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I’m telling it right now, I don’t have any idea at what time I’ll go from Paris on the next 3rd of September. Therefore, I don’t know at what time I’ll arrive in Moscow.
In fact, I don’t know a lot of things about my travel. And I have to say, that’s for the better. I know what I want to see, where I want to go and I can guess the way I’ll organize everything.
I know for example that I’m going East, from Paris, by plane for Moscow. Central Europe is not very far from Paris, I’ll have time to go later… to live in Berlin, to go cycle around the Baltic or the Balkans… that’s for later.
Moscow. One week, to be a tourist and to take a special train ticket. A ticket for Uulanbaatar then Beijing, by the Transsiberian train. I’ll stay two weeks around Uulanbaatar, riding mongol horses in the steppes, with a school friend. She told me some time ago she would be in Mongolia by mid-September. An old dream for her, and it’s just at the same time as I pass through the region.
Then Beijing, and the rest of China. It might take a month and a half, from October to mid-November to go around the country, see the East coast and maybe the Gobi desert, and go to Hong Kong. I can then stay for two weeks in Hong Kong, to apply for some visas for the next step.
The next step? As we’ll be at the start of December, it might be wise to go to the South. Vietnam first, from Hanoï to Ho-Chi-Minh City, maybe by bike? Cambodia and the temples of Angkor, and then Thailand, the paradisiac beaches or political demonstrations. Then, I don’t know exactly, I think I’ll take the road down the malay peninsula to Singapore. And then, I’ll hop from an island to the other, by boat, along Indonesia… and I’ll stop in Bali around March.
At the start of Spring, I’ll go North to Seoul, with a stop in Philippines, perhaps. I’ll stay one week or two in Korea, and then two to three weeks in Japan. Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo, from West to East, following the cherry blossoms.
Around mid April, I take the plane to cross the Pacific. Ideally, I’d like to go directly to Santiago de Chile, but I might have to make a stop in the US. San Francisco would be cool, that way I don’t have to come back. One week later, South America, and Santiago, where I stop a bit to learn Spanish. Then I cross the Andes to Córdoba, where I’ll visit my friend Pablo, whom I met in Venice six months ago. I stay in Argentina two, maybe three weeks, then I go to Bolivia (with a visit to Salar de Uyuni), then Peru (and Machu Picchu), Equador and Colombia, where I may stay in Medellín. Then Northwards along Central America : Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala… And Mexico! I might arrive around July, and stay two week.
And finaly, the US, around mid July : Texas (in the heat of Summer), New Orleans, Tuscaloosa, AL perhaps, and New York in August. And I’ll finish with Montréal, Quebec, Canada, from where I’ll take the plane back to Paris on the 2nd of September 2010.
At the moment, I don’t have any visas or plane ticket, so I’m still flex in my trip. But still, there’s some things I don’t want to avoid : horse riding in Mongolia, Angkor Wat, swimming in two or three oceans, picknick under the cherry trees in Japan, seeing the falls of Iguazu and going back to New York.
But why, hav I been asked, why wouldn’t I go to Africa? Why am I avoiding India? and Australia? The answer is simple : ex dominions of the British Empire. No, no, that’s not the right answe. Africa is huge. So’s India. And take a wide look at Australia. I won’t have time to go everywhere. I prefer to think that in a few years, I’ll travel from Cape Town in South Africa to Tangiers, Morocco, following the Atlantic coast, for example. Or maybe I’ll go to India, and ride on every train there is, during one year. Or I’ll go working in Sydney? Lots of things take lots of time and one year’s not enough. That’s for later…
And something tells me that I might change my program when I’m on the road…
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