The Journey

The Objective:  Things I don’t know I don’t know.

I can’t take credit for the following idea.

Years ago, I had a friend pay a lot of money for one of those self-enlightenment workshops.  Fortunately, I benefited by having her expose me to a concept that resonated with me. (And I guess this would be a concept difficult to copyright right?)  So, I’d like to share – or at least, this is the part that stuck with me:

You can categorize your knowledge into 3 realms:

1)  Things you know.

2)  Things you don’t know.

3)  Things you don’t know you don’t know.

Research.  Content.  Observation.  Interaction.  Authenticity.  Spontaneity.  Inspiration.  Feeding the creative animal.  Things I don’t know I don’t know.

Fresh lavander.  Unpasturized cheese.  Thalis.  The taste of nigella.  A sense of awe.  Feeling small.  Feeling sweaty.  Feeling human.

That would be wonderful.

The Itinerary:

So, in lieu of a continuous “around-the-world” adventure, I’ve decided to break my travels into (I hope!) five more manageable trips.

I’m hoping this’ll be a good idea for several reasons:  not packing/carrying for multiple seasons/countries/activities at one time, the chance to apply for visas & make travel arrangements from home, and being able to keep in touch with friends & family more easily.  I’m going to miss out on the challenge of solving how to get from one point to another (something I really enjoy), and I guess this may end up more expensive in the long run from the multiple airfares.  Then again, I think it’ll be much less fatiguing to spend some downtime in between trips, and hopefully, I’ll be able to put the balance of air miles traveled toward the next leg as well.  We’ll see how it goes.

Here’s how I’d love for the trips to go (and, as I’m sure this’ll change along the way, I’ll update as well):

Puddlejump #1:  France (via Ireland & Scotland) – (51 days)
After a brief few days in Dublin & Edinburgh, SendMoneyPlease and I will head to France for the rest of the month.

Why Ireland & Scotland?  Well, a couple of reasons:  1)  neither of us has been to either country before (and Mom likes postcards from new places the best), 2)  the flight was slightly cheaper and we’re going to take RyanAir (fingers crossed) for a couple “daytrips” to another country (hey, for 8 euros, why not?), 3)  the Iceland Express looks like a really good deal to Europe, but after reading the reviews, we weren’t actually sure we’d get there. Budget travel I’m good with.  Even budget travel internationally.  But reading they only have 3 planes and just had a volcanic eruption interrupt their inaugural year of flights to the US isn’t very comforting.   If anyone’s flown Iceland Express, please let me know how it was, I’d really love to see Iceland some day.

Why France?  I studied in southern France for a year in college (even double majored), and do I miss it!  I’m making this 2 month period my excuse for some intensive language review (coupled with an excuse to try as many different pastries as possible – hence the food gallery).  It’s tough to find French language practice where I live, and I crave total immersion.  News coverage and movie rentals are great, but there’s no substitute for actually using the language to get around.  I’ve got my favorite grammar book packed, and I’m committed to at least an hour a day of actual “study.”  That sounds reasonable, right?  So, that’ll be at least 51 hours of review.  It’s like a college course.  Now get to work!

Puddlejump #2:  Thailand and Southeast Asia
This will be completely new territory for me in every way.  Look for more research in the coming months.  I’ve heard fantastic things about southeast Asia.  Stuff I’m really looking forward to includes: cheap noodle dishes with chili paste, thatched huts, mango sticky rice, floating markets, easy-going people, festive temples, bright color, old-style sailboats and stunning scenery.  I can’t wait to post photos of this and more.

Puddlejump #3:  India
Again, completely new territory for me in every way.  I’ve heard equally wonderful and terrible things about India, and I believe all of them to be true.  I’m expecting multiple languages and alphabets, crazy local transport, spicy vegetarian dishes, cows, religious ceremony, more bright color, festive atmospheres, dirt on the streets, movies with singing and dancing in abundance and many surprises along the way.  I’m considering a tour company for this leg called Vodkatrain.  They book tours exclusively in China, India and Russia – using rail as the main transport – think trans-siberian & trans-mongolian.  They’ll book accommodation & travel but leave you to your own for food and activities, which after hearing stories of Indian rail travel, sounds great.  If anyone’s used Vodkatrain, please let me know how it went!

Puddlejump #4:  Eastern Europe:  Romania, Bulgaria, Western Turkey
More to come on this leg.  Hopefully Dad & I will get the chance to see some pastoral landscape, wooden churches & vampires.

It feels ambitious, but I’m hoping that by saying this is the plan, I’m making it reality.

Bon voyage!

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2 Responses to “The Journey”

  1. Sheila August 9, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    I can’t wait to hear more about your adventure!

    Bon voyage!

  2. Tiffany August 30, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    Hiya I hope all is great!! You haven’t updated in a bit.
    Please do!! I miss you!!
    Tiff

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