Border Crossing 2012 Overview
In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s 2012 now. And 2012, for me, means movement. My trip, newly renamed Border Crossing 2012, begins in a little over two weeks. Here’s how it will go.
The last half of January will be spent in Seattle and Japan, visiting friends and meeting the first member of the new generation of my world! None of my close friends, siblings, or cousins have procreated…until now, and since the baby will be in Japan, I get to be the first to meet it!
In February, I’ll continue by ferry to China with another friend, who lives in Guangxi province. I’ll check out her area and Shanghai, Beijing, and Harbin, then move on mid-month to Russia. I’m going to spend a month there, traversing the country by train. This will be an exciting time. Everyone knows I love snow and Russian trains, but my month will also include the holiday Maslenitsa and the highly-charged presidential election! Also, I’ve never been to non-European Russia before and can’t wait to see the Far East and Lake Baikal.
From there, in mid-March, I enter post-communist Europe: Ukraine (which I missed on my last trip due to the black hole that is Iasi), Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia. I plan to do some farming in Bulgaria and some hiking and camping in Romania and Croatia.
By May I’ll be back in the Western world, farming and exploring for a month in Germany. In June, I’ll head to the Jura trail in Switzerland for a week-long through hike, then to Beaune, France to meet my dad, who is coming to explore Burgundy wines with me. After a few days there and a few in Paris, it will be time to fly home again.
After budgeting for all my transportation, it’s looking like I’ll have about $30/day for food, lodging, and extras throughout my trip. Not bad, but it will definitely be essential to get free lodging and cheap food where possible to compensate for those times when I can’t avoid splurging. Staying within this budget will obviously be much easier in certain countries (China, Russia, eastern Europe) than others (Japan, the US, western Europe).
Finally, I did a dry run on packing yesterday and found that I have too much stuff. It’s close, but I can’t close my backpack in its current state, so it’s time to make some tough decisions. I’ll post my packing list once I finalize it for general scrutiny.
Happy 2012, everyone! Don’t forget to do harder this year.