As my teaching position was drawing to a close, I had to decide how I should ‘reward’ myself and spend my time from August. Of course one option was employment, and the other was 4.5 months of travel. As I figure bluntly, work will always be an option, and an extended vacation will not. I hope to retire into loads of free time someday, but I’ll never again have the same opportunities to be a peripatetic young person on the road.
This trip also represents a certain rite of passage as a traveler: the unfettered backpacking adventure, one long enough that I can’t possibly plan it in advance – not that I would even want to. I have the flights booked, so all that remains for me is to fill in everything else. What I can confirm is that I will be arriving in Switzerland in early August, likely heading south, then east, and will then meander towards my departure from the Netherlands. I do expect to cross paths with my dad in Germany around October, which may serve as a boon to my very limited finances… The three months in Europe will be aided by the Eurail Pass, allowing me rail access to 24 countries as well as an immense sense of freedom and independence.
Assuming that I can survive three months of couchsurfing, gypsies, and roughing it, I will be arriving from the Netherlands to Buenos Aries, Argentina at the beginning of November. My brother will be studying something down there for just a few months, so I’ll take the opportunity to visit and have him show me around. There have been some unconfirmed reports of my dad and also a longtime friend dipping below the equator to spend some time on the road too. I went to Ecuador over a decade ago, but I expect that a greater emphasis on exploration should fill my South American void. The plan then is to fly out of Peru to make it home for my first Christmas in four years, but the countries and places that fill the 45 day span remain largely undecided.
I’ve always wanted to do a trip of this nature, and especially through some new places. My resume thus far boasts 28 countries, though 24 of them have been in Asia. I am so ready for a change of culture, scenery and religion and also for the chance to see how I fare on such a trip of limited finances, alone, and across so many diverse places. I guess the next few months will be more about the ‘beyond’ rather then ‘Japan’ but that is just fine. Somehow I will have to follow up this trip with employment somewhere, though I’ll let future Justin worry about that bit of unfortunate reality…
I really expect to be on the move, which means that I wont be able to write the excessive reports as per the norm of my trips. I can’t imagine wanting to take too much time away from the road, but I will indeed do my best to keep friends, family, and whomever else cares in the loop as to where I’ve sojourned and what adventures I’ve encountered. I have never been so excited to make such a poor financial decision. yolo