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.
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:).