(this photo is of the Wakhan Valley on the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan...the snow capped mountains you see are in Afghanistan.)
I've taken the entire day off and feel as if I haven't accomplished a thing! I've looked at about 3000 pictures of places in the Middle East and read country profiles on most countries that I'd like to visit in the Middle East, but that's about it (oh and took a 3 hour nap). You're probably wondering...the Middle East? Okay so I've changed my route around somewhat from what it was before:
Less of Europe, only Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Poland, and Ukraine.
Then into Russia, overland through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan, Mongolia and then down through China.
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, India, Nepal, Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Syria (of course all the while avoiding an Israeli passport stamp...as Syria and a few other countries dislike proof that you've been to Israel, so much they'll reject you from entering their country). Iran (possibility, I know your thinking I'm crazy but apparently it's quite safe (I'm trying to leave aside my preconceptions and go with an open mind)), then to Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique (scuba!), Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa then home.
Don't doubt that this itinerary will change again, it will! haha I'm learning more and more about these countries, what they have to offer, safety, etc.. everyday from sites and people who've been, so don't be suprised when it changes.
Anyways! This itinerary makes me happy! I really want to see the biblical/historical sites the ME has to offer and I want to volunteer at Nakuru Orphanage in Kenya. More volunteer stops along the way are a possibility as is the possibility of me somehow getting over to NZ, a friends recent trip there (photos/experiences) has nearly persuaded me into going.
You are all probably wondering why I want to skip so much of Europe, Australia, and South America....I'd like to save some of the world for future trips (no I don't plan on stopping after this one). I'd like to do Europe as a seperate trip all together as well as SA and Aussie. I'd like to walk the Santiago De Compostela in Spain and France as part of a seperate trip to Europe later in the future.
Europe is also extremely expensive in comparison to Africa, SE Asia and the ME, as I will be on a major budget on this trip I'd like to see as much as possible for as cheap as possible.
As for cinnamon being the silent killer....I attempted to eat a teaspoon of cinnamon on Thursday as part of a dare with some friends....bad...bad idea. I am sick...so I can't breathe through my nose and cinnamon is dry so it clogs up your airway/esophagus so needless to say it sucked. Couldn't breathe so I had to spit it all out, all the while it's coming out of my nose and wouldn't have been suprised if it wasn't coming out of my eyes and ears as well, I didn't know what was happening! haha. I was a sight to see let me tell ya. Don't ever think for one minute after watching a You Tube video of a full grown man spitting the crap out 'cause he was unable to do it...that he is a pussy and that you can accomplish what he couldn't....you probably can't. At least I tried though and now I know.
Oh and I get to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra tomorrow!! Thanks to Clint and CJ!!! I'm so excited, I am going with them and Dusty! YAY! =) Lucky me!!!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!! I got money for Christmas that went directly into my savings account (oh and to Amazon.com towards a few new books!....and a sweater and tobogan from Free People clothing! =) )
Namaste my friends, more details on the trip to come soon, I promise.
(the Wakhan valley again below.)