That's the usual question you will get when you're leaving for a RWT as well as your destinations of course ;-) It's not to "find myself", neither "to look for a new goal in life"... None of these theoretical ideas. It's just because I think that it's the right time before being involved too much in my work and also because since my expedition in Argentina, to the Mercedario, I started to dream again about long ... long ... long vacations. And also because I wanted to do something big for special birthday this year...
I want to take time to explore new countries and new cultures/people, also to do more photography, as well as sports of course. Last year, when I decided to go for it (definitively) I thought about all the countries I wish to visit and the time I would like to spend there. I ended up with a \~30 months trip and I realized it was really too much (even though some people would say it isn't). I kept the countries I wanted to visit absolutely and tried to fit them in a 12 months slot. The first one, and obvious, was Nepal. Just a few weeks after Argentina, we started to speak with Gilles about our next adventure in the high mountains. I also thought to go for a 8000 summit, but I found it too expensive for the result. It will enjoy much more a full year of different adventures, than just a couple of weeks in the mountains.
Then Thailand, to do all my PADI diving certificates. I've done many dives, but I never took more than one day during my holidays for that, so I never did any certification. Since I'm going to spend most of my time surrounded by the sea, and it won't be always windy as I want ;-), diving will be a really good alternative, specially in the Pacific Ocean. With 1 month in Thailand and 2 weeks for diving, I should have my PADIs and might be bored by living like a fish every day... After that it will be time to spend some time in the North, to see the other part of Thailand.
And New-Zealand! Oh yes, I'm so excited to go there to spend (at least) 4.5 months on these islands that everyone told me to be wonderful. I already have my extended visa to stay longer than 3 months. I need to send my kitesurf gears to some friends. The plan is to buy a camper-van, which will be my little home during those months. The latest news is that I will have the visit of my 9 months old godson with my sister & her husband for the first 3 weeks, to spend Christmas & New-Year with them on the beach!!! :-)
From New-Zealand, I didn't plan when I will be leaving. I just know that I have my RWT flight ticket to go to the next destinations, but I can change the dates as I want, so ... no stress ! Take time & enjoy!
So stay tuned with my website (and the RSS feed for the geeks who knows what it is) and don't blame me if you can't work after viewing the pictures I will put on the website ... it's one of my goal ... to make you jealous and dream about other places in the world :-)