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.

 
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Most Memorable Memories in Life Were Once a Crazy Random Happenstance

A few months ago, I wrote a post about some of my favorite “things” (which were actually more like memories).   Most of these things were not planned, they kind of just happened.  I feel like sometimes someone pushes us to go somewhere because that is where we are supposed to be.  A couple months later, I wrote a post about opening myself up to more unexpected opportunities that could turn into these types of memories.  (P.S. Links to both of those posts are contained within the text!)  I would like to update and expand on both these posts to show that I am somewhat, slowly but surely, allowing myself to take such opportunities.

I would  like to add to my list of favorite memories the Bikini Laser Tag Rave (yes you read that correctly) I attended because I happened to accept a free ticket to a Tampa Bay Storm Game where one of my friends happened to be reading a newspaper that had an article for an event happening the following night which I just happened to have off.  I had always wanted to attend a rave since high school, and this was a good, clean opportunity to do so.  And it was a blast.  I danced until dawn, made new friends, got a free photo shoot, and listened to some great music.  I would also like to add to my favorites list my two recent trips to Daytona.  Both were fairly random and last minute and ended up being tons of fun!  First was the Daytona 500 in February, which I would never have thought to go to until I won tickets and had a blast (and met Brad Paisley).  Second was a mini beach vacation with a friend that seemed to be just what the doctor ordered to add new life to my other wise busy schedule and just happened to fall on my two days off.  So yes, late night road trips, drinking all day, and good music with family and friends.  Sounds like a winning combination to me!

The moral of this post, and a few of my others, is that you never know what life has waiting around the corner.  You can plan all the trips you want, but, at the end of the day, the most memorable ones are the ones you weren’t expecting.  I figure I get particular days off for a reason, meet particular people for a reason, and end up in particular places for a reason.  I may not yet know that reason, but I’m pretty sure part of it is to have fun and enjoy life!

Remembering a Few of My Favorite Things

You all know the song- “These are a few of my favorite things”- which somehow became a Christmas song, which is why I started thinking about some of my favorite things.  And it hit me that most of my favorite THINGS aren’t really THINGS at all, but rather ACTIONS.  I thought of some of my most memorable times in my conscious memory- most of them included multiple of my favorite “things”.

These are really in no particular order…

  • Church ski trip in high school and stopping at the first rest stop that had snow to have a snowball fight.
  • Fun ‘n’ Sun concert 2009, a day full of sun, beer, friends, and live country.
  • Seaworld beer school and Halloween Horror Nights 2008 and singing karaoke in the queues entertaining all the drunks.
  • Walking in to TGIFridays on my 23rd birthday to find all my friends waiting there to surprise me.
  • Easter 2009- drinking games on Clearwater Beach followed by a nice nighttime swim/hot tub party.
  • Islands of Adventure with 8 of my good friends and just being generally goofy.
  • Eighth grade Epcot trip where we got to play a murder mystery game and see N’Sync perform Christmas songs live in a small intimate concert.
  • Swing dancing to Flogging Molly live on the side of a hill in 50 degree weather.
  • Attending a “Bal du Pompier” in Paris for Bastille Day in 2003.

And of course there are numerous “This one time at Busch Gardens/Dallas Bull/Castle …” moments- which were almost all awesome, but the things you do regularly tend not to stand out as much (or I’d be listing my whole life on here!)

The ultimate example I can think of for describing to you my favorite things is….

Drinking Guinness and line dancing to live music inside an Irish pub inside a theme park with one of my best friends. Ultimate win.  I’m pretty sure the only thing that would make this better would be adding  “…in another country” to the end of it.  But my goal will be to top it.

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