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Around the world in eighty months

12/12/2007

PHOTO GALLERY

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In the control tower, talk turns, as it often does, of where to send the boat, and how. "What does 'around the world' really mean?" McBride asks. "It's a big world out there."

Fischer outlines a preliminary itinerary for McBride. Start in January, head to the Galapagos, go northwest to Honolulu, swing through the Johnston Atoll and Marshall Islands on the way down to Tonga, Vanuatu, and Fiji, then maybe hit New Caledonia on the way to Auckland, the commercial center of New Zealand. "I think we should hang out there for a year," Fischer tells him. "And learn how to fish."

"I've been thinking about going to New Zealand since I was about 5 years old," McBride says.

"You know that feeling you get when you go to a place for a first time?" he asks Fischer at one point. "And it's like, 'What do I expect? Are the people friendly? What's going to go on?' And then you go back somewhere on vacation and you're back in that comfort zone, you're in that bubble again.

"We're never going to have that. Every place we go is going to be, 'How's it going to be when we get there?' That feeling of not knowing what you're up for is going to be everyday life for us. For seven years."

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