Sunday, March 04, 2007

Faraway Places

I know it has only been a few weeks since I returned from Cuba, but so much seems to be happening to other people at the moment that I'm feeling the urge to travel.

Lola, as she is known on her blog, is of course in Hong Kong living an adventure every week and recounting tales of Asian delights which spice up her busy job.

L has a friend who has just taken off for an eight-month blockbuster of a holiday, visiting Pakistan, Iran, China, Thailand, Dubai, Cambodia, Laos and India, among other places. At the moment he's in the Sudan experiencing life among the world's underprivileged.

He set off from Paris a few weeks ago, leaving behind a sought-after 6e arrondissement apartment, a fantastic job in telecommunications and what can only be described as a luxury lifestyle. When I first heard about his trip, and not really knowing the man, I thought he was absolutely crazy. Thailand, Dubai or Cambodia I can understand, but Pakistan? Iran? Sudan? Why?! Of course I understand the reasons why people want to discover new worlds and new people, and I respect that, but the danger of these countries was the first thing to spring to mind.

Now, after reading his posts and seeing how passionate he is about discovering new people, new countries and new places, I can totally understand his need to do his journey of a lifetime. As a woman, I think my view on travel is shaded with worry about being vulnerable in far-off countries where women may not be as safe as they are in Europe. But maybe that's a myth. Along his way, he has met a girl of 23 travelling alone and a retired Austrian woman making her way across the world without taking a plane.

I then read Petite Anglaise's account of her solo trip to Marrakech, and found myself thinking that I would probably have reacted in much the same way, although I think I would have been aware of the intimidating atmosphere before going.

All this talk of travel is giving me itchy feet and I'm thinking of a January trip to Hong Kong with G. We're considering spending a few days in Hong Kong then a week or two in Thailand afterwards, discovering the country and then spending a few days on the beach or doing SCUBA diving. It's a long way away, so no reservations are made yet, but my thoughts at the moment are drifting all around the world.

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