Archive for the 'Itinerary Update' Category

Quick Update

Just wanted to let everyone know that my new tour started today and we’re leaving for Cambodia tomorrow.  I don’t know how great the internet connections are there and the first week or so of the tour is fairly fast-paced.  I’ll update when I can.

I’ve spent the last week indulging in a little rest and relaxation.  I had another one of those lovely $7 facials last night.  I also bought some lightweight, cotton pants for about $6, hopefully they’ll keep me cool in the jungles (and hopefully they won’t fall apart!).

Part Two Itinerary

There is less than two weeks until I leave to finish what I started and I’m getting more excited now than I did before I left in April.  Here are my upcoming plans (click on maps to go to tour websites):

JULY
Egypt with my sister.  Felucca Journey tour (Imaginative Traveller)
Dubai for 4 nights (after Amy leaves).

http://www.imaginative-traveller.com/trips/EAFL 

AUGUST
Arrive in Singapore.
Join Singapore to Bangkok tour
(Imaginative Traveller).

http://www.imaginative-traveller.com/trips/SASB 

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER
Tour starting in Bangkok ending in Chiang Mai
taking in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos
(Intrepid Tours – Indochina Encompassed).

Indochina Emcompassed

 

From October 4th on… who knows?  I might come straight home.  I might not.  I don’t have a flight booked back home and I like it because I’m not boxed in.  I do have some ideas but I’m not going to make any plans until the time comes.

Taking a Break…

Independent travel is hard and it’s a common theme among other fellow solo travelers.  Sure there are the highs of the places and cultures visited but also the lows of loneliness and trying to find accommodation in a city where you’ve just arrived after a full day of travel.

The hardest aspect of this whole experience is dealing with the loneliness factor- extreme loneliness.  Solo travelers are far and few between.  Most people travel with a friend and/or a significant other so it makes it difficult to approach people who are already in a group.  In my “normal” life, I do not meet people as easily as others and this is only magnified while backpacking.  I’m shy and self-conscious.  But, during this trip, I think I have broken out of my shell by making myself start conversations and asking people what they are doing for dinner.  The nighttime is the hardest because I can keep myself busy during the day visiting sights.

Morocco was especially tough on me as many of you know.  The old medinas, the friendly people and the amazing handicrafts were everything I had imagined Morocco to be.  But, I still felt lonely and I did everything I could to meet people including staying in the first hotel listed in the Lonely Planet, and hanging out in the common areas but to no avail.  I did eventually meet some great travelers in Morocco but not until my last two days.  Pity.

As soon as I reached the hostels in Italy and Greece things had turned around.  For the first time on this trip, I met other solo travelers and for the most part they all shared a common “lonely” theme.  This revelation that I wasn’t the only one feeling this way was reassuring.  But, the thing with independent travel is that everyone is on their own schedule and as soon as you meet someone they are out the door on to their next destination.  During, my time in Italy and Greece I met loads of people but something inside me just didn’t seem right.

Once I reached Turkey, after a night of shivering on the deck of a Greek ferry, I realized that I wasn’t having the time of my life as I had expected to.  What was wrong?  I love travel.  But, when I look back on all my other travel experiences the things I remember most were when I was part of a group tour.  Now, some people throw their noses up at the thought of an organized group tour but I love them.  Tours are more expensive (but really not that more expensive) than on your own but I feel like I get to see and experience more as part of a tour and it’s also a guarantee of meeting people that are going to be around for more than a day or two.

I came home yesterday not as a failed round the world traveler but as one that is figuring out what works personally and what doesn’t.  I talked about going home with lots of other travelers and a lot of them told me to keep with it and don’t go home.  But, I feel like I know what’s right for me and even as I type this I don’t regret coming home.  But, this is definitely not the end!!

I used the money I would I have spent making my way to Egypt to meet my sister to buy a one-way ticket to Seattle from Istanbul and also a one-way ticket to Cairo from Seattle.  I’m still going to go to Egypt with Amy in July and after she leaves I will continue on to South East Asia on the round the world tickets I originally bought.  In the meantime, I will be looking at adventure group tours as well as some volunteering programs (as suggested by one traveler).

Stay tuned… I hope to have some pictures posted soon as well as some other stories of my travels so far. 

Cancelled in Athens

As some of you may have noticed, Meaghann, my friend that is coming to Greece, left a comment in the last post that our Greek cruise has been cancelled.  It is a new ship and it’s still in the shipyard.  (Don’t I know how that works?!)  It’s a bummer because it was so cheap (just over $300 for the both of us not including food) and got us to a lot of the islands.  All well, I’ll just roll with even though it’ll be a bit more expensive than I anticipated.  Plans will hopefully soon come together and I’ll keep you updated.  Luckily the hostel in Athens we’re staying at has a travel desk and last night I had a dream about Santorini and scooters…

Itinerary Update

I have officially changed my flights to miss Sri Lanka due to the ending of the cease-fire and that many experts believe the civil war will only get worst.  I think it will work out for the best though.  The weather isn’t the greatest that time of year anyway.  Emirates Airlines didn’t charge me anything to change my flights AND to cut out Colombo.  I haven’t even flown with them and I already hold them in high regard.  Try doing that with an US-based airline.

It will be real easy to fill an extra month in South East Asia.  Bali… Borneo… Myanmar?  I think I’m going to wait until I arrive in Singapore and “go with the flow” so to speak.  But, I’m definitely open to suggestions.

I leave in less than 5 weeks when I jet off to Madrid for a couple nights and then dive head first into Morocco.  After that, I’ll meet a friend for cruising around the Greek Islands and then off to Turkey.

And I received the perfect fortune cookie today: “Your future in the next month looks bright.  Enjoy this time.”


Where’s Stacy?

Stacy is in West Virginia and totally amazed by the power of Math. (Nerd, I know!)

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