Big Trip #2

I consider my first big trip to be my solo jaunt around Australia in January 2005.  I talk about that trip a lot, because I think it is one of the most memorable things I have done.  More than 7 years in the past, but I still remember all of it.  That was 3 weeks in Melbourne, Alice Springs, Cairns, and Sydney, after a few days in Tahiti and Moorea.  It was planned hastily, because of short notice that I was to be included on a research cruise across half the Pacific Ocean.  As a result, I ended up leaving Melbourne the day before the Australian Open, otherwise, everything was timed near perfectly.

For the next trip, my original intention was to spend around a month moving through Europe, with Christmas in Germany (I’ve heard of impressive seasonal decorations) or Rome (specifically near Vatican City), and New Year’s Eve in London (to hear Big Ben at midnight).  Other considerations and timing restrictions have changed the original plan into the current 24-day solo trip that will take me through London, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Stockholm, and the Ice Hotel.  The cheapest flight plan has me passing through London four times.  All flights have been booked.  All accommodations, except for the last leg, are booked, in case some people have time to meet and I need to go to them instead.

Being on the move so much means I’ll try to travel without a notebook computer.  I’ve used one on previous trips through Australia, London, Panama City, Toronto, and more, to offload photos and use the internet.  But that was easier because I could leave it back at base (hotel/house).  I’ll be spending no more than four days in any city, so I won’t want to have to keep packing and unpacking it.  It also adds weight and takes up space in carry-on luggage.  Without it, I know I can get through this whole trip with just a carry-on duffel bag, but I like the backpack to protect and carry stuff when walking around or on tours (camera, extra clothes layer, water/snacks, souvenirs, etc.).  Drawback to a backpack is that it increases the chance that someone thinks you are a tourist and possible target of theft.  I could upgrade to one of those carry-on roller bags that hit the size limit, though I dislike the way the wheels add weight and bulk and reduce internal space with the handle frame.

This is already an expensive trip, and the announcement of the Canon 6D adds a financial challenge.  I’m mostly happy with my Canon T1i/500D, but a full frame DSLR would mean I wouldn’t feel the need to upgrade for a long time.  The weatherproofed body should be more resilient in freezing temperatures, and the better sensor and lens should mean better chances of photographing the aurora in Sweden.  The onboard GPS means I can geotag every photo without an additional GPS data logger, and the built-in wifi means I can upload photos through my phone to the cloud as my backup plan.  I also need this camera to be released before my trip.  I could get by with by current one, but I wouldn’t like having this camera and no big trip to use it.

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