hail, upcoming travel, and more RTW planning

Hey everyone. So first of all, there was a crazy hail storm in Dieppe yesterday (like continuous hail for 2+ hours) that left a layer of hail stones on the ground so thick it looked like snow. Wild! I've included some pictures below because it looked so neat. The weather is still pretty bad here today, raining off and on and incredibly windy, but no more hail so far.

Outside the train station

on my street
Up next, I'm going to the D-Day beaches this weekend! Finally! Can't wait to post about it on here and show everyone the photos. I hope the weather cooperates. Right now it is looking like crappy rain and cold temps. :/  Also, in 2(!) weeks, I'm finally off to Bella Roma and the rest of Italy!

Finally, I'm going to continue with the 30 Day RTW planning from BootsNAll. Yesterday afternoon, I meant to blog about this but actually I didn't because I spent so much time doing the exercise on Day 4's email! (More on that later.)

First, Day 3's exercise was ""Choose your pillars." AKA The pillars of your trip, the places you MUST go. In my last blog, I mentioned Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal, so clearly India and Peru are on my list. I'd also really like to go to Indonesia and do an orangutan tour where you can search for wild orangutans, so Southeast Asia is on the list as well. The last "pillar" of my trip was Egypt, for obvious pyramid-y reasons.

So the pillars were Indonesia, India, Egypt, and Peru and I filled in from there. I'm still working on a final itinerary (which, let's face it, will probably change again still) because I'm trying to balance outrageous visa fees versus how much I really want to go somewhere. But SE Asia, India, Egypt, and South/Central America are on the list. Fortunately, many of these countries have low or no visa fees, and are relatively cheap on daily costs.

Day 4's exercise was "Budget time!" To figure up costs, BootsNAll provided a handy Google Drive spreadsheet for inputting places to go and costs. I researched the average daily costs of various countries on their website as well as other travel blogs. I input all these countries I'm still deciding on (have added some and removed others) to come up with a figure. Right now, I'm at roughly $50 a day on average on the ground (not including flights), which according to Nomadic Matt's new book (which I just got today) is a good figure.

Day 5's exercise was "Trim expenses". I already do most of these things, like not eating out in restaurants often, not having cable, etc. I don't have very much disposable income right now, due to my pitiful salary in France, but when I start getting the CAF from the government (hopefully soon now!) I am going to start saving that. Plus, when I go to New Zealand hopefully I can get a decently paying job and save some money then too. I am not worrying too much about the budgeting and saving part right away, because my potential dates for the RTW trip aren't until 2016, and who knows what will happen in the next 3 years!

So that's what I have so far! Fantasy trip planning is pretty fun, but the US State Department's website is a real downer because, for half the places I want to visit, they're saying things like "BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS SO YOU DON'T DIE". They are really helpful with information about which countries Americans need visas for though.

So that's it! My next update will probably be after the mini-break this weekend to Lower Normandy.

See you then,
xx Kaylin

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