The beginning of Aimlessly Ali: June 2016
Where to next? What corner of the world is the right place for me to go first, with my 5 months off of work? And how do I narrow down my options when there are literally hundreds of amazing and exotic locations I want to see?? I know, I know… This sounds like the worst version of #FirstWorldProblems and I realize it could be super annoying. This has actually been looping through my brain for the last few weeks as I weigh my options. I want to make sure I’m not just completely reckless in my impulsivity because I will be travelling solo most of the time, and I’ll need to have an idea of what I’m getting myself into so I can have the best chance of being safe. A part of the fun for me is dreaming up what I might get to experience and so with that I like to do a bit of digging into where I might go. Don’t confuse that with setting an itinerary though! (Aimless and come what may, remember!)
With about a week before I expect to leave, I still don’t know where I’ll go. My first plan (and I use that term loosely) was to fly down to French Guiana in South America. Here’s why it appealed to me:
- French language is spoken there. I’d love to have a chance to learn and expand my knowledge beyond the “cereal box” French I grew up with in Western Canada. **
- It’s remote and different. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who’s been there, or even talked about going there – and I do love being a bit of a trailblazer!
- Rugged Amazon jungle. Sloths and leopards and toucans and stuff!
And why I ultimately scrapped that idea:
- It’s bizarrely expensive since the currency there is the Euro, and
- I might not meet other travellers and I don’t want to be lonely! Yes, the positive about no one travelling there turned into a negative when I realized there might not be hostels for me to stay in and connect with others.
Plan B was to go to either Martinique or Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, again both are French-speaking locals also boasting tropical beaches. But they were scratched off the list for the same reasons as above.
And that brings us to Plan C, Morocco. I’m about 75% sure this is where I want to go. It has the culture and history that I want to learn about and experience, the food, chaotic open-air markets, French, AND loads of other tourists in cheap hostels. The flip side has the heat of the Sahara Desert in summer, and a reputation of being a tough place to be a woman. Do I really want to be an unaccompanied, western and blonde woman there? I’m not quite sure…
As I’ve been mulling all this over it struck me that I have a pattern of changing my mind about where to go. Last year in June I spent 3 weeks in China, but I started out planning for that time to be spent in Bulgaria. I even bought a guidebook and pinned photos of the Eastern Europe highlights I wanted to see there! A couple years before that my vacation time was spent in Tanzania and on safari, but I got the vaccinations for Cambodia instead since at the time I was planning on SE Asia instead of SE Africa. Oops… One more example is at the beginning of 2012 I planned a trip through Croatia. I couldn’t wait to see the coastal cities and I bought a phrasebook to start learning some basic words. And then that trip ended up a Western Europe cruise – which I completely and totally loved! – but in hindsight it would have been nice to go to Croatia back then, before it exploded onto the tourism scene…. Now I almost feel like the only one who hasn’t been there instead of the ‘trendsetter’ I like to consider myself! ha
Wherever I end up, I know I’m so stinkin’ lucky to have this kind of opportunity. This is never something I’ll take for granted and I am genuinely grateful for each little adventure this life brings.
** Cereal box French – the words learned from reading the other side of any product sold in Canada. Not super helpful in conversation, but I know what saveur de miel et de noix means 🙂
3 thoughts on “Where to?”
Morocco is definitely on my bucket list! I have a friend that was recently there and the pictures alone are incredible. The nice thing is, it’s easy to travel from there into europe, like the cote d’azur to keep up with the french. Or anywhere really!
I love your photos, looks like you have had great adventures already!
Thank you! And yes, I really hope you make it to Morocco one day – it’s amazing, and really easy to travel through as well.
Morocco is a lot of fun. We enjoyed it too!