As things are shaping up, about a month from now will be my last International travel for some time (with the baby due mid-October), so why not do it over the top?  Or around the bottom, as the case were.  

I'll be headed to the Southern Hemisphere...first for a week in South Africa (August 16-21), and then a few days in Australia (August 23 to 26).  The South Africa itinerary is still being built, with discussions in process with two business partners about events or other opportunities to work with them during the visit.  In Australia, it looks like I'll host the usual user group activities in Sydney and Melbourne, along with the keynote speech at Lotus Technical University 2009 in Melbourne.  For those considering that event, I promise I'll be the least-technical session on what is a jam-packed agenda -- over 30 subject-matter experts covering Lotus Notes/Domino, WebSphere Portal, and the other Lotus brand products.

Image:August in Africa and Australia (updated)

When the trip wraps up, I have the crazy routing of re-living August 26 by flying from Melbourne to Honolulu (via Sydney), arriving at 9-ish in the morning, then taking a 4:30 PM flight from there to Chicago.  If all goes well, I'll land here again on Thursday the 27th around 5 AM, then head into the city for the Midwest Lotus Users Group 2009 conference.

August also features the two-day IamLUG in St. Louis and a few days of vacation...so in total, my travel calendar for the month is booked.  Looks like I will be loading up the kindle for all those economy-class butt-in-seat miles...the flight from JFK to Johannesburg is almost 8000 nautical miles, which I think will make it the longest flight of any kind I've ever taken.  Yikes.  I've never been to South Africa, so I am looking forward to my first visit to that market!

UPDATE 20 July: It looks like I will be going straight down under, rather than a visit to South Africa this time around.  The first visit will have to wait until another time!

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