Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Spring Has Sprung, Down Under

~ It is one of those quirks of nature that while the northern hemisphere enjoys summer, the southern hemisphere rugs up for winter. And so it is, that the first days of September herald the start of spring in Australia, while Europe and North America start moving into autumn (or fall, as our American cousins like to say).

And so it is too, that the more the months, weeks, and days tick inexorably by, the more I seem to have travel on my mind. Especially now that spring is in the air.

I am still not much nearer to finalising my travel plans for next year. Maybe it’s because I’m a Libran! Or maybe it’s because I’ve never been good at making quick or snap decisions that have the potential for major impact on my life. Personally, I hate to blame my procrastination and constant vacillating on a star sign. That’s too easy, and quite frankly a cop out. Still, all these things are plaguing my thoughts today as I look at the calendar and tick off the days in the lead up to April 2010.

One of the downsides of being a solo traveller, is that you have no-one to share the planning and decision making process with. Sure, you can discuss and mull over the various options available to you with family and friends, but there’s only so much you can expect from those closest to you.

Putting myself in their shoes, I think I would soon tire of the constant discussions revolving around which destination to visit first.

“Yes, Jim,” I can feel them thinking, “It’s all very well us sitting around planning your holiday with you, but while you are lazing on the sandy beaches of some Greek island, sipping coffee on the Champs-Élysées, or spending weeks driving the byways of America, we are going to be stuck here in dear old Adelaide!”

So, ultimately, you have to make all the decisions on your own.

As April draws nearer, I will start to solidify some of the ideas rolling around in my head. On any given day they can and do change constantly, but currently my thinking is thus: fly directly to Athens, Greece, and spend the first month or so on Ikaria (see Friday Photo #7: My Island Home, Ikaria, Greece). Then travel overland to one of several possible destinations (Italy, France, Spain or England). Since I am currently learning a smattering of Spanish (see Spanish is The Loving Tongue), it makes sense to visit Spain in order to reinforce the Spanish I’ve already learnt and to hopefully learn even more.

However, early next year I will also undertake a French for Fun and Travel class at the adult learning school where I am currently taking the Spanish class, so it would also make sense to spend some time in France.

At any point I can always return to Greece, which could serve as my European base. My aim is to spend most of the northern spring and summer in Europe, and then travel to America later in the year for a stay in New York, before driving south to Arizona to visit a cousin in Tucson. I will either return to Australia from there, or return to Europe.

As you can see, I have much to decide, and a thousand decisions to make before I book my flight, and for a Libran, a thousand decisions is about 999 decisions too many!

Spring Flowers image courtesy of Rikx Flickr Photostream

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