Even a well-seasoned traveller like myself hates the stupid paperwork and nitty gritty I have to go through before leaving the country. Last week, I finally got my passport back from the Passport Agency, who had it for 4 weeks! I had to have more pages sewn in since all my passport pages were full.
Now the Syrian Embassy in Washington has my passport - and I'm patiently waiting for them to grant me a tourist visa. Once, I used a visa agency to help me get my Russian Visa, it was denied by the Russian embassy and 3 counsulates before it was finally approved and I got it back 2 days before I left the country!
I'm hoping to spend under $7,000 for the entire 2-month trek. I've already spent about $1400 on the plane tickets and another $3,000 on the 3 different organized tours I'm going on. That leaves about $2,500 for me when I'm abroad. I'm told the region is very cheap once I get there, and I really hope that's true.
Other problems for such a long trip are managing finances while I'm away. I had to make sure to do auto-pay for all my credit card bills. I'm also trying to sublet my bedroom while I'm away to help finance the trip and minimize expenses .... if you know anyone who needs a furnished place for August and September, pass on my information :)