Saturday, May 12, 2007

Plans Nearly Finalized - Morocco Still on List!

Alright, my travel plans are nearly finalized! And I've decided to still visit Morocco. Although terrorism is a concern, it can happen anywhere and one shouldn't let them keep you from learning about the world.

The current plan for me is to fly into Madrid to meet up with Felix. We then fly to Ouarzazate, a southern city in Morocco. Meeting with with my long-time family friend Lori in Marrakech, we continue up through Gibraltar and along the southern coast of Spain and France. Lori will leave us from Barcelona while Felix will leave after meeting up with Andre in Nice, France. Andre and I will travel across the southern coast of France and down Italy, meeting up with David in Greece. After Andre leaves, David and I continue the trip. Although our original plans was to visit Turkey, David seems to be worried about the terrorism in Turkey and the current political instability, so it looks like we may end up not visiting Turkey. We continue up north to Sofia, where David departs. I continue to Romania, and am considering spending less time in the Romanian Alps to take a quick trip to Moldova since this is their first year with the relaxed visa policies. I would like a chance to visit the country before it becomes overfilled with tourists. I then fly out from Bucharest to Lisbon, where I will spend the last few days of my trip before flying back home.

All in all, a very busy plan, but there is just so much to see in this world! I see these types of travelling-backpacking trips as almost like scouting missions. I want as much exposure to different places as possible, and in the future I can return to the places that I find most interesting. The world is just too big, so unfortunately, you have to choose between knowing a few places well and knowing a lot of places in a very shallow manner. Although I would hate to leave with a shallow and incomplete view of the local cultures, I believe that knowing about more cultures is more important to develop a more complete view of this world. Besides, I absolutely do plan on returning to the more interesting and mysterious places in the future to get a deeper sense of their cultures.

I am also trying to learn the basic words needed for travel in the different languages I will experience: Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, (brushing up on my French), and Romanian. I am focusing mainly on Romanian at this time since that is the leg of the trip that I will travelling without a travel buddy.

I'm very much looking forward to this trip, but as of now, I still can't envision myself on it because I am so overloaded with end-of-the-semester project for my last week in University! I'll be sure to provide more details when I get some more time to.

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