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2004-01-14 - 5:24 p.m.

I had a it of a habit last year of writing in here on the last of my 3 days off musing over whether I felt like I'd accomplished anything. I'm at my parents house at the moment (our computer is stuffed) and I've been looking up various things to do with my impending trip overseas, planning another BBQ/party (it's in lieu of my usual Australia Day/ Hottest 100 BBQ since I'm working that day), downloading songs, that sort of thing.

Yesterday I actually wrote a significant amount in my pen-and-paper diary which is good. I haven't made New Year's Resolutions this year and I don't think I'm going to. It's already too late to resolve to live entirely in the present and only worry about what I can control- all my usual insecurities have been following me around, not the least of them being trying to deal with my desire for self exploration vs all that stuff being in the past for Jane when last Friday while I was at work she was out with friends and had a bit of speed because it was there and it felt right. I feel like when I decide I want to try that sort of thing I can't even organise it yet when Jane says it doesn't interest her anymore it's still around for her to decide on a case by case basis. It's one thing to face the fact that if I want to do that sort of stuff I have to do it on my own, it's another to realise that that wouldn't have necessarily have been the case had I not been working on Friday.

"I don't want to start any blasphemous rumours but I think that God's got a sick sense of humour."

Enough of that- it was only supposed to be an aside to highlight why it's pointless making resolutions when two weeks into the New Year I've already had numerous existentialist crises and let my head beat me up on a few occasions.

I'm getting excited about going overseas but by the same token it's 2 months out and I'm still not sure what I want to see. The US stuff has been set in stone- I'm doing that with my friends Meaghan and Cristan- but I kind of feel like I'm not going to be doing enough travelling by myself and staying in Youth Hostels and all that. I think it would be such a valuable experience and realistically it may well be the last chance I ever have to travel on my own- I don't think Jane would be too happy if I wanted to make a habit of it (travelling without her that is, I'm sure she'll be more than keen to go everywhere with me if she can afford it).

So just quickly (I'll write a more detailed entry about it later), I'm flying into LA with Meaghan and Cristan, arriving at 7am (5 hours before I left, sounds very Monty Python :), spending the day sightseeing, staying the night before driving to Vegas, via Death Valley. A couple of days high rolling (well, almost...) and a trip to the Grand Canyon before flying to New Orleans for 2 nights, then onto the Bahamas on a cruise from Florida. 3 nights in the Bahamas, back to Florida for a week of driving around, going to Disneyworld, Cape Canaveral and the like (basing ourselves in Orlando), then up to New York. That's where I can't make up my mind. I'd love to stay in New York for a week or more, but I want to be in London for the Easter long weekend because I have friends there who will be off work. I'd prefer to not spend so much time in Orlando but Meaghan won that accommodation, as well as all these cash saver vouchers, and I chose to go along with it because it's an opportunity to take advantage of.

I'll be hanging out with my friends Tara and Cathy in London, we'll be wiping ourselves out for a weekend in Amsterdam, I'll be making the Beatles pilgrimage to Liverpool, and at some point (after trying to catch up with a handful of other people I know in London) off to Paris.

Part of me wants to see heaps of places in Europe, or at least a few, but part of me wants to spend a decent amount of time in each place, and hopefully meet some like minded travellers staying at Youth Hostels who I can bond with. Yes I know it's just because of stores Jane's told me and I want her life. Go away cynical self depreciating side.

Okay, so the question is do I pick another city other than Paris (I was thinking Berlin) or just stay in Paris. I'm flying out of Paris for Tokyo towards the end of my trip, and I'm thinking of bringing that forward a day so I can get home a day earlier and unwind before I have to go back to work, so that gives me potentially less time in Europe- I may want to spend more time with Cathy and Tara in the UK but it's one or the other, you can't travel by yourself and with people simultaneously.

I intially wanted to go somewhere in Japan other than Tokyo but it takes too much time changing airports, connecting, all that stuff. I'm planning on spending 3 nights in Tokyo which will be a nice end to the trip. Those insane hot baths that you almost faint when you get out of, memories of my school trip which are some of my fondest memories, less of a feeling of "I have to see this, this and this because really it's not the most spectacular city you're likely to see (just Urban Sprawl and lots of lights) but it's the culture shock that makes it really cool, and it's somewhere I hold close to my heart.

I consider this trip sort of a "Great Cities of the World" trip. LA, New York, London, Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo- maybe Berlin. They're not the cheapest places to visit, but I've picked the right time of my life to blow a budjet. The next trip I'm thinking will be South East Asia- but that's a long way away.

Be Here Now.


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