2013 promises to be a blast!
So how did I do on last year’s resolutions? To remind you they were:
- Publish my first book
- Visit at least 12 new countries.
- Acquire conversational Arabic and Intermediate Spanish.
- Capture half a dozen flags.
1. Visit 12+ new countries
In keeping with my ultimate goal of visiting every country in the world, the standard dirty dozen new countries will need to be visited. As I came up 2 countries short last year, ideally I’d like to visit 14, but I’m not going out of my way.
I’ve already booked flights for the first few targets. After a two day stopover in Luxembourg (+1), I’m joining two other crewmembers, in Dubai, UAE and then it’s on to visit a friend (Dan from the book) in Muscat, Oman (+2).
From there, it’s back to the Horn of Africa. I’ve already been to Ethiopia, but the real destinations are Djibouti and Somaliland (visas and logistics pending). It may be a dangerous affair, but Somali pirates are not match for Mexican pirates! Yarr! On the other hand, I may be kidnapped, tortured and killed. Narr…
Then provided things run smoothly, in the Autumn myself and Gary the Fish will embark on an epic adventure on the Silk Road. adding a further seven to the list. On top of that, no doubt a few side trips are on the cards.
3. Speak 7 languages… poorly.
2013 will be the year of Babel. In the Gulf and the Horn, my tri-dialectic confused Arabic and my West African French will get some exercise, but if the Silk Road goes ahead, I’ll need to acquire basic Farsi for Iran and Afghanistan (the latter of which mainly speak Dari, which is similar). Our travel plans will also take us over central Asia, so my Russian will needs to be tight, too. My friend Gary the Fish has great Russian after living in Georgia, so I’m playing catch up. (I don’t want him stealing all the chicas!) The trip will also bring us to China, so I’ll have dust off my Mandarin dictionary and brush up on my Chinese… five years later. AND, on top of juggling French, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi and Russian, I’ll be keeping up my Spanish throughout the year. It’s far from ideal, but that just the way the travel plans are this year. I’ll be lucky if I get anywhere with any of them. The year of Babel, indeed!
For 2014, I think I’ll just focus my travel around one language…
3. Capture half a dozen flags
After reaching 50 flags last year (52 atm), I thought I was done with flagging… but I can’t f**king help it! When you travel, it’s just part of the fun. (Plus, it doesn’t help when you write a blog about it!) I also like the challenge. New notches do nothing for me, but at least with new flags I still get kicks. Last year, my most desired flag was any Arabic flag – and I jigging over when I got it. So, another six will do nicely.
Most desired flags of 2013:
Somalia, but the chances of that happening are zero. Apart from that, I’d be happy with any central Asian or Muslim flag.
Most likely flags of 2013:
I don’t know.. they are increasing in scarcity. Probably the odd European flag, a central Asian and an African.
What’s your New Year Resolutions?