For the first time in my adult life I have more or less definite plans for the next 12 months. Almost all of them revolve around adventures, creative storytelling, and sharing knowledge, so I can’t complain.
Perhaps it’s in response to the existential tyranny of ‘future planning’, though, that I often find myself daydreaming about the trips I’d do if I hadn’t already made these plans!
Here are a few dream trips I’d take in 2014 if time and money were no object:
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1. Walk across Armenia
Much of the back country of my adoptive homeland remains unexplored (at least by me). Given the elevation and the terrain — and the diminutive scale of the nation — it’d make a lot of sense to do it on foot. I’d begin from Georgia and avoid the roads, heading cross-country, taking a detour through Nagorno-Karabakh and continuing to the opposing border with Iran.
It’d be tough, but it’d be a fantastic exploration of the significant geography of the region — particularly the parts the Soviets couldn’t reach.
2. Bikepack the Caribbean
Everyone I’ve mentioned this idea to over the last few years has made jokes about luxury yachts and pina coladas. It’s precisely this holiday-oriented preconception of the region that I suspect would be blown out of the water (sorry) by a back-road and off-road exploration of these former colonial islands.
(Yes, I’d aim to hitch-hike between islands on luxury yachts while sipping pina coladas. Why not?)
3. Paddle the Ganges
It was a friend of mine who put this particular idea into my head. Thankfully he hasn’t actually gone and done it, leaving me free to steal his idea.
Canadian-canoeing the length of a river upon which a few hundred million people depend, through some of the most densely populated regions on Earth, could hardly fail to be a memorable experience, now, could it?
4. Cycle the Pamir Highway
Photo by Andy.
My original bicycle journey towards Central Asia was halted in Tehran (yet somehow ended up in Djibouti). I’d love to pick up that trail again and take a ride through the stunning mountainous regions of Central Asia. A couple of months would do it.
I’m attracted to this route not just for the yawning landscapes and ancient cultures, but because I’d be able to speak the local language and because with my Armenian passport I wouldn’t need any visas…
5. Hitch-hike to Australia
I’m a sucker for hitching, and I’d love to see it have a renaissance. There seems to be a paradigm shift towards co-operation and sharing in the process of happening — about time, too — and it’d be nice to think that thumbing rides would make a return to the realm of social acceptability as part of it.
A demonstrative hitching trip from the UK to Australia (for example) might work well as part of an awareness-raising campaign of some kind.
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Nothing too ambitious, then! (It’s OK to dream big.)
Got dream trips? Sure you do. Go on — spill the beans.