Everyone knows that Pat and I met while on long-term travels, but ever since that time, we’ve only gone on a number of shorter trips together. In the same time, I’ve expressed my slight stress that I am the traveler that has settled with a non-traveler, and I know I mentioned that traveling without him has been not as fun as I would have liked.
Well, in 2012, that is changing. Pat and I are traveling together, and this trip is a doozy!
The Short Summary:
We’ll be flying business class to Turkey, hopping over to Italy for the TBU conference, heading back to Turkey where we’ll catch a business class flight to Bishkek. After hanging out in Bishkek for a few weeks, we’ll hop over to Beijing for a week before starting the Trans-Mongolian train through Mongolia and up across Russia. Finally, we’ll head back for another few weeks to Kyrgyzstan before flying home on business class (with an overnight in Bangkok).
How exciting! And we leave on April 7th!
Flying Business Class:
On my last trip to Kyrgyzstan, I managed to figure out a great deal that let me fly on business class for cheap. I loved it so much, and the entire time I couldn’t help but think about how much I wish Pat was with me to enjoy it. So, we’re doing it again! I’ll be divulging the details of booking this last round of flights in a future post, but what you need to know is that this flight will take us to Istanbul to Bishkek and back. All other flights will come off of this main routing.
I only spent 4 days in Istanbul, so returning is not an issue for me. Once we arrive, we’ll have a day or two to recover before heading over to Cappadocia for our 4 day Intrepid Travel tour. Further on, we’ll explore areas on the west coast — perhaps Troy and Gallipoli.
Sitting in Australia and hearing talk of all these travel blogger conferences happening in the far reaches of the world has been very frustrating for me. So, when I learned the Travel Bloggers Unite conference was happening in April, I got to thinking it might be the best opportunity for me to attend.
I searched for budget flights and ran it past Pat before booking the tickets! We’re going to TBU and it is going to be awesome connecting with other travel blog lovers and people I’ve known virtually for years. And, even better is the fact this conference is in Umbria, Italy — a place I haven’t been since I studied abroad in 2004, and a country that Pat has never been to at all.
Pat has always thought that Kyrgyzstan sounded like the wild west. I tell him all the time that there are real cities and markets and fashion stores, but he just needs to see it to believe it. I’m excited to go back in nicer weather and get to explore more of the regions around the country I haven’t had the chance to yet.
Towards mid-to-late May, we’ll be jumping over to Beijing, exploring the Great Wall and meeting up with the other members of the Trans-Mongolian train trip before setting off on May 30th.
We’ll have less than a week in Mongolia, but we plan to go on a tour from Ulan Bator that puts us in touch with the more nomadic people of the country. I imagine this being a lot like Kyrgyzstan.
After all of this talk of learning Russian and traveling in former Soviet countries, I’ve actually never been to Russia! It’s exciting to think I’ll finally get there this year, and I’ll be traversing it by train – one of my favorite ways to travel. We’re still in the process of booking things, but the brunt of the trip will involve Irkutsk and Lake Baikal.
From Saint Petersburg, we’ll be popping back down to Kyrgyzstan, possibly meeting up with other friends in Bishkek, and covering more parts of the country. I also like the idea of getting over to Uzbekistan, but then again, we’re already dealing with so many visa processes on this trip, I don’t know if I’ll want to do another!
Much like the trip I took in November, Pat and I will get an evening in Bangkok on the way back to Sydney. Shopping might be in order.
By this time it is the middle of July, and we will have had an awesome 3 months of travel together. We might need a bit of time to recover, but honestly, I don’t know what will be after this for us. Obviously, I want to make it back to the USA later in the year, and many parts of Australia still call, but I’ll have to focus on that later because this trip is coming fast!
Do you have any fast-approaching travels? Would you be excited about travel plans like the ones above?