Trip Preparation Guide

I think preparation is very important and I always try to be well prepared before I do something. I am not talking of planning here and I actually do not want to plan much because it is supposed to be an easy going trip.

If you ask my friends, I think they will tell you I am good at preparing and planning things. I always have been like for as long as I remember.
I added a page to the site with a list of everything one should do before leaving on an extended trip or round-the-world trip. I believe it can also serve to prepare any kind of trip in a foreign country. You can also access that page from the main menu “Trip preparation” link.

It is just a list of subjects right now but I will write articles for each of the points as the time goes. I think we can all use better preparation, me included, and writting these entries seems worthwhile for many reasons.

  • It will help me focus and make sure everything is covered.
  • The best way to learn something is to teach it, so I will learn and teach at the same time. And if I say/do something stupid or I forget something, then one of you (yes, you my 3 readers) might see it and tell me.
  • Also, it will be useful for the other times I plan a trip since I will not have to go around to find the information since it is already here.
  • And who knows, even better, maybe you will find it useful!

The list of subjects will change too since I might have forgotten something. If you see anything you think I should include in that list, please let me know :).

The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see. ~G.K. Chesterton

Vaccinations follow-up

I visited my friend Jean at the travel clinic on Tuesday. Yes, I call her my friend because I already saw her last year before my trip to Peru and she is such a great doctor and nice woman.
As usual, she provided me with a very expensive set of information about every country I have planned on visiting and advised me on having Typhoid done this time and rabies.

Typhoid was definitely on my list and we went for it. Actually, it is an oral vaccine so I have to take 4 pills over a span of a week. I will do it next week.

I am still not sure about the rabies shots since it requires 3 shots at $160 a pop!

I also asked her to give me the booster for Hepatitis A. Now, I am good for 20 years.

The risk of Malaria are minimal and located in zones I will not visit so I did not get any pills this time.

Oh, and I said “Typhoid done this time” because I could not get it done on time last year since I went to the clinic only 2 weeks before leaving for Peru. This is something I learnt last year, consult the travel clinic early so that you get the time to get everything you need.

Of course, more immunizations are required to travel in the Middle East and maybe Russia, Mongolia and China but I already immunized against an extensive list of these viruses. Here is the list recommended for Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatits B
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus/diphteria
  • Measles
  • Polio
  • Varicella (chicken pox)

I don’t remember getting Varicella but I was tested positive last year. I was immunized for Polio, Measles, Tetanus and Hepatitis B in France and I am up to date with the boosters.

Maybe I should get the rabies one…

Site and vaccinations

Today, I played a bit more with some wordpress themes. I am still not sure which one to use. I will be experimenting a bit more before I settle for one…

One sure thing is that the gallery software I installed at first does not look like a fit and I will uninstall it.

On the trip preparation front, I called the travel clinic and set an appointment for next Tuesday. This is the same doctor I visited before my trip to Peru last year. I got most of the shots I was missing last time so it should not be too bad. At the same time, since I am not sure where I will go after Turkey, I might have to get some shots that I will finally not need and I do not know if I should get Malaria pills or not (in case I finally decide to go to China and/or India). We shall see what the doctor says. Thinking about it, I could still visit a doctor in Europe before leaving for Asia…

Duration and Itinerary

How long? How many countries? Where to go? How much to plan?

These are some of the many questions that are running through my mind as I am thinking about my trip.

How long?

I was able to answer the first question because of some limitations related to my status of permanent resident in the USA. The trip will be less than 180 days (or roughly 6 months).

Another restriction on this trip is that I want to be in Paris for a couple of friends wedding early August and I would also like to spend some time there to see my family and my friends.

So leaving early March and returning end of August seems like the way to go. I could maybe even go to the UK for a week to visit some friends and make a short trip to Stonehedge before coming back home.

How many countries?

I have been looking at the worldmap and the 100 wonders of the wold for some time now and when I write down the list of countries I want to visit, it tends to look like the UN nations list!!!. I have to cut down because I do not want this end-up like an amazing race where I spend more time traveling than living. It seems like 4 big countries and 2-3 small countries is reasonable for 5 months and I will try to keep this is mind while traveling.

Where to go?

I have been talking about visiting Egypt for as long as I remember talking about traveling. I fell in love with this civilization when I was 10 y/o in history classes and I always wanted to see the wonders of the mighty Egyptians. Also, some of my friends are tired of hearing me talking of visiting Egypt. So much so that some do not even want to listen to me when I start discussing when it is the best time to visit!

So Egypt seems like the natural start for this trip. After Egypt, I am thinking going North through Jordan – Lebanon – Syria to Turkey. After that, I am not yet decided and I think I will leave the decision for later (Greece, Italy and Spain could be nice but I do not want to overplan or restrict myself in any way). This is plan A.

Plan B is to visit Asia: China – Cambodia – Myanmar – Vietnam – Laos – Thailand(?) – India. I am very attracted to China, Cambodia, Myanmar and India. Not so much by Thailand though, maybe because of the bad connotations linked to this country. Nonetheless, it would be an awesome trip.

Plan C is a mix of Plan A and Plan B: Egypt – Jordan – Syria – Turkey – China – Cambodia – India. That was my first idea but after more thoughts on what I was looking in this trip, I realized it might be too many countries in not enough time. The good thing is that plan A can become plan C if I decide so down the road…

How much to plan?

If you have been reading this far, you noticed that my favorite plan (plan A) is kind of open. This reflects one of the foundation of this trip. I want to be prepared but I do not want everything to be planned beforehand. If I find a place I love, I want to have the option of staying there as long as I like. Having Egypt as first country is the best since this is the only place I absolutely want to see :). I am not setting dates and duration for any of the countries and the itinerary is open after Turkey and before going to France. I like this that way:).

What is it all about?

Hi and welcome to 30Wonders.

I decided to go on a trip to visit some of the wonders the world has to offer. It is still early to talk about where and when but I believe this blog will help me focus on it as well as offer an opportunity to other people to comment about my preparation.

Once I will be on the road, this will be a way to record my adventures, share them with the people that care and stay in touch with my family and friends.