Posts archived in Planning

I started this blog back in February 2006 when I was getting ready to go to Europe for about seven weeks.

Now, coming up six years later – I’m planning to do something like it again.
This time I’ll be travelling with one of my Uncles (Mitch).

When and Where are we going? Not sure yet – we’re just throwing around some ideas.
How long for? Also not sure, but at this stage thinking something like four weeks. We spent about three weeks in NZ in 2010.
What do we want to do? Well, neither of us are really drinkers or party goers – but we both like food, and music, and things like that.

Not sure if how we’ll divide up the time either – I’m not keen on spending all our time in one country – I’d like to travel around a bit. Car or Bus or something is possible.

Current destination countries/ideas being tossed up:
* Vietnam
* Spain (apparently this is where the slow food movement started?)
* Canada (The great lakes, and forests look like particularly nice places)
* Italy (Tuscany I’d really love to go back to)
* Norway
* Denmark
* Iceland (Volcanoes and Fjords together – But this is probably an impossibility given cost of flights/etc)

If you had four weeks off work next year (say Mid-spring to Mid-Autumn) and a modest budget – where would you go, what would you see, and why?

(PLEASE NOTE: This information was gathered by me, from – accuracy and currency is not guaranteed, so please check their site directly for the latest information)

Possible Working Visas I might be elligible for:

Working Holiday Maker

This is meant for people who are working incidentally in the UK, to support their holiday for up to 24 months.

Key Points:

  • Cannot work for more than 12 months during the Holiday.
  • Cannot re-apply for this at the end of the Holiday.
  • Must intend to leave at the end of the holiday.
  • Only for use as a support to holidaying in the UK (i.e you’re not travelling specificly to work in the UK)
  • Available to Commonwealth citizens aged 17-30.  (Not 26, as I had been informed by others)
  • You must get a Visa prior to travelling to the UK.

Highly Skilled Migrants Programme

This is meant for people who are highly skilled, to travel to the UK to work for up to 24 months.  Cost is £315 to apply – about AUD$776 at the moment. (No refunds if you don’t succeed).

Key Points:

  • Initial Work Permit limit of 24 months, however this can be extended and you may get granted up to a further three years’ leave.
  • If you live in the UK continously for five years, you can make application for Indefinite leave to remain.
  • Takes between 5-14 Weeks (typically) to process.
  • Must apply for Entry Clearance (Visa?) at a British Embasy (in Australia) within 6 Months from the date of your Approval letter.

Forms, and Guidance information are available over on their “All Forms” page.

Not able to cram that sleeping bag, back in that tiny bag it came in?
You did pay attention to how it was originally folded and rolled up, right? And you’re rolliing it as tightly as you can…
Still not getting anywhere?

Well… Stuff it then.

No, really … Just jam it in there. Foot-end first, cram it in bit by bit.

It’s completely counter to what i’ve been taught growing up — you know: don’t force it, take it slowly and try to get it back the way it was originally.

Thanks to the guys at mountain designs, I can now put the sleeping bag on the outside of my backpack, instead of it taking up a whole section inside.

Btw: excluding the daypack, my backpack should come in under the weight limit nicely. A rough esta-magation with the bathroom scales puts it at about 15KG.

Anyhow, bed. Or, rather – sleep, since i’m in bed ;)

Well, I don’t think I’ll be bored flying to England…

This Months Movies include The Chronicles of Narnia (#1), and Syriana – both of which I’ve been wanting to see.

Next Month they’ve got Match Point, another one I’ve been wanting to see…

Should be good :)

There’s just three working days left (since Tuesday is ANZAC Day) before I fly out.

I should have some interim cash for England (GBP) and Singapore (SGD) in on Wednesday.

I’m doing a test-pack of my stuff tomorrow.

Need to get a few final things at Mountain Designs:
– Luggage locks (3x – I actually picked them up on Saturday but uhh… they wern’t in the bag when I got home – checking the reciept, I didn’t pay for them either, weird)

– Get the big backpack fitted at MDs on Wednesday (with all my gear in it)

Other things I still havn’t gotten for going away:
– Toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
– Mini-sewing kit.
– Sandles/something light to wear, or a spare pair of joggers.

Oh, picked up my accomodation and transfers info for the Singapore stopover, and the Kumuka info.

On that note — Kumuka must be cost cutting. Not only don’t they send out any sort of ticket/docket/whatever – they only send a rather low-quality document with (basicly): Reference Number, the Date of issue and departure, and a note to say when the pre-departure meeting is. C’mon – put _some_ effort into it guys.

On top of all this – another group at work which will remain nameless have decided they want to move from their shiny new offices to the building I’m in at work. As a result, I’m being kicked out of my current spot to make room for the offices they’re putting in. Fantastic.

Got my packpack Today, and the camera + all my accessories fit in the daypack (yay!) – so I can easily pull them back out again and put them in the main pack for the flight.

Actually testing the daypack for the Scrams Golf Day thing tomorrow (I’m the photographer) — it’ll have almost all my camera gear in it — it’s actually quite small considering.

Getting that damn backpack and stuff tomorrow (Saturday) :)

Just reading the Homeward Bound entry on the “I am a Japanese Schoolteacher” blog-ish site, and thought this was great:

I flew from Kansai International Airport in Osaka to Los Angeles, then to San Francisco. After arriving in Los Angeles after going though the lengthy process in customs, I had to get my checked in baggage, then take it BACK to security to have it checked in again. Then I had to go through security yet again. It’s crazy. I remember when I took my vacation in Singapore, the security process went a little something like…

Agent: So, are you a terrorist?
Me: Hmm…probably not. I wasn’t one yesterday.
Agent: Okay, cool. You can pass.

If the above is true, I shouldn’t have any troubles at all in Singapore :)

So people can see what I’m up to whilst on Holidays, I’m trying to integrate WordPress with some sort of iCal reading plugin.

At the moment, I’m trying out the iCal Events Plugin.

Here’s hoping.

BTW: Google Calendar has launched, for those of you with Google Accounts. It’s… interesting. It’s actually the source of the calendar data for here, since Kiko doesn’t support feeding as iCal, and I cbf’ed learning how to do XML DOM fiddling in php.

Yeah, it’s nearly 20 days left… now I’m starting to get nervous.

Speaking of time, someone on whirlpool recommended Timeline Gifts.
Their site isn’t exactly going to be winning any awards for excellence in design or implementation, but the price seems right – and, most importantly, they’ve got the kind of watch I’ve been looking for.

I’m probably going to order the CASIO W-753D-1A (second one on that page – the one with the stainless steel band and body). At SGD$45 (~AUD$38) it’s sufficiently cheap to take on holidays and not have to panic about it getting nicked.

Once I’m back, and depending on if the previous one broke/got nicked, I might look at getting one of the Sea Pathfinder series.

In other news… checked out backpacks at Mountain Design on Friday, currently waiting on “Josh” to call me back to find out whether they can order in the backpack (and sleeping bag) I wanted.