March 8, 2006
Yesterday proved to be a very successful day in the ‘accomplishing things’

First item on the agenda when I left work – pick up my passport at the Indian
consulate. This didn’t take any time at all and when I was given my passport back, it
possessed a beautiful looking Indian visa inside which allows me entrance for the next
year. (I’m only hoping that getting my Russian visa in Budapest is 1/10 as hassle-free!)

The next item on the agenda was going to my travel agent to finalize my ‘RTW (‘Round
the World)’ plane ticket. She figured out that the Star Alliance (United, Lufthansa, et
al.) would be the best one for me to use. There was a bit of a glitch. Their RTW tickets
allow a maximum of 39,000 miles to be traveled. This would get me as far as Australia
before I would have to go back to SF. Their solution was to purchase two separate
RTW tickets – basically, I wouldn’t use the return from Sydney to SFO and then I
would purchase another ticket for New Zealand to South America to SFO.

After we submitted the updated locations to her contact at United, we went out to
dinner. While at dinner, it dawned on me that I still needed to figure out the ticket
situation with the latter part of my trip. At this point I had somewhat of an epiphany…

Since I was allowing for well over one month in New Zealand before heading to South
America, I thought ‘I might as well use my RTW ticket to its full potential and fly back
to SFO and then just buy a separate ticket down to South America’. Sometimes my
intelligence even shocks me. Really, it does. Andrea (my travel agent and friend)
thought it was a great idea – something that crossed her mind but she wasn’t sure if I
would go for it. So now I’m going to be coming to SF for approximately a week in
February before heading down to South America en route to Antarctica!

It’s not too shocking that one of the things that I found most exciting about this was
that I can now bring back some wine from New Zealand!

This Saturday I head back to go see Andrea to try to figure out all of the smaller flights
I need to take in between places. Sadly, these ‘smaller’ flights are very well going to
cost close to the price of my RTW ticket. I’m still aiming for
all of the flights to cost me
a total of $10,000. Luckily, that still seems like a possibility.

I can’t believe I leave seven weeks from today…