Hello, and welcome to the next step in my post-military globe-trotting. Many of you followed my first blog (tonyrides.com) as I traveled the United States on my Motorcycle, riding over 18,000 miles and reaching 49 states and three countries.

In this next installment, my friend Jerod and I will be going abroad for an open-ended jaunt. We will start in the Middle-East at the end of February and see where the roads and the winds take us.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Real Last Day

I decided to write one last entry before heading to the airport this evening.  My room at my sister's house is all cleared out, my bags are packed, and I watched all of the NCIS and Law and Order episodes that I had recorded on my sister's DVR.  It looks like there is nothing to do now but get on the plane.  I am super excited to be going, but now it has dawned on me that I am also more nervous than I thought I'd be.

I'm not nervous about the flying or the places we are going, but more so the unknown element and the lack of planning.  People might think that I am a daring and free-spirited and adventurous, and it is partly true, but looking back, the last 28 years of my life has been pretty much dictated by parents, college, and the Coast Guard.  Even the motorcycle trip I took was relatively well planned, and my route was predicated by the goal of hitting all of the states I could, and I had a finite time limit in which to accomplish it.

This trip, however, is absolutely boundless.  Other than two nights booked in a hostel in Tel Aviv for Monday and Tuesday, and a flight booked from Cairo to Istanbul on April 15th, there is pretty much no concrete plan for this trip.  We have planned out some of the big picture aspects of the trip, and have done a lot of research regarding the various countries we would like to visit, but the food, lodging, and transportation is completely up in the air (essentially the entire basis for Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs).

So bottom line; I'm excited, I'm nervous, and I'm leaving tonight one way or the other.  Follow along here to see how it unfolds.  

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Last Day

Well, today is our last full day here in the States.  Jerod got into Boston on Thursday night via Amtrak, and we spent Friday going over our gear, picking up some last minute items, and test-fitting everything in our packs.  Not much to do now.  I still have some last-minute chores to tidy up my stuff that is at my sister's house and get it ready to be sent home to my parents' house for storage in their basement.

I guess it's safe to say that I'm pretty excited.  I've been thinking about, and planning for this trip for a long time now, and I'm pretty tired of waiting.  I'm also tired of talking about it, and explaining it, and justifying it, and defending it, and assuring people of my safe return.

But, when we get on the plane tomorrow at 1930 all of that will just fade into the proverbial rear-view mirror.  I'm not very inspired to write now, so stay tuned for the next entry; From Israel.  

Friday, February 12, 2010

The count-down begins

Greetings.  There are only 16 days left until Jerod and I get on a plane for Israel (via England).  We leave February 28th and get into Tel Aviv mid-day on the 1st of March.  I'm definitely excited, but have a few reservations as well; specifically, financial concerns.  I am not quite where I was hoping to be at this point, and am still waiting on some tax and insurance documents to come through.  Talk about waiting until the last minute, huh?  I still have a few tricks up my sleeve, though, and  won't let a little thing like money stand in my way.  The good news is that our flights to the Middle East and from Egypt to Turkey are already paid for, so there shouldn't be much in the way of transportation costs or the first three months or so.

For those of you interested in our itinerary, I can give you a rough snapshot:
March 1 - March 15: Israel
March 15 - late March: Jordan
Late March: Back to Israel for Passover
Early April - April 15: Egypt
April 15 - early June: Turkey  (including 30 days hiking the Lycian Way)

After Turkey we will be heading to Greece to try and meet up with some friends that will be over there around the same time.  Once we are done in Greece our plan rapidly deteriorates.  Some likely destinations are Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Krakow, and the Carpathian mountains.  Depending on time and budget we may look into a trip on the trans-siberian railroad, and are definitely interested in Nepal and India.