They say that planning is half the fun of travel (who 'they' are, I'm not sure, but they're probably picking up a healthy travel agents commission). It is in that spirit that I set out in earnest this week to turn my travel ideas into reality.
It started on Wednesday, when I ventured out to Myer on Lonsdale Street to take advantage of the stocktake sales. I bought a couple of Lonely Planet guides for some of my destinations. Since travelling with a well-thumbed Lonely Planet guide last year in Europe, I am completely and utterly convinced that they are the best guide around, most in tune with the sort of trip I am after. Hence, they are an essential part of travelling cheaply and successfully. I snapped up their Shoestring guide to South East Asia, as well as picking up their latest guide to Korea (both RoK and DPRK), which was released only a few months ago. The next essential purchase was a digital camera, largely lacking the bells and whistles that confuse the point-and-click crew, of which I am a member. Cheap, easy to use, and probably invaluable. At least it will be once I get it out of the box.
Then today I headed down to speak with a travel agent, to work out the best way to get from A-B, with stops in the entire Greek alphabet along the way. It is proving to be a mammoth task, given that I am planning to venture to about 12 cities in three months, most of which will need flight rather than land travel. It's a great challenge trying to cover all the destinations, but with enough perseverence I'm confident it will all work out. While that is being sorted out, I also got some info on visa applications, required for about six countries along the way. Will no doubt fill out my own body-weight in paperwork along the way, but c'est la vie // such is life, as my passport would say.