|Santiago De Compostela|
So...I changed my mind.
I was feeling so stressed trying to get everything lined up for my trip (or trips--it was like trying to plan 4 trips at once). And I was having trouble getting my tickets bought and all of a sudden I thought...maybe I don't want to go there anyway. Also, I found my old "to-go" list on a post it note. So I looked deep and asked myself what I really wanted to do.
I wanted to go to Spain. I want to walk the Camino de Santiago. I didn't want to go back to Asia. I wanted to relax the pace.
I decided I have all my life to travel. For now what I really want is to take a sabbatical and rest and recoup. Also, I figure if I am going to throw myself a proper quarter-life crisis (and actually I realized it should probably be called a third-life crisis...which is even scarier!) then what better thing to do than to walk an 800 km pilgrimage route all by myself for a month? That is bound to sort me out.
Now, I had a minor relapse where I forgot about those things called visas, which only allow you to stay 90 days in an increasingly large area of all of Europe, so I had to be a bit creative, but I am oh-so happy with the result. (PS. Tip of the day: Do NOT try to overstay a Schengen/tourist visa in Europe anymore! Apparently they are on their way to making the Schengen zone into a fortress and are handing out fines in the thousands along with 5 year bands nowadays!) Anyway, here is the itinerary, part duex!
Step one: Central America (no change here): Costa Rica (I booked myself a place on the beach for the first week to just chill!), Panama, Nicaragua
Step two: Greece, Cyprus
Step three: Spain! Flying into Girona (Barca), then making my way to the French side of the boarder to start the Camino Frances. Then I'll be walking my way across the peninsula aiming to make it to Santiago by my 25th birthday.
Step four: Balkans--Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania. (I've also decided if I get there and don't love my time there that I'll head over to Turkey and spend some time in the countryside.)
Finally, step five: I'll make my way back into the Schengen zone, making sure to get up to Cinque Terre on my way to fly home out of Zurich on August 2.
So there you have it. Yes, I am very last minute (I leave in about 36 hours at this point!), but whatever, I am excited! And I have the permagrin to prove it!