ABC Travel

I love travelling, obviously, or I wouldn’t be in the industry that I am in.  I love travelling by sea, waking up in a new place every day.  But sometimes, you wake up in a place where you’d like to stay for a few more days.  And there are so many places that aren’t even accessible by sea.  The more places I visit, the more places I realize I want to visit.     [I think this must be some corollary to Socrates’ “The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know” theory.]

When I was younger, I wanted to be a travel agent for a while (of course, I also wanted to be a lawyer and a pop star).  As I got older, and with the advent of the internet and bargain travel sites like Expedia and Travelocity, I thought travel agents were becoming obsolete.  But I suppose there is always a niche somewhere for these things; you just have to find it.

I’ve considered all of the places I want to go, and the best ways to incorporate them into cohesive trips.  There has to be a common thread tying them together.  So I thought of some itineraries (packing can wait!)

 

Disneylands

The easiest (and cheesiest) itinerary would be to visit every Disneyland theme park in the world.  I know many people have done this gradually (I, myself, am slowly checking them off as well), but wouldn't it be neat to visit them all in one trip?  It could probably be done in about two weeks if one didn't make any side trips along the way.

Itinerary for visiting every Disneyland!

Itinerary for visiting every Disneyland!

Most travel companies make itineraries for a specific region.  Here are two itineraries that can actually be driven and could be done well in anywhere from two weeks to two months!

Eastern Europe

I have a lot of friends in this region that I would love to visit and have show me around some of the lesser known areas of Europe.  The entire trip can be driven in less than 2 days, so it really would depend on how much time you want to spend in each place.

Eastern European Road Trip!

Eastern European Road Trip!

Southern Africa

I also have a lot of friends in South Africa.  It is quite an up and coming tourist destination, and I think paired with a stereo-typical Africa safari and a trip to the iconic Victoria Falls, this would actually make quite a popular itinerary for those looking for some adventure.  Highlights could include the Safari, the Falls, surfing, and maybe a winery tour.

South African Road Trip!

South African Road Trip!

Northern Africa/ Southern Mediterranean

Another regional based itinerary, and probably one of the most unstable, would be a trip across Northern Africa.  I don’t recommend driving straight across though, as many of the areas are quite dangerous.  Stick to major tourist towns.  Maybe even take a cruise for some of it. The trip could also begin or end in Europe (like Portugal, Spain, or Gibraltar.)  Highlights here would include Moroccan markets, the Great Pyramids and Sphinx, Petra, and of course a camel ride or two.

Northern Africa Itinerary

Northern Africa Itinerary

My real thought though, was how to combine multiple destinations in varied climates/regions into one trip without making a plain old “around the world” trip?  Simple, travel by alphabet!  I originally thought of the idea when I realized that most of the places I most wanted to visit started with the letter “I”.  For anyone who has ever read Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert also visits 3 countries that start with “I”, as I guess most of the good countries do 😉

Travel by Alphabet!

 

I went to Traveler’s Century’s List of countries and territories to see how many start with “I”.  Luckily, there are not many.  I then ruled out Iraq and Iran as they are probably not safe for a young American woman.  I also took out the Ivory Coast as it was out of the way from any of the other places (and, technically, it would be a “C” for Cote d’Ivoire!)  This gave me the following itinerary…

 

The “I”s Have It!

I_Countries

“I” Countries Itinerary – my dream trip!

Iceland (to visit the Blue Lagoons), Ireland (to visit the Guinness Brewery and the Blarney Stone), Isle of Man (because it’s close enough), Italy (Tuscany is the prettiest region),  Istanbul (while not technically it’s own country, this iconic city is considered a completely different region), Israel (Wailing Wall and floating in the Dead Sea – and probably a night out in Tel Aviv for sure!), India (Taj Mahal), and finally, Indonesia.  I reckon this trip could be done in three legs (Northern Europe, Mediterranean, and the Inds).  One could probably do each segment in about two weeks, depending on what you wanted to see. 

So 6-8 weeks would be the perfect time for this trip (and preferably in early or late summer for ideal weather in all countries!)  This means I could actually do this on one of my breaks between contracts (it would just take me a few contracts to pay it off!)  This is really my dream trip.

