The past month has been full of browsing online travel forums (Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree Forum has saved my life many times), getting travel vaccines, memorizing airport codes and vigorously studying world geography. The last one wasn’t so hard since my shower curtain is a map of the world. Needless to say my obsession with maps paired with said shower curtain was probably not conducive to saving water. Now, I have everything necessary to live stuffed into my little backpack and I am ready to embark on my new career as a nomad.
When I tell people that I'm traveling the world, I get one of two responses. 1: wow, that's awesome, I've always wanted to do that, I'm jealous! Or (the critical) 2: Is that safe? How do you have enough money to afford that anyway? Have you made all your reservations and plans, how will you get around?
Now, I'm glad I no longer have to respond to these questions (or at least I can ignore them). As my departure time creeps up, I'm calm and relaxed, just as if today were another mundane day. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking I should be bursting with excitement (or anxiety) over this huge life change. For me, this is just a learning experience—like going to school. I want to absorb everything I can, being a student and teacher amidst the jumble of people in the world.
I don’t have many plans, just a few one way airline tickets and email addresses of friends of friends in each city. Many of you have been asking for an itinerary, so here it is thus far:
Sept 8-Istanbul, Turkey
Sept 13-Ephesus, Turkey
Sept 16-Greek Islands
Sept 24-Bari, Italy
Sept 28-Dubrovnik, Croatia
Oct 3-Budapest, Hungary
Oct 6-Prague, Czech Republic
Oct 9-Stockholm, Sweeden
Oct 13-Trip from Helsinki, Finland to St. Petersburg, Russia
Cheers and Farewell US of A.