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The past three months has been a Roller Coaster of Emotion dealing with various governments and their associated agencies, below are a few lessons I’ve learnt along the way when trying to plan a HUGE trip around a continent

  • When applying for a Visa, ensure that you read everything and double all documents submitted, It may just cost you your Visa
  • Perhaps reconsider telling the boss that you are absolutely sure you will get the visa and then resign and replace yourself before the confirmation letter that the visa has been accepted has been received
  • Make sure you have a good travel name, I am working on the the below two (i’ll decide what one to use when the trip begins):
    • The Abominable Jo-Man (pronounced Ho-Man)
    • Sanz-squatch
      • Both are winners, just not sure
  • Have a basic plan, know where you want to go, even if you don’t know how long you want to go for
  • When making any booking read all the fine print, Check if there is a cancellation fee. Accommodations are not afraid to collect cancellation fees. I’m talking to you UoT, 100% cancellation fee 3 months out seems a bit harsh
  • When making all your bookings for anything, be it accommodation, airplanes, trains, buses, goats or transfers, check times in and out. Can make the difference between spending a good amount time somewhere or not being to do anything at 4am but wait for your next connection
  • Check you have everything you are going to need, e.g. I didn’t think i would need a Go-pro, but you know what, I probably am (I bought one anyway, we’ll see if any footage comes from it)
  • Free WIFI, enough said. Why hasn’t Australia jumped on board with this, makes us seem like such tight-arses.
  • When booking accommodation, find yourself a good site to do the lot. It can make the difference between taking hours to look for a place to stay of minutes. Ultimately it should be hard I don’t think. (I used booking.com, they seem to really get it)
  • Booking planes in Mexico can be an adventure in language. I have a rudimentary understanding of Spanish which seemed to help a  lot. I was surprised how easy it was to translate
  • Look on most sites based in countries where English is not the main language e.g. Mexico, they generally have an English site which makes it a million times easier to book anything for an English Speaker
  • Don’t be afraid that because your name is Spanish that Spanish speakers will expect you to be able to converse with them, I’m sure they will understand that your understanding of the language is at a 3 year old’s level
  • Expect people to love the fact that you are going to Cuba, It seems to be the “it” place to travel at the moment. No other destination on my itinerary seems to have the same impact as Cuba
  • People will also ask for a cigar from Cuba, which is fine, but, despite all recent reports of easing of the restriction, all other advise seems to be to the contrary
  • Cuban Visas are easy to get in Australia, a quick visit to the Embassy in Canberra will result in courteous and immediate service. Apart from the drive was a pleasant experience
  • Take the chance to bid on an upgrade on your plane tickets, I bid the minimum a received the upgrade. Means i am travelling in comfort for half the usual price. Hopefully the return trip results in the same experience
  • I’m not sure whether having a plan for each destination will be good or bad. I’m hoping that by doing some rough planning and having a list of sights i’d like to see in each location will give me a chance at maximizing my time in each city. Although i do like the idea of just hitting a town and seeing what happens (I’m looking at you Havana, Toronto, Seattle and Flagstaff. run at me)
  • Don’t be afraid to travel hours out of way to see something really stupid. I will be standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona with fine sights to see (Eagles – Take it Easy, check it out)
  • Hope your dreams come true, I dreamed last night that i was going to be discovered in Hollywood, bound to happen to good looking bloke like me. Having said that I also had a dream that I was going to be Recruited by an NFL team. Perhaps I’m dreaming to high. Again, We’ll see
  • Make sure you say Fair Well to everyone and let them know your plans. Even though you may be travelling by yourself, you’ll have heaps of people by your side
  • Make mistakes in the booking process and then try and make the work. Here are my three:
    • I arrive at Cleveland at 3 am, I then need to board a train at 5 am. It will be short and sweet Cleveland (there is just enough time to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
    • My flight from Los Angeles to Mexico City leaves at 12:10 AM not pm. Going to be interesting getting myself motivated at 9 pm to be at the airport for the flight. Should have read the itinerary before purchasing the ticket i think (Means I have time to see Mexico City)
    • I made accommodation bookings for May instead of March, I saw a month and assumed because it starts M it was the right one
  • Pack for everything, Travelling from the tropics to the Arctic posses all sorts of issues, pack for it all even if you have to wear three jumpers from Sydney to stay under the luggage allowance
  • Set a couple of unrealistic goals, mine is to get to Greenland. A this time of year it is nearly impossible without either a team of dogs and sleigh or a pile of money. I’m not sure how i will achieve this one but i’ll make it work #GetToGreenland If anyone has a pile of money they aren’t using let know, I promise a full report on the goings on in Greenland
  • Most importantly of all expect to enjoy your trip. I believe that you get what you want, If you want a bad time, you’ll find it. That doesn’t mean that bad things wont happen, but they shouldn’t get you down because you’ll make it work
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