This is my on line journal of a year spent stepping outside the established routine of my comfort zone to explore the realm of fresh possibilities along the road less travelled...
12 November 2009
Where in the World is Wadi Rum?
Yep...that's actually a place on my tentative itinerary! Wadi Rum is the largest wadi (valley) in Jordon and the place where T.E. Lawrence based his operations during the Arab Revolt of 1917-18.
So far, I've had a few mixed responses to my announcement of taking a year off. Some people seemed surprised at the thought that I might actually want to spend a year on the road. Others reminisced about their own travels from the days of their youth :)! But "where on earth are you going to?" seemed to be the basic question on everyone's mind. I write my plans with this old Spanish Proverb in the back of my mind. "If you want to make God laugh...tell him your plans!" And yet, I truly believe in the other old adage, "Plan as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today"! So here are my tentative travel plans which of course will remain flexible!
Month 1: My plans for Cambodia have now changed. I plan to start my trip in Cambodia volunteering for a month with a partner of Real Gap. The program I have signed up for is to work at a Cambodian Orphanage and the Cambodian Children Support Foundation. I will be teaching English to the kids here as well as helping out with various farm activities. The kids live in the school and aim to be sustainable by growing their own food, capturing their own water supply and keeping various farm animals such as cows and chooks.
Month 2: I plan to then join an overland trip around Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and perhaps do some trekking in Northern Thailand for the next month and half.
Month 4: I plan to visit Sri Lanka, spend time with friends and family, travel around and be completely flexible as to what I do and where I go.
I plan to spend a few days in Dubai before heading off to Africa....
Month 5: I plan to volunteer in South Africa ina project based in St Lucia that deals with Wildlife Photography & Conservation. The volunteers are involved in creating a complete database of wildlife photographs and birds as well as raising awareness in the local community about the importance of conversation and the local wildlife. St Lucia Wetland is South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site. Month 6: I plan to then volunteer on a project which is based in Namibia and deals with Cheetah Conservation. The volunteers assist at a reserve dedicated to the conservation of cheetahs and other big cats. The activities include essential maintenance duties in the mornings such as dam and bridge maintenance and further exciting activities in the afternoons such as tracking leopards and cheetahs, and getting involved in the cheetah welfare program. This is the largest big cat conservation program in the world!
Month 7: I plan to join an overland trip that will take me through Zambia, Malawi,Zanzibar, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Month 8: This will be my Middle East Adventure. The plan is to fly up to Cairo and travel overland Egypt, Jordon, Syria and Turkey.
Then fly up to London to catch up with my cousin before taking wing for South America... Month 9: My ultimate dream...to visit the only continent I yet have not travelled to...Antarctica!
Month 10: I plan to make travel through Patagonia on an overland trip through Chile & Argentina
Month 11: Before finally making my way back to Australia via New Zealand where I hope to catch up with some dear friends!
I am an Australian artist and engineer, passionate about travel, writing, and photography. I love discovering places that are off the beaten track and people who have the courage to think outside the square. While I grew up in Sri Lanka, I spent 9 years in California and a year teaching English in South Korea before migrating to Australia in 1998. I now share a home with my partner in Hornsby, a northern suburb of Sydney, where we wake up each day to the smells, sounds and sights of the Australian bush. I am inspired by the natural world and by the sense of freedom and adventure in the people I meet while travelling. I have always had a ‘spiritual’ connection to nature and prefer to travel ‘close to the ground’, in order to better connect with the local culture, people and the environment. Having reached Antarctica I have now fulfilled a life-long dream to spend time on every continent. I am now spending time exploring my creative passions and looking for linkages with my career pursuits in water.
"Believe while others are doubting....Plan while others are playing...Study while others are sleeping...Decide while others are delaying...Prepare while others are daydreaming...Begin while others are procrastinating...Work while others are wishing....Save while others are wasting...Smile while others are frowning. Commend while others are cricising...Persist while others are quitting..." William A Ward
"Twenty Years from now you will be more dissappointed by the things that you didn't do, than the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines Sail away from the safe harbour Catch the trade winds in your sails Explore, Dream, Discover"
On the Road Less Travelled...
Dreamers of the Day - T. E. Lawrence
“All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.”