Welcome to 2016! I haven’t written in awhile, simply because there isn’t too much new information towards my travel plans. Regardless, I feel like keeping my adoring public updated.
First things first, I think I am going to start a new blog. It will probably be on the same site, and of course linked to my Facebook account. But I would like to revise a few things about the current setup. Mostly, I want a catchy name for it. I have a few ideas, and I’m still working on that. I’d also like to find a way to link photos taken while on the road easily and efficiently. Right now I use a separate program for that: Flickr.
Second, progress. I opened up my Barclay’s Dream Account last month, and hope to be able to put the maximum $1000 deposit every month for the next six months. With the bonus interest rates I think that would land me at about $7500 in June. In addition to my income tax rebate, selling all my worldy possessions, and all my…other sources of income (nothing illegal, just a tiny bit unethical), I may be able to double that total. And going on the principle that about $3000 afforded me an almost extravagant lifestyle for the 15 weeks I traveled last time, I’d say I should be fairly well off. While we are on the topic of finances, I recently successfully applied for a Mileage Plus Explorer by Chase credit card. I don’t plan on using it much, but once I spend $1000 I get enough bonus points to pay for my airline ticket to Europe. At that point I will just cancel the card in order to avoid the annual fees. I’ve had my Barclay’s Arrival+ MasterCard for about a year now. I’ve received probably $700 in bonuses, yet haven’t paid a dime in interest. I will most likely keep the Barclay’s Card for a bit, in spite of the $89 annual fee.
Additionally in the progress area, I will soon be signing up for training to get my TEFL certificate. This expensive endeavor will surely consume much of my time. To complete the class in the frame allowed, it will require about 10 hours a week of online courses. This, coupled with a full-time job and the 15-20 or so university credits I hope to take this semester will undoubtedly prove to be quite taxing.
I guess this brings me to plans. I still have none. No, really. I have no idea. I don’t know where I would depart (Phoenix or Philadelphia), where I would arrive (anywhere, really), and where I might stop in between. Any ideas would help! I do have a list of a few countries to which I am determined to return. Some of them for the people, some for the general enjoyment of the environment. Romania was one of my favorites, followed closely by Poland and Ukraine. I’d like to go back to Croatia, but it was not really worth the exorbitant (relatively speaking) prices. Slovenia was beautiful, and I loved the relaxed atmosphere in Ljubljana. Also, that’s where I found the best gelato ever (or so far). Moldova was actually really nice. The capital city, Chisinau, was a bit run down. Otherwise, everything was really cheap and the people there were incredibly hospitable.
I plan on spending several months in Europe. From there, I would still like to see Iran. I’ve heard wonderful things, but I’m afraid the visa process for Americans may be too problematic. I think I’ll travel through India and eventually head my way over to the countries of southeast Asia. I’m keeping a mostly-open itinerary, so anybody that lives or has traveled to any of these places is welcome to offer their thoughts and opinions.
For now, I have another 150 days, give or take, to tie up all my loose ends in the States. I’m not sure where the future will take me, but I’m excited to find out!