Can’t stop dreaming. And definitely won’t stop dreaming. I was writing about some of my dream destinations earlier (and totally forgot Laos and Myanmar from my list) and now I’m gonna expand my list. The best thing about internet nowadays is that you can basically find a hundred ”ultimate backpacking guide to…” -blog posts of every single country in this world. The worst thing is pretty much the same. I guess I’ll end up in the middle of a war zone looking for some awesome experiences off the beaten path.
Travelling to a war zone is not my plan whatsoever. It’s true that world is a crazy and dangerous place, but it’s also true that most of the people want the same things from life. They want to be happy, they want to communicate with other people, they want their families to be safe. Usually the more you travel the safer you feel. I used to think that Helsinki is a dangerous place to live and now it feels quite hilarious. But of course you need some common sense pretty much everywhere you go.
I’ve been also thinking about getting around in foreign countries. Travelling without a smartphone is basically impossible for most of us today. I was backpacking in Thailand for 3 weeks when I was 20 and there was no such thing as a smartphone back then (actually, the first iPhone was announced the same year). I don’t even remember anymore how it was travelling without a smartphone, but I do remember that I googled a lot of stuff before the trip and everything went well. I guess we’re just so used to google that we’ve kinda forgotten how to ask help from other people in real life. I wouldn’t travel without my smartphone anymore but I don’t wanna be too dependent on it. Itinerary changes anyways, a lot of things will go differently than planned, so wasting too much time and effort on planning everything doesn’t really make any sense.
Anyways, since I promised myself not to think too much what to post on this blog, I’m now going to share my new dream destinations which I’m hopefully able to mix with my Asian travel plans. (And just FYI – this trip is not going to start in 2020, I think next year is possible but I really need to do some serious money saving first.)
Georgia is actually easy (and cheap) to reach from Finland. Caucasian countries are full of incredible hiking routes and they aren’t as full of tourists as many other destinations. Yet. Georgian food and wine is definitely one of my biggest attractions here. I found this blog post from The Broke Backpacker quite interesting, it made me think about having a tent with me. That would also mean I couldn’t travel just with a carry-on, which has been my plan so far, but fortunately I’ll have plenty of time to think about this.
Azerbaijan has a railway connection to Tbilisi, Georgia, so it’s a natural place to continue the Caucasian trip. There’s the trendy capital of Baku where you can see the influence of the oil money, it’s also called the ’Paris of Caucasus’. And then there’s the rest of the country with crazy natural contrasts: 9 of 11 main climatic types of the Earth are represented there! A lot of great travel stories can be found, but if you’re interested in backpacking in Azerbaijan, you can start with this blog post from Journal of Nomads.
I didn’t know anything about Armenia before I started to read some blogs about travelling in Caucasus. Well, I knew it exists. And once again I find myself thinking about camping, since there aren’t so many hostels around the country. You can read more here. Armenia and Azerbaijan are technically at war, so the border is closed and you have to travel from Azerbaijan back to Georgia and then to Armenia. I would definitely prefer slow traveling by land and fly as little as possible.
A bus trip from Yerevan, Armenia, to Tehran, Iran, takes around 22 hours. Rome2Rio is actually an awesome website, where you can find information about travelling from place to place. It’s interesting to check the routes and even though I wrote earlier that planning too much is not worth it, some things has to be checked beforehand. That includes VISA regulations and travelling from one country to another – you don’t wanna realize on the border that nope, this is not possible.
But back to Iran. Architecture! More food! Tea! Without listening to some podcasts and reading blogs I would say no, I’m not going to Iran. It’s so eye-opening to read the stories and realize how suspicious I’ve been myself, even though I think that I’m sooo open-minded. I’ve read and heard only positive things about Iranian hospitality and I definitely want to experience it myself. I’m aware that traveling as a solo female traveler is different than traveling alone as a man, but I’ve found so many good experiences from girls and I don’t think being a woman should hold us back! Just trust your gut and use that common sense of yours ❤
I wouldn’t travel to the border of Afghanistan and there are areas where tourists can’t even go, but the beautiful nature and hospitality of Pakistani people (I’ve read and heard about it) is something that attracts me. I’ve also read some girls feel that the men staring at you everywhere is very disturbing, but if you’re not sensitive for that kind of stuff, otherwise it should be quite safe to travel solo. I think it was Will Hatton whose blog posts made me consider travelling to Pakistan and now it’s definitely on the top of my bucket list. This blog tells more about Pakistan from a female backpackers point of view. From Pakistan one can travel to India by train, and that’s awesome because that’s where I was going to start my backpacking trip. Now I’m thinking about adding this Caucasian and Middle eastern adventure at the beginning of my trip!
Okayy, so a lot more awesome destinations to dream about! My goal is not to see as many countries as possible and I will definitely not dream about visiting every country in the world. I wanna travel slow, get familiar with the local culture and also grow as a human being. Personal growth is often uncomfortable and comes with many unexpected things. I think this following quote sums up my thoughts pretty well.