As of October 2016 I have taken a sabbatical from work to go traveling. Originally my plan had been to visit countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, etc.; I’ve always wanted to visit South East Asia. I’ve heard amazing stories from family members who have been there and friends who have visited, and figured that I needed to see it for myself.
But when looking on the map at a flight to Thailand, I realised that there were hundreds of countries that I would be flying over that I’d never even considered visiting. Everyone’s heard of parties in Bangkok, Thailand, but what’s Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, famous for? We’ve all met someone who has motorcycled through Vietnam (not that I’m knocking it, you can be damn sure I’ll be doing the same thing if I make it to Hanoi), but what’s the best way to travel through Tashkent?
So I looked into some of the countries on the borders of Europe that might be considered on the path less traveled. Reading about Turkmenistan (a country with free electricity, free water, free gas, but more difficult to get into than North Korea) got me pretty intrigued, but pretty worried about my finances too, as the costs of visas and flights started building up. So in the end I decided to meet myself, my finances, and my absolutely terrible organisation skills halfway, and only visit a few of these ex-Soviet, Central Asian countries. A quick ‘Everywhere’ search on SkyScanner got me cheap flights to Kyrgyzstan, and suddenly I’d made my first purchase and the trip was being planned.
So I started planning something a bit different. So far the plan has only vaguely been followed – I meant to spend 5 weeks in Kyrgyzstan, but ended up detouring to Tajikistan for 2 and a half weeks. Look at the map below to follow my route. It’s gotten a bit messy, but the markers at each location tell you where I’ve been and what I’ve gotten up to. For more information check my blog posts! They tell the full story of everything I’ve done and the reasons I now hate taxis. Let me know what you think, and if you like it then consider subscribing!
I’d be delighted to hear suggestions for or critiques of the plan, so let me know if you’ve got some great experiences to share or places that I should really visit!