Friends have been asking me lately when my trip is going to be. And right now, I don’t have a good answer for them. I haven’t been on a commercial flight since October. I haven’t left the state since December. And I don’t have any solid travel plans until July.

Some of the slowdown has been due to things like visiting family and friends for the holidays. Work also got very busy for me as I was covering for other co-workers going out of town, plus I had exhausted all my vacation time by the end of the year.

Having a break in travel is not a completely bad thing. I’m using this time to prepare for some upcoming trips. In July, I’m going to Kenya on behalf of an organization called Food for the Hungry. This trip is the most logistically challenging trip I’ve taken so far.The trip involves going into a small village in a remote part of the country and dealing with hazards like various tropical diseases and no modern facilities. Just getting there will take two days and involve 4 connections on 3 continents with a landing on a dirt strip and a 45-minute drive along a very bumpy road. Not only do I need to obtain documents like a visa and a yellowfever card, I need to get immunized for everything from hepatitis A to tetanus. Staying put for a little while also makes it much easier to arrange things like visiting doctors and travel clinics or mailing out my passport for a visa.

Besides planning for that trip, I’m also taking advantage of a deal from Chase where they offered a 100,000 mile sign-up bonus for their British Airways card (unfortunately, this deal is no longer available). Normally, BA miles wouldn’t do me much good. But 100,000 of them is enough to book a business class seat to almost anywhere in the Western Hemisphere and Europe. One of the award possibilities that has caught my eye is booking a round trip on LAN Chile to Easter Island. I haven’t been to South America yet and Easter Island is one of those fun exotic places that people know about but few ever go to. Once the miles hit my account I’ll see what I can actually book.

I’m not letting my lack of solid travel plans get me down. I’ve been meeting my goal of getting out of town and going somewhere new each month by doing things like a beach weekend at Melbourne or visiting the heavily Greek-influenced town of Tarpon Springs for dinner. In March I’ll be making my annual trip up to Tallahassee to speak with state senators and representatives on behalf of the Girl Scouts. Plus some friends and I are planning some quirky trips like camping, a night in a pirate hostel and a trip to track down some turducken in South Florida.

So I might not be running out of town every other weekend like I was doing last fall, but there are definitely some fun trips ahead for me.

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