While I'm by no means a professional, I do enjoy taking pictures. Especially on vacation. I just bought a new camera for my Africa trip (the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5). I didn't know all there was to know before I left for my trip but I did learn how to do some things on my camera while on my trip. I'm planning on using it more extensively in the City to get more practice.
While I don't have many skills when it comes to using a camera, I've been told I have a 'good eye'. I like making scrapbboks for each trip I take.
Recently I found a great website to make my own coffee-table style book. It's called www.mypublisher.com. I used this to make books for my Iceland pictures and for my Africa pictures.
I'm hoping to take some photography classes before I go on my trip. I also realized how important it is to have extra memory cards. I plan to go with three 1GB cards and 4 rechargeable batteries for my camera. This way I won't be in a bind if I'm in a place for a period of time where electricity isn't an option.