When Life becomes a full-time job - 'Do nothing' has never really been part of our vocabulary. So, even as we sit here on Legian Beach in Seminyak, Bali, we've compiled a list of the main things we want to do during our six-month trip.
Obviously, important tasks of this week like 'drink a lot of beer', 'have lots of cheap massages on the beach' and 'find a bar showing the FA Cup Final' don't count. If nothing else, the list will stop Nicola from just wanting to sunbathe and James from worrying that we're not achieving enough. Our aim is for a mix of 'Carpe Diem' and 'Manana'.
So here's the list of our top six. It would be great to hear your thoughts or additions, especially if you've been anywhere on our planned itinerary. [and Pettersens, no I don't mean that Mumbai half-marathon, Nic]
1. Climb every mountain and volcano we come across: from the sweaty jungle-covered Gunung Rinjani next week to the rather chillier Mount Everest in October.
2. Get better at old activities (surfing, diving, horse riding) and learn some new ones, especially photogrophy. Note the subtle lighting, perspective and good use of shutter speed on this blog entry photo.
3. Get seriously off the tourist trail: impossible to do in Bali and impossible not to do in the depths of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
4. No parlo Americano: learn the basics of each language. Selamat pagi!
5. Give something back: via a stint of volunteering, probably in Nepal. James wants to spread his footballing skills around the world. Nicola isn't allowed to work in an orphanage as she'll post all the babies home!
6. Chill out: finally, thank goodness (this list was a top 5 until Nicola added this one).
PS: Three days in and we did indeed drink lots of cheap beer, get a cheap massage on the beach and watch the FA Cup final. We also met an Indonesian lady called Mary who was desperate to give James a mani-pedi...
PPS: Next stop is Padangbai (east coast of Bali) to catch a boat out to the Gili Islands. On the Gilis, we shall be partaking in an advanced PADI course with night, drift and wreck diving. All absolutely Nicola's cuppa...