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I have been pretty much-playing things by ear for most of my trip. I’d sort of know the general direction I was moving and where I was going next, but getting the next ticket or next room was about as far as I’d plan.
I’ve decided to return to the US for a few months in March or April. By then I will have been on the road for two years and there are certain things I just can’t take care of while I’m traveling. I also will not have seen my family or my friends in two years by that point.
From where I am now, the plan is to go up Vietnam to Hanoi, cut over into Laos, and down into Thailand. From there, I’ll somehow go to India/Nepal. After India, I’m going to pick up the pace a bit. If you look at my map, I haven’t taken a lot of giant leaps on my trip (islands in the Pacific excluded). I think I’m going to jump all the way to Dubai, then fly to Cairo. From Cairo, I’ll go to Rome and work my way overland to either London or Amsterdam. Depending on ticket prices I may fly to Iceland on the way back to the US.
When all is said and done, the 2007-8 trip should cover about 60 countries and about 80 World Heritage sites.
My current thinking is to stay in the US for 3-4 months then start out a new leg of the trip, this time focusing on the Americas. I’ll start in the Caribbean sometime in the North American summer and island hop to South America and try to work my way down to Argentinean Patagonia for their summer, then go up the west coast into Central America with a stop in the Galapagos Island along the way. If I can weasel a way to get to Antarctica, I’ll do that. I should hit every country in South American and most in the Caribbean.
During my time in the US I don’t plan on being idle. I’m going to be working on a book. I have a rough outline already and I’ll start writing in January. I’ll be getting a new laptop, as my current one is near death. I’m also going to get a real pro video camera. I know what the problems are with podcasting on the road now, so I think I can solve all those issues next time and put more energy into making a quality video podcast.
Oh, I also don’t plan on doing the next trip alone.
While I’m in the US I hope to do some speaking engagements and meet with readers and other bloggers. I will also be shooting some podcast episodes in the US and will be looking for readers/bloggers who’d be interested in showing me their town. More on that later. When it gets to that time and I’m in your neck of the woods, feel free to contact me for a beer. I will show you slides from my vacation :)
I will also be running a contest in November. My last contest was the postcard contest from Bali which, thanks to the Indonesian Postal Service, was a total disaster. This time I’m going to be buying items from SE Asia and sending them to five lucky readers. FYI, you’ll have to be an RSS subscriber to enter, so you might as well just do it now if you haven’t already.