The 5 week thing is kind of a multi-part answer. First off, I am currently unemployed. I won't be taking any time off work. I am starting my first full-time job (not just a four month term, but 'indefinite') as a geologist at the beginning of May. I won't be able to take an extended period of time off like this ever again likely, so I'm going to live it up now while I can!
Tuesday Elif and I are flying out of Calgary to Toronto, and then hopping a flight to Munich, Germany. We'll be in Munich for a few days, and then we're going through Plzen in the Czech Republic to Prague, where we'll likely do a trip out to Kutna Hora and the Bone church!
, then, we're going to catch some operas in Vienna, Austria (haha) before heading to Budapest, Hungary. We'll fly out of Budapest into Istanbul, Turkey, be there for a few days, and then meet up with Elif's mother in Ankara. After that, we're driving down to Cappadocia and staying in some caves for a few days, before we head out to the Aegean coast and spend two weeks in Izmir, Urla, Kusadesi, and maybe a couple other places. After that we're going to drive back up to Istanbul and fly back through Munich and London before getting home! Total: 37-38 days.
Now, as to how I'm affording this: I have a wee bit of money kicking around, (enough to cover planes, trains, food, and beer) but not nearly enough to pay for all of this! Luckily, both of my parents helped me out with a bit of cash for my birthday, and my mother had a surplus of hotel points kicking around. Most of my hotels in Europe got covered by some points (and Elif and I paid for a few), and for two out of the three weeks we're in Turkey we'll be staying with Elif's family! On top of this, I'll be coming home to a new career!
All in all, this has been several months in the making, and I'm extremely excited to get going! This may make paying for 70K 2012 a litte difficult, but I'm sure I'll manage somehow.