I then also thought about some of the other countries I want to visit, and came up with what I like to call the “A-List”.  Another trip that could be done in 6-8 weeks visits countries which start with the letter “A”. 

The “A”-List

This would include Argentina, Antarctica, and then Australia (with NZ thrown in since I’m there).

"A" Countries Itinerary!

“A” Countries Itinerary!

 

So there you have it.  Maybe I could even create an itinerary that systematically visits one country starting with each letter of the alphabet! [*] Check back for that one.  If anyone wants to travel any of these with me, call ABC Travel (i.e. – me!)  

 

P.S.  For the Alphabetical list of countries, click here.  For the list of countries by region, click here.

 
More

PlayList

I decided today that I want to revamp my blog: My life in lists – and other asides.  I make a lot of lists (like the ultimate one – my ever-changing bucket list).  So look for that to come.

In the meantime… I realised it has been almost two and a half years since I made a “playlist” post.  And since I just downloaded some new music (by which I mean music from the past year), I thought now would be a good time to make said list.  (Although, most of the songs are not from that “new” music – what does that say about today’s music?!?)

 

My favorite newer song …. 

 

Another song I just discovered I like…. (yay B-Sides!)

 

This girl is pretty much me… I even rode the little mechanical horse outside the shop I bought my boots in!

 

One of my cheesier all time favorites….  I met the band when I was in high school … they have since disbanded 😦

 

And finally, the song I have recently decided to be my all time favorite song (for now)… [and I’ve been a lot of these places!]

 

 

Hope you enjoyed your playlist for the day!

Packing

I’ve spent just over the past year of my life packing and unpacking and repacking.  Constantly trying to organize and compartmentalize my belongings.  Dresses in this box, shoes in that box, books in this one.  I try to make my belongings smaller and smaller each time I come home.  At some point, I started compartmentalizing my life too.  Family over there, school friends over here, ship friends on Facebook.  It gets hard to balance all those boxes.  Some people get more time than others, and not always the ones who deserve it.  It seems the bigger my life gets, the smaller I try to make it because it’s the only way to balance it all.  The more people I meet, the more people I lose touch with.  Maybe that’s just the natural cycle of things.  The people who are meant to stay part of my life will. The rest will fade. Who can say who will fall into which box. Certainly though, it’s a two way street.

New and Improved Bucket List

It seems the more places you go, the more places you want to go.  There is so much to see and do in the world, it’s almost overwhelming!  I’ve updated my list (and categorized it by region!)  Who knows if I will ever be able to see it all!

Link

Wearing the holes in the soles of her shoes

Today was the kind of day where I just couldn’t stand not to be outside.  The sun was shining, but still merciful.  For once, I regretted that I do not live closer to the beach.  At first, I felt the urge to just run – to nowhere in particular – which, for those of you who know me, is a bit unusual.  And so I ran.  I ran for as long as I could – which was halfway around the block.  Then I returned home and collected my purse and decided to walk somewhere, anywhere.  I walked to the library, but couldn’t stay inside for long.  When I left, I had a hard time walking.  My shoes were rubbing my feet raw (they, it would seem, were not made for walking).  I’ve spent a lot of time the past month trying to find the perfect fitting shoes – ones that would keep my feet from aching after a day of walking, and ones that would hold up for more than a couple of months without getting holes in the soles.  But as I stepped out into the fresh winter sunshine, I wondered – why wear shoes at all?  If they hurt, take them off.  And so I did.  I walked the two miles back to my house barefoot.  I thought of the dozens of strange cities and beaches and mountains I’ve walked through over the years.  I walked across hot asphalt and cool concrete and soft, scratchy grass (where I inevitably found a patch of prickers) – the whole while musing over the various song lyrics and old adages about shoes.

They say that to know someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.  But sometimes, I wonder if that would really work.  I wonder how many of us forget even to walk in our own shoes.  Our shoes contain us.  They cage and compartmentalize us.  Polished black shoes for working that cushy day job; bright white trainers because we swear we’ll make it to the gym this time; strappy sandals to go with that new sundress that was just made for flirting with strangers – each pair of shoes is only a part of who we are.  No, I decided, to know someone you must walk a mile in their skin.  In their feet.  In your skin.  In your feet.  Why do you think they call it “baring your soul”?  I don’t think it is a coincidence that we speak of both souls and soles being bared.

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