1. Cruise ship from Florida to Spain. The best rates go for about $700 right before and after spring semester finals. If my students really come along, we could spend part of the 7-9 days studying creative writing (which some want to learn) and we could write and publish a book about our trip so anyone can follow us later.
2. Once in Spain, we might as well take a $40 ferry to Morocco and spend a day or two, just to add another continent to the itinerary.
3. Maybe catch Barcelona for a couple days, just to check out Sagrada Familia cathedral and the bizarrely awesome Parque Guel. Plus hike up to a dilapidated Roman castle above any old town.
4. For sure stop in Paris for a while. And maybe Germany where I have three friends and relatives I could stay with…though probably not if we’re a large group. If students really come along and “hire” me as their tour guide, I’ll spend as long as they want anywhere they want to go!
5. Make our way to Moscow and catch the Transiberian railroad all the way over to Irkutsk. While living in Beijing way back when, Transiberian tickets went for $113 and I really, really wanted to go. But I was quickly running out of money saved up from working in Taiwan and had a return ticket home through Hong Kong. Now is my chance!
6. It’s also my chance to spend a few days riding horses in Mongolia and staying in yurts (gors), another activity I missed in Beijing and promised to return for someday.
7. Beijing deserves a few days to see the sights, and I can drop in on some friends & relatives living there. Plus catch the Great Wall on the way by. Maybe backpack and camp there again.
8. From there, we could check out a few cities like Chengdu, maybe visit Everest North Base Camp in Tibet, and definitely Yangshuo on our way south.
9. From there, pass through Viet Nam (more friends there), then on to Thailand, where I’ll either settle down or take a boat over to India and continue up to Nepal for a 5-day hike up to Everest South Base Camp. Perhaps I’ll stay in Nepal for the summer, and move to Thailand for winter.
I think that much is doable for around $3,000. So worth it! Then I can live in Thailand or Nepal for a few hundred bucks a month.
10. And then?
Nobody knows. Probably teach English. Write a lot and publicize what I’ve got. Maybe guide tours around Asia, teach energy work, and whatever else comes up. Then ponder life until I figure out what happens next.
A real estate agent heard I was thinking of moving and is bringing some potential buyers by tomorrow to look at the place. With some cheap foreclosures nearby, I doubt they’ll buy it, but the market is showing signs of improvement soon, and if they offer what I need…then this grand adventure is that much closer to reality. If not, I’ll keep planning and scheming and see what happens.