It has been a year and a half since my last overseas experience. This one will be my second overseas independent journey, and a much bigger one at that. I will be departing tomorrow.
Over the last 18 months, I have travelled to other places within Australia, broadening my horizons and seeing more of my own country. I wouldn't have the confidence to do it had I not travelled before. My last trip definitely opened doors for me. I drove around New South Wales and Victoria, visiting Ben Boyd National Park, Melbourne, Mornington Peninsula and Mungo National Park in early 2009, and I took a trip across Australia by train from Sydney to Perth the following June. I saw Broken Hill, Adelaide, Cook, The Pinnacles, Wave Rock, Lancelin, Kangaroo Island and the Grampians. And by Christmas, I took a trip to the Red Centre, seeing Uluru, Kata-Tjuta and Kings Canyon, all of which were amazing places. I love travelling, and I think I've found out what my personal calling in life is at this point.
Now, tomorrow is the next big trip. This has been a long awaited day for me. It is time for me to hit the road, yet again.
In less than 8 hours, I'll be departing for one of the most important trips I'll ever have in my lifetime. One that involves crossing two continents by rail, and meeting people from Tomb Raider Forums who I really love and care about, and it will be a very independent journey, for the most part.
I'll be starting this rail journey in China. First off, I have a 10 hour stopover in Singapore, which is enough time for a day tour, and then it's off to Beijing. My train journey will take me through Mongolia, across Siberia, all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia.
I'll be spending three days in Beijing, in which I'll see the Great Wall, then continue onwards to Ulaan-Baatar in Mongolia. I'll spend another few days here and in Terelj National Park. After that, I head to Irkutsk in Russia, spend a few days on the shores of Lake Baikal, then continue westbound to Europe. It's a three day train journey from Irkutsk to Moscow, which I'll be spending 3 days in, then I go to Saint Petersburg for another 3 days. And that's just the first leg.
The second leg of my journey is travelling all around Europe and the UK over the next three months. I have a rough plan of what countries I'm going to visit, and who I'm going to meet. I'll be sure to attend the TRF meetup in the UK as well.
So I've got to be up at 4:30 the next morning to catch my plane departing at 8am. I'll be flying on the A380, which should be exciting.