Project Beans is taking shape and the countdown is on!

Today is exactly 3 months from my departure date… eep, excitement!!

At this point, stage two of Project Beans is well under way and as you may expect the plans have morphed a little and now has three phases.

Travel Phase 1

All booked, paid and locked in!!

I felt like I wasn’t quite ok to travel South America solo, so I booked two tours. The first tour explores the West Coast (Peru and Bolivia) and the other the East Coast (Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil). Some of the highlights of these tours include: The Amazon, hiking the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu, visiting the Salt Flats of Bolivia, mountain biking Death Road in Bolivia (not yet included but I will find a way to make it fit), staying on a ranch in Uruguay, visiting the Iguassu Falls and visiting Rio de Janeiro!!!
My friend CD and his friend Jen will also be coming along for the ride, which will be pretty awesome.

From South America I will hightail it to Istanbul, Turkey. I have a few days to myself before I will be joined by my mum and together we will do a quick whip around Turkey, the highlights of which will be Istanbul, Cappadocia and Pamukkale.

From there, we need to head straight to The Netherlands, to the beautiful little town of Sliedrecht for the wedding of my cousin. Apart from the obvious wedding excitement, it will be a great, but short, time to just chill out and enjoy my family’s company.

Travel Phase 2

P1080240 (Large)Together with a group of four others from the Department of Education Tasmania, I have been awarded a Hardie Fellowship to investigate best practices in STEM education. This means that we are paid to go on a study tour of the US. This includes visits to schools who are leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), a tour of Silicon Valley (OMG – nerd heaven!!!), a technology in education conference and then we each need to actually study at a university. I have to wait for the dates and course costs to be released, but at this stage I am hoping to do a course at MIT and another one at Stanford (double OMG – more nerd heaven!!!!)

The study tour is about 5-6 weeks, after which I hope to bump out my return dates so I can explore New York and Chicago; maybe even squish in a quick trip to Central America, before heading back to Europe. There’s also a few people I hope to catch up with while in the US.

Travel Phase 3

Once I am back in Europe my plan still includes exploring as much of Spain as humanly possible, walking El Camino de Santiago, learning Spanish, exploring Portugal and also Morocco. Lately I have also been thinking about throwing in a trip to Iceland, as I have heard great stories and seen amazing pictures.

Despite having some ideas of what I would like to do, phase 3 is currently completely unplanned and this is exciting!!!

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