Aaaand we're going to have to set the America trip back a couple of months, maybe to March 2010, as Joe has to pay off his camera and laptop before he starts saving for it. But this could be good, anyway - the weather will be less severe in March, so less possibility of delayed flights, and airfares will be cheaper because we won't be flying anytime around Christmas. That's quite a few benefits in return for a couple of months worth of patience.
I'm going to have no trouble saving up at all, so I'll probably think about taking another small excursion for myself sometime this year... not sure where yet, but I can't see myself waiting an entire year without travelling somewhere. Ideas? I could always do the Vanuatu thing for the volcanos... poking around I'm finding a number of different approaches, from full-on 5-day hikes with an Australian vulcanologist to more standard 4WD tours with stopoffs in villages, overnight stays and evening walks up to the volcano. The Vanuatu volcanos are near-constantly active but I think there's times of the year when they're at their peak.
If I do this - or even if I do something else - I'll probably aim to make it a week-long trip. Would like to rustle up a travelling buddy... I'm tired of travelling alone.