Thursday, July 27, 2006

Here's the Plan

Or, more specifically, Plan A. I always craft a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. Plan A is typically very tightly packed and very ambitious with the goal of doing and seeing the very most on each and every day. Plan A is for Type A, heh heh. Plan B is more realistic for which I prioritize that which is most important to me based on my travel research. Plan C is the Contingency plan -- if I should miss a connection or get sick, I've still covered the essentials. Of course, a part of what makes the trip exciting and truly a journey is the unplanned.

I learned a huge lesson the first time I visited Africa in 2003, I was so attached to my expectations for Plan A, that I did not craft Plan B or C. The trip was disappointing from the start (due not to the place but to the other travelers and the organizer), and I did not have the wherewithal to salvage the trip for myself (change it, go somewhere else) because I had no preparation for anything else (and I had a 103.4F fever due to horrific food poisoning and flew home early).

I usually end up doing something between A and B with some amount of unplanned -- a lot or a little based on my adventure appetite in the moment.

With regards to my plans, some of my (sane and worldly) friends have made the observations:
-I need not make the whole trip hard, I can and should include some easier, relaxing interludes -- to which my rebuttal is, I can always do the easy stuff later, I don't ever anticipate having this amount of contiguous time for travel (until I am old and gray).
-I should "save" some places for future trips so I don't run out of places to travel. Well, I know there will always be many places I want to visit/re-visit, some for which I've had an enduring passion but still could not make fit on this trip.

The Plan:

Broadly, it's Asia, Africa and South America, about 3 months in each place with a bit more time for Africa since I've decided to overland (yes, that is a verb) a significant part of it.

More specifically, in Asia, it's Korea, China and Tibet, and Vietnam.

In Africa, it's South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, (Sudan which may be impossible due to the difficulty of obtaining a visa in Ethiopia), Egypt, and Morocco.

In South America it's Brazil, Chile (including Easter Island), and Argentina.

From a timing perspective:

August: Korea
late August to early-October: China and Tibet
couple weeks in October: Vietnam
Rest of October and early-November: South Africa and Mozambique and
mid-November: Namibia and begin overland section and travel through Zambia
December: Tanzania and Uganda
January: Kenya and Ethiopia
through mid-February: Egypt and Morocco
mid-February: Brazil
mid-March: Easter Island and Patagonia
through early May: Argentina

During the trip, while the flight dates are changeable, there are a couple anchors around which I am shaping my trip. Specifically, the Korean language class at EWHA, set reservations for Kruger in November, planned safari in Tanzania in December, Carnival in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and Bahia) February 17-21, 2007, getting to Patagonia at the tail end of the season while it is possible to be outside without bitter, bitter cold.

For those friends who are thinking about joining me for parts of the trip along the way, email me, and I'll tell you my planned dates.

Regarding the overland section in Africa. I realized that rather than flying from point A to point B, from point B to point C, etc., to really know and get a sense of and have seep into my bones Africa, I need to be on the ground. So, I am doing a clipped version of the classic overland Cape Town to Cairo -- clipped simply because I don't have time for all of it and as an American citizen likely I will not get the Sudan visa. So, the overland becomes Windhoek (Namibia) to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) -- by bus, train and truck. Some legs of the journey lack public transportation, so it will be necessary to find someone/a truck going that way and for a fee to hop on.

I really hope I don't find me asking myself, 'What the hell was I thinking???!?'


Anonymous wakey - wakey said...

Welcome to Blogger land! I'll enjoy following you around the world. And it's good to be able to respond occasionally!
Now I'll see you at 8.30a(aaaarghhh)m Sat.

11:21 PM  
Blogger jimabe said...

Chris: I'm sure you don't want me to comment at least publically on your travels, do you? I always thought you were crazy, especially travelling alone all over the place. I personally don't see any profit in making the effort to travel so. In the couple times I did leave the country, I always came back kissing the ground, being so thankful to be back and out of the hells I came from. That's just me, and travelling is all relative. Of course, I wish you the best in your exploits. And when I say you're crazy, I mean in a kind of complimentary way if you know what I mean, and also in a kind of wreckless way. Well, I hope you find what you're looking for out there in outer space.

3:17 AM  
Anonymous BRUNOK said...

safari njema

Hello Christene
I've just read your first blogs and after what I've read, I'm even more looking forward to our joint safari in Tanzania. You look a great person. I wish you all the best, a good health and a lot of wonderful experiences and new friends along the way.
Safari njema, See you in december
Bruno from Belgium

9:26 AM  
Anonymous PAUL838 said...

Bon Voyage!

Best wishes for health and happiness on your grand adventure. I know you'll enjoy your touring and the people you meet. I hope you also find whatever internal discoveries that will help you with your lifelong journey.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous RICHARD_THORNTON said...

I made it here!

Christene, the time has flown, but the future remains!

9:29 AM  

Oh Christene

Hello it's Chicago on the line! Caller your on the air. Dog Bowl is resting safe and filled with the fruits and veggies of the earth.

We wish you well on your journey and will expect a full routine of new dance moves.


9:30 AM  
Anonymous ANJALI said...

Best Wishes and Bon Voyage!

Chris -

I want to wish you all the best for a safe and happy journey! I can't wait to read all about it while I am stuck in boring old NJ...

9:31 AM  
Anonymous RICHARD_THORTON said...

A song from Tom Waites...!

For some reason this song has been stuck in my mind today...

Foreign Affair

when travelling abroad in the continental style
it's my belief one must attempt to be discreet
and subsequently bear in mind your transient position
allows you a perspective that's unique
though you'll find your itinerary's a blessing and a curse
your wanderlust won't let you settle down
and you'll wonder how you ever fathomed that you'd be content
to stay within the city limits of a small midwestern town
most vagabonds i knowed don't ever want to find the culprit
that remains the object of their long relentless quest
the obsession's in the chasing and not the apprehending
the pursuit you see and never the arrest

without fear of contradiction bon voyage is always hollered
in conjunction with a handkerchief from shore
by a girl that drives a rambler and furthermore
is overly concerned that she won't see him anymore
planes and trains and boats and buses
characteristically evoke a common attitude of blue
unless you have a suitcase and a ticket and a passport
and the cargo that they're carrying is you
a foreign affair juxtaposed with a stateside
and domestically approved romantic fancy
is mysteriously attractive due to circumstances knowing
it will only be parlayed into a memory

9:35 AM  
Anonymous VANDANA said...


Good Luck for your travel... I am so happy for you ! Looking forward to hearing about it all from you...

Keep safe,

9:44 AM  
Anonymous RACHEL said...

Buen viaje

Hi Chris. Wishing you an awesome trip. It sounds so amazing, and I'm so glad we were able to catch up on the details of all the different legs when we spoke on the phone. I can't wait to read your updates and see the pictures, and I'm also very happy that you'll be in Chicago for a relatively long time when your world travels come to a close so that we can hear all the details in person. Have a safe and wonderful trip.

love, Rachel

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Adriana_Mateo said...

Buen Viaje

Christene have a wonderful adventure.Please keep in touch.

Love & Peace. Adriana Mateo

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Wow - the visual really is kind of mindboggling - to see just how many places and how far you are going. Amazing (have I said that enough times already?)!! It's nice to have something really exotic to take my mind off the day to day stuff like Brianna stuffing a roll of toilet paper into the toilet (guess what the end result of that was?). Looking forward to hearing more about how your classes are going, how you're enjoying the food, seeing more of your family, etc.

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like bibim bap?

Try Gogung in Myeongdong. You can check them out at

(The name Gogung means Old Palace.) Hope you enjoy. Yum!

7:30 AM  

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