I've been thinking recently about the difference between this trip coming up and the last major trip we planned. Last time my friends and I had a scheme to travel was about a year and a half ago, when we decided on the adventure of travelling to the East Coast. We took about four months to plan that one (well, honestly, we had only 3 meetings, lots of emails, and did most of the work within a month... but that's how long we had to plan it). That was for a two week, non-stop trip. Now, we decide to circumvent the world in the course of 11 months, give ourselves only 5 months to plan it, and half-way through that decide to change things around and add volunteering to the India portion, making it the first rather than the third country.
I must say, I never realized the amount of paperwork that would be involved in a trip like this! I suppose the decision to take our profession to Australia really makes the biggest difference with paperwork. But STILL! It gets so you just don't care anymore some days. Right now, paperwork is first priority (getting appropriate visas etc.), then flights/travel arrangements, then accomodations.
I feel a little bad for our travel agent, though she has been paid a fee already, so I don't feel all that bad. It's just that I seem to keep giving her just enough time to figure everything out, then I throw a new spin on things and she has to re-start. :D That's what happens when there's a group of people who rarely meet to discuss things, but rather keep sending emails with new ideas and information. I need to talk to both of my India buddies, and then talk to the travel agent, because I think we're about to switch things around again... hehehe. I hope that's the last time, the longer this takes the less deals we'll get through the airlines. At the same time, I'd much rather sort out all the details before we go, and not have any issues while we're there. Especially in India. One of the possible changes is our flight out, since we want to make sure no one is left alone in the airport in Kolkatta (which is notorius for late flights, and is very remote from the city, thus dangerous for a lone female), we will make certain we're all departing on the same flight.
Anyways, with a day off, it's time to start moving some more paperwork on to it's final destination.