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Packing is such sweet sorrow…

I am Edinburgh-bound. For the second year in a row, I will be joining the ranks of Chicago’s “Baby Wants Candy”, a musical improv group who have been going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for over a decade. With bases in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, they put on a great show and I love working with them.

No matter how exciting a trip or a journey will be, packing is always torturous for me. I’m currently staring at my bag wondering where the faint smell of rubber lingering inside it came from and wondering if there will ever come a time when I am left with room to spare in my luggage.

I’m a light packer but there is always too much stuff. I’ll be gone for a month so realistically will need a considerable amount.

Throughout the month, I hope to keep you updated on my experience of the festival, which  really has to be seen to be understood. It is an injection of life and vibrancy into an already pretty lively city. I went last year without a camera and am determined to rectify that this year.

On to an adventure.

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30 Days of Indie Travel- Day 30…TICKET

BootsnAll says: Where are you going in 2012?  

I have no set travel plans for 2012 yet. But I’m working on it. The problem I have is that there are so many places I want to go to that it’s hard to focus on one and settle on it. So, I try to prioritise using factors like time of year, the price of plane tickets and if a certain destination is “urgent” or can be visited any time.

An example of a slightly “urgent” destination I have in mind is Iran. Increasingly in the media, there are signs that Iran will soon be at war with either Britain or the US, or at the very least that there will be serious travel restrictions in place due to tensions between those countries. So, I want to go before the risk of violence becomes too great, along with ticket prices sky-rocketing.

A more definite short trip I’m working on is to Edinburgh early in the year with some friends for a weekend. Being somewhat of a veteran of the Scottish capital at this stage, it will be nice to show people around and show off a great city.

You don't stay sane in 30 days of crowds like this unless you love Edinburgh

Yet another possibility is Moscow and St.Petersburg, as I’ve done some research and think it would be fun for a short enough trip, maybe a week or so. I think this could be an opportunity to start utilising resources like Couch Surfing or AirBnB, as I get the impression that Moscow is the kind of place that’s hard to break into as a tourist. It would be nice to get a local perspective.

There’s also the pipe-dream 2012 trip, which is the most ambitious. Spurred on by a friend’s gushing praise for Zambia, I’ve looked into Africa as a possibility. The most likely route being Cape Town to Livingstone, via Windhoek. This would be a longer trip, a month or so at least.

I don’t know where I’m going to be next year. Everything is very uncertain as regards a grown-up job and further education. It may be the perfect time to take on an ambitious trip while free of ties and debt, but it may also be the time when I should start making serious plans for the future. One of the hardest things travellers face is balancing career and travel and I guess I am no exception to the rule.

I’d love people’s opinions on my contenders: Iran (mostly predictable- Tehran, Shiraz, Persepolis), Africa (South Africa, Namibia and Zambia) and Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg). Have you been to these places? What did you think? I’m adding a poll where you can vote on these three contenders.

All I know is, going into 2012 without set plans is scary, but full of possibilities.

A roof-top in Wadi Musa, Jordan