Thursday, July 16, 2009

What are you going to do in ______?

As I tell people about my trip and fill them in on my plans (why aren't they reading the blog again?!), one question I get asked over and over again is in regards to specific activities I plan to do or sights I plan to see. It's a hard question to answer because when you're going to be away for a year, you don't plan out every day like you would for a one or even two week vacation. If that's even possible, which I really don't think it is, you'd go crazy in the process.

My approach will be to come up with two or three things that I'd like to do in each place and then kind of wing it from there. This will make you Type-A personalities out there hyperventilate, but I think it will allow for the most flexibility. If I decide last minute that I want to go shopping, or to a museum, or the beach, I'll be able to do it without any major adjustments to my itinerary.

There are definitely things that I really, really want to do, though. On the suggestion of the Brits, I'm now way excited about seeing a football match at Camp Nou in Barcelona. This is one of the world's largest stadiums, seating about 100,000 people. Soccer is huge pretty much all over the world except in America and FC Barcelona is supposed to be a pretty good team, so I can't imagine not having a good time.

The architecture in Prague is amazing, so the biggest thing I want to do there is wander around for hours just taking pictures. The Czech Republic is known for their beers, too. I've drank Pilsner Urquell at home, I just have to do it there!

Since I'm into yoga, I think it would be pretty awesome to take a yoga class in India where it originated. I've been doing yoga for years, but there's still probably nothing I can do to prepare myself for how very different I expect a "real" yoga class to be. Along that same vein, I love to cook and would like to take cooking classes in as many different countries as I can. For cost purposes, this is most likely to happen in SE Asia, but that's okay because I love Asian food. A cooking class in Thailand is a must and if I can take
them in Vietnam and Malaysia too, even better.

I want to see wildlife. This orangutan lives at the National Zoo in DC, but they currently only survive in the wild in Indonesia. (Did you know orangutan is Malay for 'person of the forests'?) I probably wouldn't actually see them in the wild, but there are parks and rehab centers and such where I'd get to see them up close and personal instead of behind glass. I'd like to see tigers and elephants (and bears, oh my! Well, ok, maybe not bears.). I want to see brightly colored birds and huge sea turtles.

I want to see and hike to the top of Angor Wat in Cambodia (wat means temple). I don't even know if hiking to the top is allowed lol, but if it is, I want to do it! I think the view would be awesome. Taj Mahal is obviously a must. And I've never been snorkeling or scuba diving before, so wouldn't it be really cool to do it for the first time in Australia's Great Barrier Reef?

That's just a sampling of some of the things I'd like to see and do, but it should give you an idea. Is there anything I haven't mentioned that you'd like to recommend? I'm open to suggestions.

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