Sunday, February 15, 2009

Three-year travel plan

When I moved back to Brazil in 2006, after a year full of traveling, I knew that any opportunities for non-business long-haul trips would become scarce. So I should really focus my traveling efforts to go to places that would be worth it, trying not to repeat places or go somewhere too similar to where I'd been already.

With that in mind, I set out to devise my first 3-year travel plan: 5 places that I should try to visit over a 3-year period. My list in early 2006 consisted of:

New York City
Macchu Picchu
Madrid and Barcelona
South China (Yunnan)

Three years have just gone. I ended up visiting NYC on new year's day 06-07 and Macchu Picchu in new year's day 07-08. Moscow was covered in a business trip in 07, but I could do a fair amount of sightseeing as well. The latter two choices just did not materialize (I chose to ramble around countryside Argentina for new year's 08-09).

So now it's high time I devise the second version of my 3-year travel plan. I have to put a bit of thought into it.

What I do not want is:
- cities where the only leisure is the urban life (restaurant-museum-disco-shopping). Got plenty of that in São Paulo already.
- too touristic beaches
- too much underdevelopment (Mumbai slum? hm... maybe in another 3-year plan)

What I probably want is:
- cultures I have never had contact with - e.g. the Muslim world
- extreme faraway places where you just sit and gaze at nature
- cozy, midsized cities - in the mould of, say, Hamburg (by the way, the more I go to Germany the more I enjoy it)
- places where I know locals who could show me around

After a bit of Google-Earthing I came to the following places:

1) A glacier - either Patagonia, Norway or Iceland
2) A paradise island - either Noronha (Brazil), somewhere in the Caribbean, the Phillipines, or Polynesia (Cook Islands perhaps)
3) A hiking expedition - either Chapada Diamantina (Brazil), the Santiago de Compostela trek in Spain, or the Alps
4) A wine tour - either Chile, California, Italy or France
5) Ancient cities, especially if in a Muslim country - perhaps Turkey, Syria or Iran

So many places to visit.
So little time.

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