“Life is short and the world is wide, the sooner you start exploring it, the better.” – Simon Raven
Once I determined I would take a trip around the world I needed to decide where to go. With 195 countries in the world, I knew I couldn’t see them all in one year.
A few years ago I starting planning my vacations around the new seven wonders of the world and since then I have visited Petra, the Colosseum, Machu Picchu, and Chichen Itza. Which left the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China and Christ the Redeemer, so India and China were immediately put on the list. I’m not sure I agree that a statue of Jesus is a wonder so it may not make the list this trip. I also knew I wanted to go on a safari in Africa and to visit Dubai – which seems a wonder in itself.
I decided not to spend too much time in Europe or South America as those are both fairly accessible destinations from the US, easily done when I’m older. Instead I planned to focus on going further afield, especially Asia. In the last several years I have traveled with a group of friends shepherded by Katherine and Bruce Willey. One of those trips was to Vietnam and Cambodia, so those were taken off the list, though I highly recommend a visit.
I also heard that Iceland was fabulous and it seems a great place to start as I head east. Bruce and Katherine conveniently scheduled a trip to Scandinavia in June 2023 – which kicks off in Iceland and includes Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Estonia. So that’s the first leg. And then my grandson, Arthur, who is ten, asked if he and his mom could meet me in Greece. Although not originally on my itinerary, I quickly added it.
I realized pretty early on that I would need to stay in a moderate temperature zone for the whole trip or I would be hauling around multiple large suitcases. And I didn’t want that. I’m actually hoping to take one carry on and a large personal item, if that’s possible. I don’t plan on buying wash and wear travel cloths but hope to stick with my usual clothing while I’m gone. I want to feel like myself while I’m traveling. We’ll see if I can make that happen.
So basing my route on a moderate temperature zone of 55 to 80 (layers will definitely be needed, this is the route I plan to take. Scandinavia, then a few days in Budapest as I have some time before I meet my grandson and daughter, Greece, Uganda -trekking to see the gorillas, Kenya- a safari which includes Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, India, Nepal, Thailand and then I was going to head to China and Japan but if I get there when it’s getting cold, I will instead go to Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia before going back to China and Japan. Next will be the Galapagos Islands, an Amazon cruise, an Alaska Cruise and then the railroad across Canada, before heading back to Nashville.
Other things could be added, I’m thinking to maybe throw Mozambique in there – it just sounds exotic and maybe Easter Island. Who knows what other countries will be calling my name as I travel east. As of today, I am 98 percent booked through Madagascar which ends September 1, 2023. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. Who knows I may have bitten off more than I can chew and be back in three months.