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Joe's Travels

First-steps

USA | Tuesday, 3 April 2007 | Views [450] | Comments [1]

I've been planning this trip for a really long time. In a lot of ways the idea came to me about 2 summers ago. I'd just gotten back from my semester abroad in Europe and had been able to do a lot of travelling, particularly in the central part of the continent. After returning to the US hardly a week passed before I was ready to go again. I was fortunate to have a few other trips with my dad, but the urge to really get out there stuck with me.

I've always enjoyed planning out hypothetical trips. I've got one through Central America, another in South-East Asia, and a few through different parts of Africa. However, the mother of all these trips and the one that I focused most upon was through Asia. I had planned a large (very large) circle starting and ending in Istanbul. It would start across Turkey and the Caucasus to the 'Stans, India, up into China and SE Asia, and then up to Bejing for the Trans-Mongolian, before finishing with a jaunt down eastern Europe back to Istanbul. Talk about epic. Obviously, this trip is a pipe-dream that would require a bare minimum of a year to do it any justice.

My girlfriend Emily left in January for a semester abroad in Berlin. Two of the biggest things in my life right now are her and this trip and combining them was a dream of mine. For me, there is nothing in my mind more romantic than discovering the world with someone that you love. As we won't have seen each other in nearly 5 months, I wanted to see her as soon as possible. We both wanted to travel together and she really wanted to go to Ireland. I thought this was an amazing idea and bought a one-way ticket to Dublin as soon as I possibly could. I leave May 13th and that is when this trip really begins.

I forced a compromise out of her (it was very easily done) and we agreed to spend 3 weeks in Ireland and the next 5 in the Balkan peninsula. This is an area that I am extremely interested in ever since getting a small taste of what Croatia and Slovenia had to offer on a previous trip. We bought one way tickets from Dublin to Pula, Croatia for the beginning of June with the goal of reaching Istanbul by July 11th, when Emily flies back home via Berlin.

After Emily leaves I'm not sure what I will do. That has been where most of planning has taken place and over and over again I've changed my mind. The next post will hopefully provide a bit of clarification on just where that'll be.

First off, I will describe what I do know before finalizing this post. As I said I have a plane ticket to Dublin on May 13th. I arrive at 530 in the morning of the 14th and Emily arrives around 10am that same morning. From there we have booked our first two nights at a B&B near the monastic ruins in Glendalough. Since we've been apart for so long we've decided to pamper ourselves in a nice place, but there won't be much more of this as the trip wears on. We'll pick up some provisions and do a bit of sight-seeing that first morning in Dublin before catching a late bus to the town that our room is in.

From there, we know that we'll fly to Croatia on June 5th. Our plan is to spend about 10-12 days in Croatia with about a week of that on one or more of the islands. Then we want to hit the cities of Sarajevo and Belgrade while potentially visiting Transylvania and parts of Bulgaria. However, nothing here is firm.

I recently got an Irish passport, so once I get to Turkey I will switch over to using it instead of my American one. The main reason for this is that it will (hopefully) be cheaper and easier to acquire visas to the countries I'll be going to. As of now, my final route is flying from Istanbul to Tashkent, Uzbekistan and continuing overland from there to Delhi, India while visiting Krygyzstan, western China, Pakistan enroute. All of these countries require visas and the next step in my planning will be to acquire some of them before leaving.

Tags: The Planning Phase

Comments

1

wow -- it is a bit eerie reading your travel plans. I have a one-way ticket to Dublin for Apr 11th. I'll be gone for one year, spending the summer in eastern europe (which I love) Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Greece. Then in the Fall i will begin my trek to southeast Asia via the Trans Siberian Railway then the Trans Mongolian Railway to get into China and then Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia -- where I will spend the winter.
It's a bit different plans but I couldn't help but see the similarities in not only the timing and destinations, but also in the "looseness", or what I call flexibility, in the itinerary. I'm curious about your thoughts on this ....

  applecrazy Apr 3, 2007 2:21 PM

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