World Tour

How is this for an about face? It was only a few days ago that I wrote here that I was considering heading East and going to Canada for a bit… well, surprise, after talking with a few people about some interesting goings-on in Europe and the Middle East, I have decided to spontaneously head West and embark on a 5 month long+, 40 country trek!

Now, as you know by now, everything is completely tentative, so don’t be surprised if next week I am in Greenland on a seal-clubbing expedition or something, but for the time being, I will be making my way West. I am currently on a Thai Airways flight to Kathmandu, Nepal, so barring any highly unforeseen difficulties, I will at least make it that far.

After Nepal I am considering going through Pakistan and then on to the Gulf, possibly beginning with Qatar or Oman, then Jordan, Israel, then Kuwait and hopefully to Iran if I can get a visa. I’d really like to get to Iran prior to August, which is the next implied date for the evil neo-nazi… sorry, what do they call them now? Oh yes, neo-conservative empire to attack Iran… in fact, if things go that way, the entire middle east will not be a nice place to be for many years, so I thought I better try to go check it out before I get inundated by propaganda and can try to make some semblance of my own views on the area.

After Iran I am thinking to possibly head over to Africa for a brief tour of the East Coast, from Egypt all the way down to South Africa, prior to heading up to Italy, Croatia and Greece for a few weeks, then up through Estonia to Finland, Norway and then to Iceland… then Canada by the end of summer prior to heading to the Caribbean… anyway… I have attached the entire highly volatile list at the bottom. In fact the list is so volatile that I actually had Bangladesh as my starting point as of a few hours ago but I realized just before leaving that they require I arrange a tourist visa before going to the country, so I had to quickly cancel that trip and decided to go to Nepal instead (where they also require a visa but you can get one upon arrival at the airport apparently).

So, you may be asking yourself, if Jeff appears to be on another worldwide, multi-month/year tour, what does that mean for Thailand, and Jane.

Well, that is a loooooooong story… and one that I haven’t even fully figured out for myself yet… but, after nearly 1.5 years being in and around Thailand, I have finally started to become a bit bored. Now, when I say “a bit bored�, I still love Thailand, and if someone told me I would have to spend the rest of my life in only one country, I’d probably still pick Thailand… but a few things have been bothering me of late. For one, as I look in the mirror, and at the world around me, it is very clear that time moves on… and at 36 years old, I figure I can probably only pull off this ridiculous lifestyle of mine for a few more years before I at least gear-down and am a bit more unable and a bit more unwilling to just jump on a plane/train and go somewhere new every week.

As well, while Thailand has been just an amazing time for me, there is a very big planet out there that I would still very much like to discover, and by staying in Thailand, or even having the lure of going back to Thailand, I won’t have the willpower to stay out there on those bad days where you just want a warm, comfortable place to be and would therefore sacrifice the potential enjoyment found in discovering a new and amazing place and people as well as the fountainhead of knowledge that you soak in as you see the world in person.

As for Jane, that is another very, very, very loooooooong story, but suffice it to say for now, that as much fun as I’ve had with her, she can be a handful… it is really like having a small child around… yes, she is fun and playful and there is never a dull moment, but seriously, there is NEVER a dull moment… and I like to have some dull moments (read: peace and quiet) sometimes! And, as with most relationships, there are tons of little issues too. But the main thing is that I still feel the need to be and feel free and, when your in a relationship with anyone, least of all crazy Jane, there are all sorts of trade-offs and sacrifices you have to make… and the scales have been leaning towards too much sacrifice for too little reward for me for a while now…

And so, today I left Jane and Bangkok with the possibility that I may not go back there for a very long time (read; 6months… maybe years)… it was really quite difficult. Much like James Holman, the blind traveler though, the allure of the road and the adventure will likely help me get over my sad feelings of leaving Thailand and Jane today… but for now, I am on the road and going to try not to look back for a while… we’ll see what happens!

Here is the proposed trip… kinda looks like a rock band concert tour itinerary… but hey, I am a rock star… maybe I’ll put this list on the back of a t-shirt. 😛 Next update soon from Kathmandu.

may 11-15 Kathmandu, Nepal
may 15-17 Karachi, Pakistan
may 17-21 Muscat, Oman
May 21-25 Doha, Qatar
May 25-31 Israel
June 1-4 Kuwait
June 4-9 Iran
June 9-12 Egypt
June 12-15 Zambia
June 15-17 Zimbabwe
June 17-25 South Africa
June 26-30 Jounieh & Beirut, Lebanon
July 1-10 Lignano, Italy
July 10-15 Croatia
July 15-22 Greece
July 22-24 Cyprus
July 25-31 Turkey
Aug 1-5 Switzerland
Aug 6-10 Parnu & Tallin, Estonia
Aug 10-14 Finland
Aug 14-18 Norway
Aug 18-22 Amsterdam
Aug 22-26 Iceland
Aug 27-Sept6 Canada
Sept 6-9 Cuba
Sept 9-12 Jamaica
Sept 12-14 Haiti
Sept 14-19 Dominican Republic
Sept 19-24 Puerto Rico
Sept 24-27 Barbados
Sept 27-Oct 1 Trinidad & Tobago
Oct 1-6 Venezuela
Oct 6-10 Guyana
Oct 10-14 Suriname
Oct 14-17 French Guiana
Oct 18-Nov 15 Brazil