July 2004 Archives
Thanks for visiting our travelogue. Over the next year or so we'll be posting photos and writings as we travel around the world. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you!
About Our Trip
It's hard to remember exactly when or how we first came up with the idea of doing a trip like this. I think it was probably during our year in Germany when we got to do a lot of traveling. We started talking more and more about all the places in the world we had not yet experienced but really wanted to. We also realized that short trips as tourists were not the way we wanted to see these places. It was important to us to have the time and perspective to really experience the cultures. Also, we wanted to at least try to make a postive impact in someway as we traveled. We considered doing the Peace Corps, but after looking into it more seriously, we found that it wasn't quite the right match for us. We decided that we would need to build our own experience.
We began researching world-wide volunteer programs that also offered short term projects, and found the Global Volunteer Network (GVN). They are connected with local organizations around the world and provide some amazing projects. Their program costs are also only a fraction of what some of the other organizations were asking. Through GVN we will be working with kids at a Liberian Refugee camp in Ghana, teaching English to school children in China, and in Vietnam we will either be teaching English or working in an orphanage. We will participate in each of these programs for 1 month. In between these volunteer projects, we plan to do some WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) and participate in the SERVAS program. More about both of these in later entries.
We just purchased our plane tickets this week through airtreks.com. $3100 each will get us about halfway around the world, ending in India in February. We'll purchase the rest of the flights as we go along (we don't want to be tied into specific dates that far down the road). We're really excited--getting the tickets makes the whole thing feel a lot more real. Read on for our complete itinerary and plans for this summer.
June 23th: Last day of teaching for Megan!
June 24th: Last day of Master's classes for Megan!
July 2-13: Megan will be in California visting Lexa, Dave, Sanna and David
July 9-11: Michael will be in Massachusetts visiting family and friends
July 13: Michael's last day of work!
July 24: Our Going Away Party in DC
July 26: We move out and leave DC to head up to Massachusetts
August 7: Our wedding in Greenfield, MA
August 11: We begin our Round the World trip
August 11: Flight from Boston to Paris
August 12-18: Camping in France (maybe along the Normandy coast)
August 18-23: Paris
August-September: Austria with Megan's family
End of September: Travel through Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria to Turkey
October: Turkey, Greek Islands, Athens
October 25: Flight from Athens to Cairo
October 28: Flight from Cairo to Accra, Ghana
November: Working at Refugee Camp in Ghana
December 2: Flight from Accra to Kampala, Uganda
December: Work with "Designers without Borders" in Uganda and travel to Kenya
December 27: Flight from Nairobi, Kenya to Johannesburg, South Africa
December-January: Travel in South Africa
Januray 27: Flight from Johannesburg to Mauritius (free 3-day stopover)
February 2: Flight from Mauritius to Bombay, India
February: Travel in India, trip to Nepal
March: Volunteer teaching English in Yantai, China
April: Volunteer in Da Nang, Vietnam
May: Travel through Thailand and Indonesia
July: New Zealand, Hawaii
August: Back to the States
Megan's in the Bay Area visiting her sister (Alexa), Alexa's boyfriend (Dave), her mom (Sanna) and step-dad (David). They're at Harbin Hot Springs doing yoga, relaxing in the natural hot (115� F!) and cold pools, and basically unwinding after a busy couple of months.
I'm preparing for my last week of work at Envision as their Senior Web Designer. It's been a great 3 years there - I've learned a lot and have had the good fortune of working with some inspiring and talented people. My replacement starts next Monday so I'll be working with him to make sure the transition goes smoothly.
Megan and I completed our first round of vaccinations for our trip a few weeks ago. We got our shots through the fine folks at Howard University's Family Medicine Group. Here's what we're protected against so far:
- Yellow Fever
- Typhoid Fever
- Hepatitis A (1 of 2 doses)
- Hepatitis B (1 of 3 doses)
In mid-July we'll both be getting the second round of Hep A & B shots as well as protection against Tetanus. We still need our Meningococcal Meningitis vaccinations. This is a disease you do not want to get. According to the CDC's web site "approximately 13% of survivors have long-term sequelae, including hearing loss, mental retardation and loss of limbs." I could handle losing my passport but I like my limbs right where they are, thank you very much.