The Big Project – making it happen

Once you have the ambition, the ideas and the project, all you need is love and… cash.

Once I graduated, found a job and moved back to Paris; my only thought was to keep putting money away. Sharing a flat, riding my bicycle everywhere and not eating at the restaurant more than 3 times a week was my masterplan (yep, the binge drinking replaced by eating good food, that’s what Paris does to you)

According to what I have read, budgetting can be very simple: £1000/1250€ per month and you’re sorted, once you’ve bought your long-haul flights. Countries where you’ll need less money (South East Asia, India) compared to where you’ll need more Australia) average out.

I’ve also had “fun” breaking it down to find out exactly how much I would need per country. This is where you need an Excel spreadsheet, a beer and a lot of spare time. I won’t bore you with the details, but basically it works out fine. What a relief.

Next up, planning where to go when. It’s not easy making sure you make the best of every place, travelling at the right period in the right place. I’ve chosen to leave in October for simple reasons, I could work the summer and make some money and give enough time for the guy I work with in Fontainebleau to find someone to take my place.

Actually, October/November/early December are good times to be in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. It will be mild, no rain and less European tourists than at other periods.
Then, Christmas in Australia. It has been my dream to be down under for Xmas, ever since Aunty Nan (who lives in the Blue Mountains, and I met when I was over in Australia back in 2001) described to me the feast she put on for her family, with the fresh fruit, the seafood, and going swimming when it just got too hot! I am also really happy that my parents will be joining be for Christmas and early January, so we’ll get to catch up, do touristy things and get on each others nerves 🙂

Once my parents have gone, I was initially thinking of going to the Northern Territory or Western Australia, but Lyne (who works on an Aboriginal community) tells me that January and February aren’t such good times to travel and stay there, as there is hurricane season… I am not sure what I’ll do yet, as there are other places I could go to (New Zealand?) flying from Australia for a couple of months, if it means making the most of the outback later.

And then it’s in a long time! But I am already thinking of where I’ll spend the later months, to avoid monsoon in SE Asia (and it’s many mosquitoes) but I hear that Fiji, Vanuatu, Micronesia, French Polynesia are all good places to be from May to October. So be it!

My plans are deliberately loose, my tickets are fully flexible at no cost, so I’ll just see what happens. Low cost companies are thriving, and despite rising fuel prices, it is still cheap to fly short distances.

Come what may.


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