Well, sort of.
Travis and I woke up last Wednesday and decided that it was time to figure out our trip. Not in a way like I had done last time, where I knew in which country I’d be each month of my trip, but more in a “general direction, overall idea” sort of way. We do want our adventure to remain flexible, because life happens! You just never know when things might happen to suddenly make a country unfriendly or a country we were not going to visit suddenly seem very appealing.
Two Christmases ago Travis had given me (read: us) a giant map of the world, that we had mounted on foam board and framed. I’s been covered in pins ever since, pins for where we want to go. It was a nice way to dream and throw ideas around, but it wasn’t actually usable to plan our trip. We (read: I) had to face the fact that there were simply too many pins and too little time. So, we decided to focus on Asia, hash it out and see what made sense. We had to eliminate, and with us being both very strong-willed, had to compromise and well, it wasn’t all pretty but we made it happen. Travis had the great idea to focus on each of our top 3 countries (Indonesia, China and Myanmar for me, Japan, Vietnam and Myanmar for Travis) and I had the great idea to check weather patterns. I think that linking the pins together with the thread made it feel more real, and also gave us a sense of direction. We did leave some pins that were not part of the general direction, just for added flexibility. You never know! The result though: I had to sacrifice China (and South Korea and North Korea and Mongolia – can you tell that I’m still a little bitter?) to avoid the cold weather but otherwise we have a great trip ahead of us. We were on such a roll that we continued planning all the way into Africa!
So, here is September 2010 to about March 2011: Japan to Singapore. Singapore to Indonesia. Indonesia to possible East Timor. Then off to Borneo / Sabah. Back to the mainland in Malaysia, then to Vietnam (in December to meet up with a friend). Off to Laos, then Myanmar to India.
For the rest of the trip, we are going from India to Iran (I am so looking forward to Iran!), and then up through the Stans to get to the Aral Sea (Travis’ idea). Then, possibly Egypt for a wedding in July, and we make our way to South Africa in September 2011 to meet up with Travis’ family. Afterward, more Africa, a little bit of Eastern Europe and off to South America! Start at the bottom and make our way up until we meet up with our belongings, in about July / August 2012.
Writing this feels unreal, all I that goes through my mind after writing this is that it’s just crazy! I still can’t believe fully that we are doing this… I don’t know when it will kick in, but it’s really happening.