After coffee with a yogi friend, I was inspired to start climbing back on the yoga horse. Most yoga studios in my area only have Saturday morning classes, so I had very few options for something in the afternoon.
Whatever. I was feeling brave. I signed up for an all-levels Vinyasa hot class at a studio I’d never been to. Ninety minutes.
The trip to Russia is in planning–our traveling companion is researching hotels (so we can get visas!) and sight-seeing destinations in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
What’s been surprising me is how much negativity I get when I tell people I’m planning a visit to Russia. “It’s depressing!” (with pictures like the one to the right) “Don’t go to XYZ!” “It’s super-dangerous!” “The USSR?!”
It’s disappointing that my friends and colleagues have little other than (relatively uninformed, I think) skepticism and dire warnings. I find wonder in so many things; a few pictures from the internet don’t suffice to satisfy or discourage that. I might choose not to visit an active damn war zone. I might choose not to flirt with women or gender-bend in a homophobic country. I might also choose not to travel alone.
But as someone who still marvels at standing at the edge of a country or continent in their own damn state, how can I pass up an opportunity for this kind of experience?
So last year was Iceland. That was pretty spur-of-the-moment. We decided in May and went in August. Done. I would love to go back, particularly to see northern and eastern Iceland.
This year is up in the air, though. St. Petersburg, Russia is maybe an option, but talks stalled a bit over the break, and I’m a little undecided on traveling with children. Greece or Germany are still appealing.
I’d toyed with going on an adventure cruise with Explor Cruises to the Amazon last year, but the prices were nauseating (see the “Voyage to the Heart of the Amazon”) and I didn’t get a great feeling when I spoke with the agent at Explor Cruises.
That exact same cruise is offered through a few other agencies, including REI, which at least gives proper credit to the actual company running the cruise, Amazon Nature Tours. It’s also cheaper through other agencies.
REI also offers a bunch of other tours. I could take up cycling and do a cycling tour in Europe. (Frankly, though, I find cycling in populated areas terrifying; probably not a good choice.)
In short, I want to take a big trip this year, I’d prefer it be international, but I’m having a bit of option paralysis.
Still feel like I only did about half of what I “should have”, of course, but I’m happy with the year, overall. I succeeded at most of what I wanted,
I’m going to finish my last sliver of debt. I’m going to finish not having a long-term financial plan. I’m going to get married. I’m going to finish my novel. I’m going to finish not being happy enough,
and made good headway on what I didn’t finish.
Regardless, 2012 shall be a more adventurous year, featuring new employment, two trips/vacations, and a plethora of writing, coding, financial management, and gettin’ fizzit.
What could be better than a trip to Crowders Mountain on a perfect Saturday afternoon?
Both the weather and our camera this time was good enough–and we’d just finished our second photography class that morning–to get some vague shots of Charlotte. Out zoom lens (55-200 mm) isn’t quite zoomy enough to really compress the distance, but it was fun trying, especially when we needed to manually focus or do a focus lock.
Instead of just doing the 0.75 mile trek to the top and back (which includes 300+ damn stairs), we decided to hike some of the back trails. All in all, I think we covered 5-ish miles, but my goodness. The Rocktop trail mentions that you’ve have to climb over some rocks. Very nice of them to warn you.
What they don’t tell you is that you’ll be facing a 4 foot wide stone “crawl way” (no way I was walking on that) with pretty steep drops to either side.