The Plan

There is research that shows that planning a trip can actually bring more joy than the trip itself. We get to anticipate all the great things that might happen, without any of the flight delays, lost luggage, annoying hostel-mates and other downers that come with reality.

I'm using this as justification for the fact that I've been planning this trip for an inordinate amount of time. My job is grant-funded, so I knew from the beginning that it had an end date: June 30, 2015. Saving started in late 2013, Pinterest-boarding in early 2014, and a (possibly OCD) Google Spreadsheet came to life last fall. Since February, I've been in full-on planning mode: to-do lists, calendar reminders, and yes, I already started packing.

So where is all of this planning taking me?

An epic two-week, 3500-mile cross-country road trip with one of my high school BFFs! 14 nights, 11 states, 5 babies to visit, and many, many hours of singing to our "Top 5 songs of all time".

August and early September
Georgia (Republic of, not state) and Armenia. Several travel bloggers I follow have written about Georgia over the last few years, and it also made the New York Times' 52 Places to Go in 2015. Beautiful mountains for hiking, the oldest wine-making culture in the world, and a diet based on bread filled with cheese? This place sounds too good to be true. I'll spend close to 6 weeks here, so I've started studying Georgian. Gamarjoba! Rogora khart? Mshvenivrad, gmadlobt. Yep, this will take some time to wrap my tongue around.

Colorful Houses in the Old Town area of Tbilisi
Old Town Tbilisi. source: Georgia About 
Ajarian khachapuri. source: Georgia About 

Racha Region. Source: Georgia About

late September

Iran! I know what you're all thinking - but Iran has been getting tons of great press in the travel blogger world lately. The thing that visitors love the most? The warm, welcoming people they meet. Iran is portrayed one way in the media, but I'd like to see for myself what it's really like. As an American, the only way to visit is with a group tour, so, if the visa process goes smoothly, I'll be hopping on the G Adventures Discover Persia trip.

1920x1200, Khaju Bridge, Isfahan, Iran, Travel, Wallpaper

Turkey. From Iran, I'll fly to Istanbul to meet up with one of my closest friends for a whirlwind couple of weeks including a hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia and a small boat cruise on the Turquoise Coast. We will also eat all the things. I'll have another couple of weeks in Turkey on my own, to either hang out in Istanbul or hole up in a bungalow on the coast somewhere, before heading back to the States.

A gulet performinb blue cruise

And then? 
Right now, I have no idea what November will bring. It may find me in North Carolina job searching... or, if stars and budgets align, it may find me on a beach in Central America. Even my planning has its limits!


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