Right. So. It's been formally agreed. I'm staying at work here until the end of October. It turned out to be easier to get an extension for my work permit than I'd thought, so I figured it'd be good if I racked up at least two full years here. We tacked on an extra couple months, 'cause some equipment has just arrived, and those extra two months may be productive for me. So, it's been agreed, and the people in lab know and our collaborators in other labs know.
Now, here's my Plan. I finish end of October, and instead of starting another job right away, why not spend some time travelling? I always feel vaguely guilty taking large chunks of vacation time while I'm working, even if I'm entitled. Plus, this way, I can go for as long as I have money, instead of being constrained by my 23 vacation days. Not that money's going to last longer than 23 days, mind.
Anyway, so I figure a couple months. Where? Well, November and December are miserable and wintery here, so the perfect time for the southern hemisphere. I'd always wanted to go down there, but the flights are so damn long that it's not worth it for shorter trips, so two months seems like it'd be great. I'm thinking Hong Kong, Vietnam, New Zealand, and maybe Australia. I was thinking two weeks in each, unless I skip Australia, in which case, three weeks in each. I don't plan to do much travelling once I get to each place. I think I want to rent a place for a week each or so, see the sights in a leisurely way, and spend most of my afternoons lying around drinking foofy pastel-coloured drinks and reading. Also eating. Lots and lots of eating. I may have accommodation with a friend in Hong Kong, which would be great. In New Zealand, I think I may want to do a camping/hiking trip. But that would mean buying camping equipment, and carrying it around. Hmm...maybe I can rent them once I get there?
The big question is: how much money is this going to cost? I'm over the hostel thing, so I'm not staying at the most basic budget accommodation anymore. It'll have to be a level above shared bathrooms and drunk 19-year-old Australians coming back into the room reeking of smoke at 3 in the morning. If I have a free place in Hong Kong, that would be great, as it's an expensive city. If I don't have a place to stay in HK, then I might stay less time there and more in Vietnam, where it's cheaper. I might also skip Australia altogether and spend more time in New Zealand, where it may be slightly cheaper with the camping and such.
The upshot is that I'm supposed to be saving money these next few months. I think my plan is to not do any travelling outside of Ireland until November, and I'm cutting down my restaurant-going to once a week. These things are good anyway, because the first gives me a perfect excuse to see more of Ireland before I leave it, and the second means I can look up restaurants I like and can book ahead rather than going to just any old place, or Yamamori yet again, because I'm hungry and can't be bothered to go home and cook. The third prong of attack in my money-saving scheme is to start bringing lunch into work more often (or at all, actually), but I'm not sure how that's going to work out. Let's be realistic here, I'm still a lazy cow.
Yay! I'm so excited.