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On The Road Again....

So, we are at it again. For those of you in fairly constant contact with us, this is no surprise, we've been thinking about our next trip since, well, our last one. This trip takes on a bit of a big significance for us, so allow me to explain.

Since January of 2011, we have been residing in San Francisco, CA, as travel nurses. We've not had a permanent job there, I've taken three contracts in that time, while Jess was able to extend her contract out. Two things happened in SF, though; first, we started to put down some roots, we made friends and began to have a real community around us for the first time since we started travel nursing back in 2008. Second, we just got tired of the constant packing up and moving that is the essence of travel nursing. That became very clear as we packed up and cleared out our apartment at the end of this past November, in what will hopefully be the last such packing of our home for awhile. I guess I'm trying to say, we were looking for a place to call more than just a temporary home, and we found in the most unlikely of places (in our minds at least) in San Francisco.

So now we are faced with the daunting reality of possibly being somewhat permanent, though we are really only looking at being in SF for about two years. Before, when we wanted to take off to travel, we simply finished a contract and didn't sign another. Now, I have taken on a permanent job (though per diem, which is an important difference to me), starting in the beginning of April. That means I'll have rules to follow, and I'll be expected to not take off for months at a time. I make no promises, but I plan on giving it an old timey shake. That means that this could be our last extended trip for a couple of years. I know, right? Shocking.

So, let me tell you a little something about our upcoming trip. This trip won't be like our last long-term trip, where we were out of the US for over six months. This one is a shorty, just three months or so. We have definitely had a change in focus from the Big One, which focused on visiting every continent and maximizing the number of countries we could fit in. This time we are spending much more time in countries, and will try to really maximize the experiences possible in each one.

First we will fly to Munich, Germany, where we will spend a week with a friend of ours and her family over the Christmas holiday. We'll take some short daytrips out of the city to surrounding sites, as well as a daytrip to Salzburg, Austria. A couple of days after Christmas we'll fly to Venice, where we will kick off the Italian leg of our trip, which should last about three weeks. We'll mostly stay in the areas around Florence and Rome. Then we plan on flying to Nepal for about the same time period, where we will try to get in a trek if possible. Yes, we do realize that all of this is taking place in the middle of winter, in countries that actually have a real winter. All in the flavor, I say.

We then will fly further east for the final leg of our trip. We might try to fit in a few South Pacific countries, say Papua New Guinea or American Samoa, or maybe the Cook Islands, though nothing has been determined about that yet. Our main focus will be New Zealand, where we want to spend no less than three weeks, ideally more like five weeks. There we also have friends that we are highly anticipating visiting, so it will be exciting for us.

And that is the short version of our plans. We've booked flights as far as Venice, and hostels through New Year's. Then we're winging it, as usual. I'll probably look at flights to Nepal in the next couple of days, but we've never been big on restrictions. We already have that time constraint of needing to be back in the US by mid-March, which feels already like it is breathing down my neck...

For those who were on this list during the Big One, and had received updates, I hope that you will stay with Jess and I as we head out again. If you'd like to be off the list, just send use the contact link to the top right of the main page to let me know. Likewise, for anyone wanting to be on the update list, please contact me using that link with your email address and I'll add you. For those I've just added, welcome, there is plenty to read back about, and I'll update our progress as we proceed. Jess is also blogging, on her blog about life in SF and in general:

The Whimsical Wandering Nurse Blog

Until next time, be safe.


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