Everything is new

Nepal has changed me for the better.

I’m sorry for being cheesy, but this trip did make me change my life. Not in the sense that I am now a vegan Buddhist monk, but in the sense that I learnt to love myself again and how to smile. I went through a rough time before I went on my trip, and I feel like I am back to my strong and happy self that I was several years ago 🙂

Having said this, I want to tell you all the new and exciting things I have planned for the future! Becuase I LOVE to plan things.

Since coming back I have moved to England and have started my MA Education in International Development and Education. Part of ther degree is a Placement. Since I am interested in homelessness (not really much to do with my library in Nepal ^^ but oh well!) and I have connections in Bucharest, Romania (from previously living there for 7 years) I decided to go back to that beautiful country to do my placement and conduct the research for my Dissertation (focused on the educational opinions and needs of the homeless and the informal education that is already going on–more on thsi in later posts).

Since I am doing a MA programme, I have quite a bit of time where I have no classes. And since I am organized and have stuff planned and can work efficiently, as well as the one month easter break in April, i will take some time to travel.
March will be spent in Bucharest conducting my research and April, and maybe some of May, will be spent TRAVELLING!

My initial plans consisted of South Eastern Europe, but after posting some questions on fodors.com my trip seems to keep getting bigger and bigger.

1. The initial plan: Live in Bucharest and travel to Moldova to visit old friends and then go off through Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, potentially northern Greece and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bus and train travel is cheap, couchsurfing is free and food is inexpensive too! Ther perfect trip for a student 🙂

2. Moldova: In 2010 I volunteered in an orphanage in Moldova. This would be a PERFECT opportunity to go back and visit for a weekend or so 🙂 The last time, the situation between Moldova and Transnistiria was still very shaky and border patrols and guards were taking extremely high bribes. I was also told it would be very dangerous to go. Since I was 17 back then I did not want to take the chance.

After having posted on fodors though, I have gotten responses about the situation having gotten a lot better since the elctions in 2011. After a consultation on couchsurfing.com I also found potential hosts. So guess where I’m going for a night? That’s right. Tiraspol.

This leads me to point three. The crazy part of this trip.

Yes. I call THIS the crazy part…although I have gotten called crazy for wanting to visit places like the Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina (which I find extremely interesting)

3. Asia: I’ve been to Asia before. Actually, I was born in Asia. There’s a fun fact about me! ^^

Back to the trip.

So I was told the train trip from Chisinau (Moldova) to Tiraspol (Transnistiria) and then on to Odessa (Ukraine) is supposed to be BEAUTIFUL. So I have to take that person for their word…and as someone who loves to travel and who loves bus and train travel a statement like that is lethal.

I have been to Odessa before…but I remember it being a port town with Ferries. So…yea.

Internet + travel plans + google maps = oh my gosh!

So I found ferries to Georgia. Yep. And Armenia’s not far off from there…Tblisi is only a 5h drive from Yerevan (WHAAT?) and then I can go visit Ankara and drive through Anatolia! Take a beautiful old train to Izmir (my place of birth that I’ve been wanting to visit for years!) and then a ferry to Athens (where I’ve also never been)

From there on I can then continue my previously planned trip.

The only downside to this is missing out Bulgaria…but I’ve been there so many times, I think I’ll survive…And I’ll get to see pretty much three new countries (I’ve only really been to Istanbul in Turkey…)

What an adventure!