Intel provides a Sabbatical, 8 weeks of paid vacation, for every seven years of service. I hit seven years on October 31st, 2012 and I've been preparing to take my trip for a while now. I was able to find an opportunity to do some volunteer work at the Ikh Nart research camp in Mongolia and I scheduled my sabbatical and trip around this chance.
My sabbatical starts on Saturday, April 6th 2013 and continues through Sunday, June 2nd. I'm still finalizing plans for my entire trip but this is my current plan:
- April 7th - Fly to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The flight takes 24 hours plus Mongolia is 14 hours ahead of Denver so I'll arrive late on Monday
- April 8th - Arrive in Ulaanbaatar.
- April 9th - Prepare for my trip to Ikh Nart. I need to check in with the government and do a bunch of shopping for food. The research camp is very remote so I have to be fully ready before I leave.
- April 10th - Travel to Ikh Nart. This is apparently a 7+ hour drive or a 6 hour train ride.
- April 10th - May 1st - Living at Ikh Nart. My goals are to build and prepare the camp for research season and to help out the few research teams that are currently using the camp (Vulture nest counting and Argali sheep tagging).
- May 1st - Travel back to Ulaanbaatar
- May 2nd - May 8th - Sightsee in and around Ulaanbaatar and hang out with the Mongolia Conservation Council to improve their English.
- May 8th - Take a redeye flight to Incheon, South Korea
- May 9th - May 13th - Stay in Seoul, South Korea and do tourist stuff
- May 13th - Take the KTX bullet train to Busan, South Korea
- May 13th - May 15th - Stay in Busan, South Korea and do tourist stuff
- May 16th - Ride the KTX train back to Seoul, take a train to Incheon Airport, and fly back to Denver. Because of the time difference I will land in Denver "before" I left Korea.