I know that the last time I promised to write something within a week, however it took somewhat longer to find a good appointment for discussing any possibilities for graduation, work and travel. It was only this last Monday that we had a clear discussion of possibilities and opportunities.
With a more constructive planning for my thesis at the moment, the estimation of time it takes to graduate is also a bit more solid. However, I do still depend on my graduation committee to grant me a green light for graduation, thus it isn't that fixed. Currently my aim is to get about a chapter of my thesis done by the beginning of each week (a couple of chapters require two weeks), and working my way through all 6 chapters in logical order. It would mean that by the end of August my thesis would be completed, and can be discussed for another round of "go/no go". In the meantime it is important to keep all people in my committee involved, and provide a founded discussion based on my results. Meeting with them every few weeks would be a good start, however I wonder how that pans out with the summer-holiday in between.
On the other hand I have been given another work-related project to lose myself in from September 1st, that has a hard deadline on December 1st. So, if my thesis-planning really works the first half of September is quite busy, but then I would have my Master's title and a great project for a couple of months.
No, this doesn't mean that I am cancelling my trip to New Zealand, I am postponing it until January. Yesterday evening I arranged my travelplans with a departure on January 4th, 2010 and a return flight on March 7th. This also included a change in flying route, now going from Schiphol to Auckland via Shanghai, instead of Kuala Lumpur. The return flight does take me via Kuala Lumpur, so I will not only visit New Zealand but also the Chinese Republic and Malaysia, however I guess that I won't see much more than the airport terminals.
Yeah, I know, initially my flight was planned for January 6th, 2009, that allowed me to meet up with the rest of the family who were in NZ at that moment... however, cycling in winter was maybe also not the best option. I guess that there are a bit more people on the different campgrounds during the summer, and that the roads are somewhat more accessible for a recumbent cyclist :p. As I am still somebody who does like some grand weather, such as storms, rain, and snow, I will be looking for that on the South Island's west coast and the Southern Alps :). Even thinking about going on a alpine crossing through the snowcapped Southern Alps... makes some nice pictures!