Wednesday, March 18, 2009

the fernweh

Fernweh is a German word that means 'a longing for the horizon.' People also like the word Wanderlust, which is also German, but German people don't actually say that anymore.

So, my girlfriend and I have decided we're going to save up a bunch of money, say FTW and go travel a lot, since all the cool kids are doing it.

The idea came when we were watching Harold and Kumar- Escape from Guantanomo Bay.

The guys are there in Amsterdam tokin' the reefer, and I told Danielle that we should go to Amsterdam.

Somehow the conversation spiraled into us deciding that Amsterdam simply wasn't enough of a world experience for us and decided that the entire world was now necessary.

Thus far, we've come up with a basic plan and will hammer out the details as we come closer to them.

Over the spring and summer, we're going to save up our money working at our jobs. I may have to get another part-time to maximize the savings.

The goal is somewhere in the range of having $10,000, after we've bought everything we need plus the first plane tickets.

Essentially, we've decided that nothing else, be it drinking, going to the city, eating out, is worth the joy of hanging out in some far off place under strange stars and interesting people. Therefore we are now endeavouring to save every penny in order to reach that goal and beyond.

Our travel plans are thus, thus far, are to go to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (where my parents live), then to Goa, where I have other family, then to Thailand, the fabled backpacker's paradise.

From there, depending on our money situation, well go to perhaps Australia, the Phillipines, Japan, Chine, all that sort of stuff, depending on visa availability and the money situation.

We're thinking that because we'll be staying with family in three of those four places, it should be quite easy to spend as little money as possible.

Also, if we're in Australia, we can maybe do the tradition rent-a-van-and-live-in-it-and-work-some-random-job-to-make-money type thing.

All in all, it should be quite the adventure, nay, it will be THE adventure of a life time.

I know Amanda already did this, but she had her fun now I might as well have some too.

So follow me along as I complete a long checklist of things between now and September, and then enjoy the journey thenceforth.

My current checklist of things (kind of mundane for the first few months I know)
- work towards getting a pardon. I was charged with possession with the intent to traffic back in... 2003? I honestly can't remember. The point is I need to get that done. That requires several steps INCLUDING, going back to Whitby to visit the courts there (or is it Oshawa?).
-Getting a passport. The problem with this one (as my dad told me months ago) was that no one in this province has known me for at least two years to vouch for me. However, there's a way around it that involves signing forms at the passport office. Easy enough, but unfortunately means I have to take a day off and go to the city to do that.
-Sell off as much random useless stuff I have accumulated over the last little bit to reduce what I leave behind when I go and to increase my capital.
-attempt to reduce expenses to save up the maximum.
-Figure out visas. We've pretty much done this. India and Australia are the only ones you really need to get before. AD, Goa, Philipines you can get when you land.
-Purchase the necessary equipment. The four major things Danielle and I have to have are: backpacks, boots, a tiny computer and a video camera. After that, it's things like mosquito nets and the like, which are both easier and cheaper.
-Train. Once we get our backpacks are plan is to fill them as they would be on our journey and then proceed to trek around the area until they are like a part of us. That way when we're in timbuktu, we can hike for days or run for that train.

You'll notice it's an extensive list and a grandiose plan, but we've been doing our homework.

I'd suggest to everyone and everyone that they should embark on a similar journey, and i suppose could accompany me or meet me somewhere.

Here are some website, movies and people that have inspired me and will no doubt inspire you to travel.
Movie: The Beach. Do I need to explain? Leo, Boyle, some hot french chick, Thailand, pot, beaches, murder, sex, funny references to the internet as it appeared in 2000, including Richard's screen name being simply 'richard.' It's gold. Watch it.

Video: Where the Hell is Matt?. If you don't already know who or what that website is about, you are a sad excuse for a human being. The guy's been all over the world like three times and just dances like a goof. That's all he does. and my friends that is AWESOME. seriously. watch that NOW.

Blog: Where the eff is Amanda?. In light of the last link, it's clearly not original. BUT you can't hate on someone that's had an adventure. The info is old, she's already done her trip, but the pictures, and the inspiration are always good if you ask me.

Website: Karl Grobl. this guy is awesome. That link just brings you to his golden advice, but check out what else is on the site. he's a humanitarian photojournalist. All he does is travel and take pictures of how fucked up/amazing the world is.

bah. there's more and I'll update you accordingly my friends.

And to those who haven't seen me in a long time. I may come home in May, and then be gone for ever so see ya!

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