Morning mountain hikes provide private time for meditation, prayers, and random reflections. This morning a few minutes were devoted to preliminary plans for future travel...
I suspect one thing that sparked this was a brief NPR story reporting that no one got gored at this year's running of the bulls in Pamplona--forever imortalized/romanticized in Hemingway's prose. I didn't bother to pursue this event this summer since my local city was hosting MLB's All Star Game. But next year is an entirely different story.
In fact, I'm well over 90% certain that I'll be in Barcelona a year from now and beyond. I checked my favorite adventure tour company a couple days ago, and they are listing two group trips to the 2012 running of the bulls. Neither is filled nor guaranteed yet (WAY too early), but I'll be keeping an eye out on this and will very likely plop down a deposit whenever one of those dates is a guaranteed departure.
This year's more exotic travel is already booked well in advance--with Burma for late November and Galapagos at the end of the year to help stave off cabin fever.
Still, it's been 3 whole months that I've been confined to this country, so I'm getting a bit antsy. I'll be taking a Labor Day weekend warrior baseball journey to SF to see our Diamondbacks battle the enemy Giants, so I can immerse myself into Chinatown for a spell to keep from going too stir crazy before November...
But today's hike had me musing about trips starting in 2012 and beyond. The running of the bulls in July seems like a sure thing, but I'm also considering a Brazil journey in the spring--to help scout out the territory a couple years before the World Cup and a chance to meet up in real life with a good online friend. I also am very keen on a coffee plantation themed tour of Columbia offered through GAP adventures. Problem with that trip is that too many are scared off by tales of danger, so the tour has yet to ever take place--I should be a bit more flexible for travel dates next year, so I'll keep checking on that one.
I also very much want to do a combo trip of Jordan and Syria, but it's going to take prayers and divine intervention to get the situation in hand well enough to risk walking the streets of Damascus. (Been wanting to go there ever since its beauty was referenced in Lawrence of Arabia ... and the tour in that area also includes Aqaba, the coastal city that marks Lawrence's most amazing victory)