Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cinnamon, The Silent Killer

(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 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 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' 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 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.)


BY said...

Hello! I saw your post on BnA so I thought I would also check out your site.

I have to congratulate you on your awesome RTW travel plan and needless to say I am quite jealous.

With that said, I just wanted to point out one annoying aspect of travel is that of visas. I truly hate the hassles and costs they can involve but they are, unfortunately, a necessary evil. When I travelled to Iran, I was hoping to go through Tajikistan but was denied a visa so had to travel via Turkey which was a significantly greater cost.

You may also want to consider this visa issue if you plan to head to the ME in March. For example, Syria can apparently be quite strict with visas with many sources citing that it must be acquired in your home country if a Syrian embassy is located there.

One other thing I wanted to mention about Iran is that my understanding is that for Americans to get a visa, they must book a tour.

Anyway, I am sure you will love the Middle East because it is definitely a part of the world with a fascinating history and culture. It is also where I have met some of the most kind and welcoming people.

Happy Travels!

Adam Shane said...

Some advice... plans are best when they are broken. Don't pick a route, next country or anything of that nature. Pick only a starting point and a general direction to start heading in.

One thing I've been surprised about is the shear variety of experiences, sights, people, adventures and everything else that no amount of research could ever educated me about. Part of the travel experience that makes it so worthwhile is strictly relying on your whim and being able to drop everything for a crazy new opportunity. Don't rush anywhere, if you are enjoying yourself than stay where you are and experience it fully. If you find a new adventure detour or something exciting that takes you back in the direction you came, than you will have a better time doing that than any plan you could have conceived even five minutes before. Besides, plans will OFTEN go wrong so it's essential to understand this and be able to adapt quickly and enjoy the new twist of events.

So, research to your hearts content. Keep inspired, and compile a list of all the places you want to see when you are in each area... but don't treat it as a checklist, mearly as inspiration if none other is found on location. Stay open minded and follow your heart rather than some pre-conceived notion of seeing all these places before you die. After all, what does seeing something famous mean in comparisson to experiencing something unique? That is the true magic of extended-period, independant travel that no one can understand until they witness it first hand! Have you read Rolf Pott's book 'Vagabonding' yet?

Sorry to preach so much, but you'll see what I mean once you get on the road. And what a fantastic experience it will be... almost definitely the best thing you will do in your life so far.

Steve said...

Hi there,

Good to see you found my 'Saving For Travel' site of use in planning your trip! All the best in reaching your savings target -- and safe travels when you eventually hit the road.


Kailani said...

by: Thanks for stopping by!! =)
Yeah, visas are going to an issue...I'd like to travel without actually "booking" or being locked into certain travel plans but I know that'll be tough as some countries need entrance and exit dates, proof of onward travel, etc. I have to figure all of that out! Some of them are sooo expensive too! Thanks for the info! I didn't know about the Iranian tour requirement, I'm going to have to look into that. Thanks again for checking out my site! Keep in touch!

Adam: I love reading about your travels!! I've been keeping up with them via my google homepage, I have certain blogs that show updates on my homepage as they are posted. Yay for India! I'd love to go there, I hope your experience has gotten better there, as I read in your last blog things weren't going so well. As far as my route goes, as much as I am trying to avoid planning it, I know that I will have to certain legs of it (visas and proof of onward travel), I'm not getting a RTW ticket, I've decided to just buy the first couple and then worry about the rest of the way when the time comes. I'd like to do a lot of train travel (easy in Eastern Europe and Russia I've discovered) but as far as Asia goes I'm going to have to travel mostly by flight or overland via bus, etc. Africa I'm just totally unsure of right now, I'm getting conflicting opinions of transportation options, some say via car/truck...which I hear can also be quite unsafe and some say via plane or train. I do plan on however my route changing along the way, maybe if I meet some people along the way, etc. I am totally fine with changing directions. I mostly do all this "planning" as means of research and it keeps me excited! =)
Oh and I have Rolf Potts "Vagabonding", I love it! It's such an inspiration! Thank you so much for checking out my blog! I'm humbled that you've shared your travel knowledge with me, your travels are an inspiration! Keep in touch!!

Steve: Love your page and love your older blog about your long trip! Thanks for checking out my blog!! Appreciate all the valuable tips on your site!!! Keep in touch!!

Thank you all,
Your new friend and future fellow vagabond,