28 July 2010

Around the World in 150 Days (give or take a few)

So at the request of a number of friends, I've decided to try to revive my blog and morph it into a travel log. My hope is to post pictures and stories of my adventures here so that anyone who's interested can follow along. I know internet access will be sporadic, so I can't make any guarantees, but that's the goal.

For any of you who are not up to date on this next phase of my life-- I am taking 5 months, more or less, to travel around the world! The initial idea came out of a desire to visit family and friends living abroad and expanded to include an around-the-world ticket and some serious traveling. In the process of developing the plan, I met a friend, Katy, who worked with me at the Census Bureau. She also had plans to travel in the fall, and we decided to combine our trips and travel together. (You can also read her posts about the trip at her blog-- there's a link to the right in the sidebar.)

After many months of dreaming and planning, the departure date is suddenly a mere week away! The trip begins in Africa, and my parents and sister will both be along on this leg. We start off in Egypt to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and precocious niece in Alexandria, and will do some sight-seeing in Cairo. Then down to Tanzania to visit my other brother who is researching chameleons on a Fulbright scholarship as part of his master's degree. In Tanzania we will also get to visit some of the towns my mother lived in as a missionary child and get a glimpse of what the early part of her life was like.

We part ways after Africa, and I meet up with Katy in Spain. (Rhoda will return to Egypt to spend some more time with Peter & Lisa, and Mom & Dad head home). After Spain, Katy and I part ways briefly when she goes to visit a former student in Belgium and I head to Switzerland to meet up with more friends.

From Europe, we go to Turkey and will spend a few days exploring Istanbul-- the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and more. Then on to Amman, Jordan to see Petra. From there, I will go to Doha, Qatar to visit Chicago friends who have lived there for the past 2 years while Katy meets a friend in Dubai. Katy and I meet up again in Delhi, India and will spend some time traveling around northern India, and of course see the Taj Mahal.

After India, we head to Thailand to see Bangkok and Chiang Mai, a cultural center in northern Thailand. Then on to Sri Lanka to spend a relaxing few days at the beach. After a brief layover in Singapore, we head Down Under!

We'll visit Perth and Melbourne in Australia before hopping over to Auckland, New Zealand where we'll spend a bit of time exploring the north island. Then it's back to Australia to visit a good friend in Sydney.

Whew! So that's the grand plan-- I hope you'll keep an eye on this blog and see what we're up to next. I would also love to hear any travel tips you might have about places we're going that you've already been to. What's good to see and do? What's not worth our time?

I'll be back with more before long!