Travel plans


in Daily updates, Travel

The church on whose walk we now live

As the days get brighter, I have been plotting out travel plans for the period between now and the end of the M.Phil. My primary objective is to see the more interesting, less well known parts of Europe. Much as I enjoy Tuscany or the Italian coastline, it seems more intelligent overall to have a look at places like Estonia, Turkey, and Croatia, while they are reasonably close at hand. Indeed, Instanbul is my top European target at the moment; I am waiting for some combination of free time, money, and a traveling companion to come together. Within the UK, Dublin is the place I would most like to see – ideally with someone like Tristan.

The appeal of Istanbul has much to do with how exotic is seems. Especially after seeing the photos that Emily and Bryony brought back from Morocco, I am hoping to travel somewhere with an Arabic character. It should also afford a good number of photographic opportunities, which is becoming a critical consideration for travel destinations for me.

As much of Europe as their remains to see, I think it’s essential that I see some other regions sooner rather than later. At the top of that list is Africa. Three sub-regions have particular appeal: French speaking West Africa (like Ghana and Benin), South Africa, and Kenya and Tanzania. I remain seriously interested in the possibility of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in the summer of 2007, as a follow-up to the M.Phil. To finish an academic program, then climb 5.8km straight up one of the world’s most interesting mountains would make an excellent pairing. I’ve also heard a lot about how people have had their climbs sponsored and, in so doing, raised a lot of money for charity. While the time right before the QT isn’t right for contemplating such expeditions, it’s a good thing to keep in the back of one’s mind.

Asia is another major region that I need to visit. I would very much like to go to Japan but, like Africa, it’s a place I would much rather go along with someone who has local experience and, ideally, appropriate language skills. I can do well enough in Europe with English and French. I think that would be less true farther afield, especially if I want to experience things beyond the simply touristic.

Visiting Nick Sayeg in Australia would be a lot of fun, especially if it was a part of a trip that also involved Sidney and a good amount of New Zealand. Alex’s photos from there are enough to ensure it a place on the relatively long list of potential destinations.

Of course, that leaves South America. For me, South America is more interesting as a quasi-athletic possibility than as a straightforwardly touristic one. My father went cycling in Peru, and Astrid did her incredible looking Andean hiking. It would also be really cool to see Tierra del Fuego, and even Antarctica, if it could somehow be managed.

One third of my Eight Year Plan, the overall strategic framework that should see me through until I am thirty, is defined as “travel everywhere important, or that I really want to see.” Through a combination of planning, intelligent selection of jobs and schools, and opportunism, I definitely mean to do so.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 13, 2006 at 7:56 pm

There’s this reall yinteresting project called Pole to Pole (google it)that I have applied for. I need people to support it with $25 donations and i’m not sure how I will get that accomplished what with all of my young professional friends being in debt or getting out of it. Anyway I just wanted to book in your theorectical life’s to do list my own profound interest in climbing Kilimanjaro. I love the mountains and did some wicked climbing in Iceland. And no one would give the expedition the poetic Hemingway-esque quality it would need to be appreciated on all levels. Keep me in mind.

your friend and constant admirer,

Milan April 13, 2006 at 8:03 pm


The expedition plans are in the early stages, but I will definitely keep you posted. It would definitely be an amazing trek.

Kerrie April 13, 2006 at 8:49 pm

“Eight, the years of my industrious plan”

“Seven, the years I did it in”

R.K. April 13, 2006 at 9:39 pm

Eight years?!?

I have it on good authority that it was possible to go around the world in eight days, in the time of coal-fired ships and railways.

I suppose the rest of the time is meant to be used for the other two planks of your plan?

Milan April 13, 2006 at 9:44 pm

Phileas Fogg missed a great deal of what I want to see.

Indeed, just about all he saw were the insides of various vehicles and a few port cities and customs houses. Some drama involving policeman and murderous Indians (both in India and Americ) aside, his was a voyage notable primarily for the activity of voyaging.

Milan April 14, 2006 at 1:31 pm

All Canadians will be pleased to learn – as I did on MeFi earler – that The Log Driver’s Waltz is available on YouTube.

This short film, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, has probably be seen at least a few dozen times by anyone who went to primary school in Canada.

Milan April 14, 2006 at 1:50 pm

Also available, and equally classic: The Cat Came Back.

hilary April 14, 2006 at 11:20 pm

I watched that version of the cat came back at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre in the summer. My favourite film in their library was always(and still is) SPLASH. A story about the rain water cycle and pollution in a MASH parody style. It’s even funnier now than it was when I was 5.

Milan April 14, 2006 at 11:35 pm


The NFB info page on SPLASH. You can watch a clip in RealVideo format.

Milan April 14, 2006 at 11:37 pm

Oh, and here is a link to an mp3 of The Log Driver’s Waltz.

Trivia fact: it is performed by Rufus Wainwright’s mother.

Anonymous April 27, 2006 at 4:07 pm
Anonymous May 18, 2006 at 8:01 pm

Be careful. Dublin is not “within the UK,” as you allege.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (usually shortened to the United Kingdom or the UK) is a political union occupying part of the British Isles in northwestern Europe, comprised of the constituent countries of England, Scotland, and Wales on the island of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland on the island of Ireland. Most of its territory and population are on Great Britain and it shares a land border with the Republic of Ireland on the island of Ireland. Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland.

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