As I think about what I want to do, it’s been hard to make decisions around what to include or exclude from the itinerary. I know I’m jamming a lot into not a lot of time (and of course, this means going against the advice of everyone who’s all “travel slow!” so we’ll see how that goes). But there’s a lot of world to see!
My key decisioning paradigms have been around three things:
1. What are things I’ve wanted to see or do all my life?
2. What are things I want to do now, but know will be difficult/impossible to do when I’m back to real life with a real job and all that?
3. What do I need right now?
With that in mind, the planned high points are (drum roll, please):
1. Beaches in the Philippines
I haven’t figured out which islands, or which beaches, but I think starting with some in the Philippines makes sense. Everything I’m seeing shows that these are some of the most gorgeous in the world, and also a great place to get away from it all.
The Philippines and laying on a beach for a couple of weeks are definitely from category three – what I think I need to start my trip off right is a couple of weeks to decompress, unplug, and get into vacation mode.
I’m even hoping to be without wifi for a time.
2. Angkor Wat/Cambodia
One thing I’ve discovered about myself is that I freaking LOVE old temples and sites. Drop me in Peru again and I’d spend all my time hiking around old Incan ruins. So I’m planning some good ruin-wandering for this trip.
The temples at Angkor and the surrounding areas just look stunning. Cambodia itself is also fascinating to me.
3. Rangoon, Bagan and Myanmar in General
I’m so excited for Myanmar – I love that it’s not as touristy or “done” and has so much to be discovered.
I think the temples at Bagan call for a sunrise hot air balloon ride, and Rangoon itself calls for some epic times.
4. Trekking in Nepal – Annapurna and/or Everest
If you have an opinion on this one, please let me know. But I cannot wait to go trekking. This is one that falls into both category two and category three – I don’t know when again in my life I’ll be able to drop everything and trek the Himalayas. And on point three, there’s nothing makes me reflect quite like being in nature – especially on top of mountains (yet again, thank you, Peru, for teaching me that).
5. Taj Mahal
I’m excited to go see this one! It’s part of my eight wonders wander, so I’m happy to get this one off the list. I have to admit to being intimidated by India, though!
6. Pyramids, Nile Cruise, Luxor, Mt Sinai, Snorkeling in the Red Sea
Why hello, Egypt! Possibly the most controversial destination on the trip, Egypt has held this huge allure for me since I was quite young. There’s something so magical about all the ancient Egyptians were able to accomplish.
7. Petra, Wadi Rum, Dead Sea
A competitor with Egypt for most controversial decision, I have wanted to go to Jordan for so long! I can’t wait to see and explore Petra (yay more ancient sites!), and I’ve heard the stars are unbeatable in the Wadi Rum. I expect to come back with a very nuanced opinion of stargazing from this trip.
8. Island Hopping in Greece
Getting towards the end of the trip, island hopping in Greece feels like a great way to wind down. Santorini looks gorgeous, as do basically all the Greek islands. And then there’s going to Marathon, the Acropolis, and so much history to absorb!
For the last stop on my eight wonders wander, I want to see the Colosseum. I think Italy (Rome especially) is the perfect follow-up to Greece, especially from a historical point of view. I’m not sure where else I want to go in Italy because I’m indecisive – Venice, Florence, the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, etc suggest that this might be a country I come back to more than once!
So there you have it – the nine key spots on my jam-packed itinerary. I’m hoping to fit them all in, and not sure where I’m going to cut if I can’t! (Or if I’ll just extend… hmmm….)