Mississauga Travel Blog› entry 1 of 68 › view all entries
April 29th, 2009 – by: ronin2k
I've always thought I've been more a traveler than a tourist and now moreso than ever I'm going to test that theory out!
For years I've been thinking about taking some time off to travel the world. People might say hey Ru you already have traveled the world, I have but not like this! 6 months baby!
6 months....Damn. 6 months, solo!?
Haha the longest I've ever traveled before was 7 weeks back in 2001. At that time I thought that trip was grand, it was my first big trip without my parents with two of my best friends, Len and Vik. I remember before leaving on that trip my biggest fear was my friends would somehow leave me alone in some foreign city and I wouldn't know what to do! Funny thing was I surprised myself on many occasions on that trip, I learnt to be pretty independent. And that one night when I was left alone in Bangkok, that night Len really found out what a Boonchu was, I did just fine with the Tuk-tuk, street vendors and all the fun that was Bangkok.
So lets jump to the present, 2009. Somehow this year all the stars lined up to allow me to take time off work. A major project I'm working on ends in June, there is a global recession so the consulting world is a little slow, I'm not married yet or have kids like some of my friends, and I'm not old enough yet that everyone calls me sir! My parents were a bit iffy about me leaving. What about your job, money, your mortage they asked! Why not wait and go next year!? Haha my response to that was how different is next year from this year. Their response being its NEXT year! ;)
Anyways, my response to them and one of my motivations to do this now is...I don't want to look back in 20 years and regret not taking the time when I had it.
So why solo? Well why not really! I always pictured myself taking a big long trip with someone else or friends, but not everyone can take time off nor wants to take that much time off. For a while there I didn't think I would take this trip, but then last fall I said why not, i can do this on my own. Now i can't wait! I know it will definitely be an experience I can look back on and smile.
Once I made up my mind to go back in the Fall of 2008 the next step was to figure out where I wanted to go. I have traveled a lot, but there have always been a few places I wanted to explore a little more, mountains I wanted to climb, places and cultures I wanted photograph, backcountry I wanted to see.
Europe, South America, Asia, Africa, Antarctica, there are a tone of places to see in the world. My original plan had me doing a bit of eastern Europe, Tibet, Africa and South America! But soon i realized I didn't want to do too much, i wanted to be flexible enough to do really whatever I wanted and not be held to a specific timeline. So I narrowed it down some more.
The second iteration had eastern europe and asia. I've always loved the history and culture of Europe, specifically eastern Europe. But realizing this trip was going to cost me a lot more now since I have to cover the mortage on Ru-Mansion, i decided Asia it would be! In Asia I could live like a King for 20-30 bucks a day. What more could I ask for really :)
So the final plan is this:
-5 weeks to roam around China
-3 weeks to hang out with my parents and family back in the mothaland aka Sri Lanka
-3-4 weeks in Nepal and Tibet
-Tibet has always been on top of my list ever since i read the autobiography of the Dalai Lama -read it!
-Visit Everest Base Camp
-2 1/2 months in India:
-2 weeks vippasana mediation course in Dharamshala,
-3 weeks down the Ganges River from Amritsar in the Northeast to Kolkata in the east
-1 month volunteering with street kids in Goa, yes Goa! haha
-2 weeks or so in Rajastan
So that covers just about 5 months. During all my planning early on I always thought I'd take 4 months. But then when i asked for time off work, they were really ok with me leaving, i was like HEY why not just go for 6 months lol. So for the last month, i will do 3 things I've always wanted to do.
1. Go on a Camping Safari in Africa (Serengeti, Masai Mara, Olduvai Gorge, etc) - Kenya, Tanzania
2. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro - 9 day trek - Tanzania
3. Visit London
London?!! Ya London! Its the hub of the world (sorry New York), its full of history, architecture, and the Queen! So for the last 10 days of 2009 I plan to party it up in London.
So thats the plan! I leave June 22 and can't wait. There is still a lot of stuff to do before I leave, visas, travel gear and gadgets, people to party up with, etc.
So until the next entry...
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