Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Shards of a life

I've got memories from all the trips I've done... they somehow make sense when put together, just like a parallel life to my boring day-to-day, as if that was the only real life and every day was a stand-by time till the next trip.

Like pieces of a strip, cut and joined together they make a whole story on their own.

I wonder what I will feel when I travel for one year in a row. May I forget my 'other' life?

Sometimes, when I sit in front of the computer in the office, images from a past trip suddenly appear in my mind, a narrow street of Bulgaria, a wild path in Norway, a hidden park in Lithuania...

I talked last week with a CS guest that I hosted, an amazing girl that had been travelling in Latin America for 7 months and she told me that the travelling soon becomes a kind of work routine, and you feel it natural, as if you had been doing it for the whole of your life .

I will soon depart on a new adventure, I embark on my longest trip so far.
Bye till I return from Greece in April!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

America or not America?

Since I started planning the 2011 Asian trip I have been doubting whether I should go ahead, and take the 2 years leave that the company I work for offers, and spend my 2nd year off in a trip from Argentina to Canada.

The idea is to get back home in December 2011 (finally from Turkey, via Greece or Bulgaria and then Central Europe), stay there during Winter Solstice's celebrations and New Year's and then leave again in January or February.

I know it sounds amazing, but there are matters to be considered.

First, two years without working seems to be a lot of time to me, and I'm not sure if I will have enough money left from the Asian trip, despite I have been saving some money since 4 years ago.

Apart from that, my mind could change dramatically after two sabbatical years, and it will be harder to rejoin the "everyday's" world.

On the positive side, if I don't do both trips in a row, there may not be a chance like that anytime soon, and my company only allows me to take work leaves in an interval of 4 years (they also say that 2 years's leave is the minimun time to be asked).

It is true that travelling there will be a lot of easier, visas are not normally required for people that have my citizenship and I can move around only with Spanish and English.

Besides, it will give me the opportunity to recontact many people from America that I have hosted at my place during the last 3 years.

I think that that travelling could give me the final picture of the real thing... to fill my expectations of travelling for a while, and complete my life experiences in a way that I may need to satisfy my eagerness for discovery.

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Cuba, united States and Canada...

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Greek challenges

This month I will travel to Greece for three weeks.
This is going to be one of my last trips before the Asian one.

I had been thinking, for a while by now, ways of improving my natural travelling abilities, so to easen eventual troubles during my next year of wandering... and so took I these thoughts into account when walking through Ireland in November.

Minimizing the baggage, walking more on foot, doing some hitch-hiking, staying longer, climbing local mountains and couchsurfing more were the goals that I fulfilled back then.

Now in Greece, I'm planning to do more hitch-hiking than usual (I wasn't a fan of this before, since it's absolutely uncommon where I live), to write more on my travelling log, to taste more local food, to follow a specific budget when spending money, to learn local language and useful phrases (I did this in Bulgaria too, with some success) and to practise it, to phonecall less home (it won't be frequent during the Asian trip) and to travel by boat/ferry (I did this too in Ireland, in fact, and it wasn't a pleasant experience... I'm not so used to the waves' movement).

Besides, I'd like to play more music on the street (I play a Basque folk instrument that I always carry with me) and maybe I will adventure onto the mount Olympus (I've read that it's not so difficult to climb).

It will also be my longest trip ever so far (21 days in a row).

I deem visiting Greece unavoidable in my quest for knowledge of the peoples of Europe, before I depart from this continent.
The European cultural baggage has got a deep source in this country, necessary in order to get the full picture of it, after having beaten the tracks of other countries.

Apart from Greece, I'm thinking of doing a "quick raid" into FYROM (Republic of Macedonia) and Albania, so to grab an idea of what these countries feel like, the only non EU ones (save for USA and the ones included in the Schengen agreements, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland) I will have ever been to, and quite underdeveloped yet, measured by European standards, but closely related to Greek culture in its wide sense (I suppose...).