The Adventure Continues: 12 Places I'm Heading Next.
Today marks precisely four months (123 days to be exact) since I left home on a plane bound for Europe. Up to this point my trip has been planned out almost to the day. Friends were often coming and going, the tickets were bought, the schedules set. Four months in and I'm now transitioning to a time of open-ended wandering, connecting the dots between friends scattered around the world. I'm following my inner compass, always with an ear to the places which draw me, while giving free reign to the Spirit's joyful, life-giving, and sometimes playful leadings.
Here's my upcoming travel schedule. Always open to revisions (and suggestions!).
-Taize again. Late July. I never thought I'd find a place that could compete with my desire to be in the Alps, but it has happened. I'm so, so, so excited to be heading back here after my sister and I visited in April. This time I'm doing a week in silence and then likely staying a bit longer to overlap with my friend Dan (who was one of the San Francisco Camino walkers).
-Swiss National Day. August 1st. Switzerland & fireworks.
-The prelude is over, time to get serious about hiking in the Alps. And by serious I mean wandering to my heart's content amongst scenery of the highest order. The trick will be doing it in a way that doesn't break the bank in this very pricey country--$15 kebab sandwich anyone? (These are $4-6 in other parts of Europe) Luckily I have a tent. Haute Route (10-12 days) and Berner Oberland (12 days or so)
-Train to Zagreb, Croatia and see an old friend from college. He met a beautiful woman while on a Cru summer mission trip to Croatia and decided to stay.
-Train to Budapest and stay with some friends I met while walking the Camino.
-Train to Istanbul via an underdetermined course (maybe Bucharest). Crashing with my friend Alper from my freshman dorm. This promises to be a fun time of catching up and exploring a city I've long wanted to visit! Also planning on getting my Indian visa while here. Keep your fingers crossed as this can be a tricky process.
Egypt. Seems too unstable right now, so Im crossing this off the list for now...
-Jerusalem!? I suppose it was only a matter of time before this self-proclaimed pilgrim made it to this holiest of cities. Anyone know somewhere cheap to stay? I'm still up in the air about visiting, not because I don't want to go, but because it seems overwhelming with so much to see. Maybe save this for trip in itself? Maybe just go while I can?
-Dubai for a few days en route to Nepal. Staying with a friend I met at L'Abri who teaches at an American school there.
-Nepal in time for trekking. My mountain obsession (bliss?) continues. Hiking season ends by late October. Deciding between Annapurna circuit and the trek to Everest Base Camp. Is both crazy?
-Bangladesh to see where my parents lived for three years before I was born. Trying to get my dad to join. Dad?
-India. Visiting friends in Chennai. Take a travel break and be in one spot for a bit. Gear up for more of India. Eat spicy food.
-By this point it will likely be November. I'm aiming to be home by early January at the latest. What to do with the rest of my time? The Wish List below is a brainstorm of places I'd love to get to, not at declaration of intent in actually going this trip.
Where I end up will be more controlled more by the price of plane tickets, my mood at time, what friends are where, and whatever new options I discover in the meantime. Maybe I can lay over in a couple of these places and spend a longer period in a couple more.
Uganda. (Made a great new friend from Uganda while on Iona) Burma. (A flight attendant I once talked to said it was his favorite place ever) Eating in Singapore. (I was once here for 24 hours. One of the best places in the world to eat well and cheaply) Eating in Thailand. Eating in Hong Kong. (I love this city. I'd go back in a second.) Eating in Korea. Do you see a theme here? A beach somewhere cheap and pretty. Swimming with whales. Australia. Somewhere to write with a view of the mountains out my window. Tokyo and visiting the largest and most famous fish market in the world before it moves location in 2014. Hawaii.
Any places you think I should consider?