We now have a (slightly) clearer idea what the second half of our year of travel will look like.
It begins with a one-way ticket to Bangkok (via Taipei). We've decided to give ourselves lots of room for whim and chaos again, so here's a loose idea of where we'll go from there:
January-February: Taiwan, Thailand, and maybe Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and/or Indonesia
February: India, then work our way northwest up to Turkey
March: Greece, then western Europe (through Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal) to fly to South America
March-July: Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and then up through Central America back to Mexico and the States.
Of course, maybe we'll bump into a Nepalese monk who will want to hang out in Mongolia with us, and we'll scrap our plans and end up in Azerbaijan instead. So, we'll see.
After July, though, it's back to the real world of work, finding a home and finally (well, maybe) planting some roots in California.
Our latest discovery is just how many visas we'll need. There are some countries that don't require American citizens to have tourist visas for short-term stays (like Thailand, Malaysia and Argentina), but many countries will turn you away if you didn't get your visa prior to your travels (like India and Vietnam). And they aren't cheap, costing $50 or more, on average. So, with our current plans, we'll need at least ten visas-- around $1000 for two people. Croak.
Happy thoughts. Well, the Lakers are on a roll. And the current line-up is as lovable as it gets. There's Odom, who seems to have a permanent smile on his face, and the gangly Spaniard, Gasol, who seems to just bumble toward the basket and make it every time. It doesn't even look like he can see where he's going through his curls, but his success rate speaks for itself (even if he isn't the most graceful athlete I've seen). And of course, there's Kobe, who's all grown up now but still an awesome player.
I may have become a Red Sox fan, but when it comes to basketball, the Lakers are still my team. I saw them play at the Staples Center when I just graduated from college (and yes, Jack Nicholson was there). Go, Lakers!
Oh, and who can look at an echidna and not smile?
Evolution rocks. Sorry, Intelligent Design.