Çok üzgünüm! I have roughly 7 more weeks left in Istanbul! I really don't feel ready to leave this wonderful city yet but I'm also looking forward to more traveling. There's a Turkish proverb that basically says once you visit Istanbul, you have "the finger of Istanbul stuck in your butt" and that you are always compelled to return. Odd as it seems, I completely understand and I know this is only the beginning of my growing love affair with the 'Bul.
I'm starting to think about my post-Istanbul travels and I'm hitting the all too familiar too-much-to-do-but-not-enough-time-in-my-life-to-do-it problem.
With my current travel itinerary, I will have approximately three and a half weeks post-Istanbul to travel BEFORE returning to Istanbul to meet my parents for some traveling WITHIN Turkey (assuming that they are able to make it out here). Originally, I thought of flying to Jordan for a couple of weeks and then flying to Egypt for another couple of weeks, giving me plenty of time to travel around both countries at a very leisurely pace and do a little bit of hanging out.
Now, after further research and map consulting (really, I just looked at a map of the region), I'm considering adding Beirut and Damascus to the itinerary, given their close proximity to Jordan and Egypt. However, this means more travel time and less time exploring each place.
Then there's Djibouti, just further south of Egypt. I've been dreaming of going there ever since I read an article about this small African country in DIVE magazine. It's a bit more out of the way and unfortunately, whale sharks aren't there until December/January, but how often will I be thisclose to Djibouti? To be honest, as I'm typing, the more I'm convinced to save Djibouti for another time when I can dive with the whale sharks since that's the main reason I want to go there in the first place.
So what do you think I should do? Take advantage of being in the region and see more countries in the time that I have or take things slow and stick to my original plan of going to only Jordan and Egypt? Perhaps go to another country that I haven't yet considered? I'm more interested in Beirut than Damascus so maybe I should do Beirut, Jordan and Egypt? Should I take into serious consideration the security issues with Lebanon and Syria? I don't want that to be a reason I don't travel somewhere but it would also be foolish to blindly walk into danger.
There are so many choices! I can't decide! İmdat! What do you suggest I do?
© Connie Hum 2009