I have been mulling over my 2011 plans for a few months now. 2011 is going to end up being a big year for me, one way or another.
I need to come up with a source of income this year. I feel confident I can make it through the rest of this year fairly easily (especially abroad) with the savings that I still have, but the time is neigh to me having to come up with some plan to start making money for the future — hopefully a future that still involves a load of travel.
The last few months have been incredibly productive in terms of creative formulation. In the next few weeks, I am going to announce a travel bloggers challenge concept that I think we will be able to pull off later this fall. I’ve got a long-shot television thing that I personally think is great, but who the hell knows — that business is like playing the lottery. And about three iPhone/website ideas and I like all of them and might try to do them all.
Hoping that one or more of these things come together in the next six months, so that I can manage a location independent life. I love it out there. A lot.
But enough of talk of the struggle for the legal tender. Let’s talk about travel. Here is what I think I am up to for 2011.
One of the things that I can come to love in the last couple years is diving. I am not great at it, but the sights underwater give me the kind of joy and happiness that is hard to explain to those that haven’t seen it. The world is entirely different down there.
And I want more.
So I am going to go back to the Middle East. My plan is to fly to Istanbul in early February. I love that city. It will also be really good to meet the Turkeys for Life and the Notorious Meg and her husband.
One of the main points, besides Istanbul, of my starting in Istanbul is that I love Turkey. It is one of my favorite countries, even when I have a really bad travel day. What I really want to do is take some pictures of the Cappidocia, Turkey region while there is snow on the ground. It is such a photographically great part of the world.
From there, I am going to go to northern Iraq. Now before anyone freaks out, especially my parents, this is just as safe as when I went to Somaliland. Two great travelers and bloggers beat me to Iraq in the last few months, Wandering Earl in Iraq and Fox Nomad in Iraq. The northern part is completely safe and I look forward to hitting it.
Then back through Turkey and down to Syria. I love Syria. This is a country that is basically undiscovered by Americans and you need to go there…. now. Hamas in the north first, then down to, Damascus, one of my favorite cities. And I want to hit some of the areas out on the eastern desert that I didn’t get to see last time.
From there, I am going to hit Lebanon, which I didn’t have time for last time. Then back through Syria and down to Jordan. Yes, I will hit Petra again — this time for multiple photo days. Likely hit the Dead Sea, which I didn’t do the last time.
So that should take six weeks or so, then I am going to go back to one of my favorite places, Dahab, Egypt. There, I am going to try to go ahead and get my dive master certification.
Dahab is one of those beach towns that makes you want ot stay for months. So I think I shall stay for at least one. Finishing the dive master course will take me that long and there is no place I’d rather do it.
From there, I am not sure. There are some other areas in the Middle East I want to hit. I hear the diving in Oman is great. And Yemen is interesting. Tons of places that people don’t normally go to — which is like catnip for my traveling soul.