After six years, I’m still never excited to come back to my home country. I wish I understood why I have such trouble coming back – but after many returns I still don’t understand it – all I know is that my current 5 month journey went way too fast and I can hardly believe all of the newness that has entered my life in these 5 quick months traveling through 6 different countries.
My lack of excitement about returning is not to say that I’m sad or upset about coming back. I’m actually quite happy to see family and friends, as well as eat burritos and cheeseburgers! It’s time to appreciate the old now – for me to revel in the old friendships, the familiar foods, and ease of conversation and communication that I get in the US. I look forward to the opportunity to reconnect with people since the longer and longer I am on the road the more solitary my life becomes in some ways. Getting back and reconnecting with people who know me keeps me from turning into a weird nomadic loner – or should I say an even weirder nomadic loner.
Wrapping up my Turkey Travels
I spent the last few weeks in Istanbul making new friends, getting a more in depth look at the culture and various neighborhoods and learning all about Ramadan. I felt like I was just getting the hang of the place – how to get around, the personality of the different neighborhoods, meeting friends, learning more vocabulary – and then all of a sudden I had to leave! I will be writing about all of these learnings and wacky experiences over the next months – and trust me – there were some wacky experiences!
The US Plan
My main goal is to reconnect with family and friends – so I will be moving around to my normal places to see everyone. A couple of weeks in NYC and then off to Minnesota to see my sister’s family, then to South Dakota to see my parents, and the midwest tour ends in Nebraska to see my brother’s family. I’m pretty excited to see my niece, Evie who just turned 16 this summer – she is in the process of trying to decide where in the world she wants to go for her Niece Project trip. We have been talking about Africa and Asia mainly, but I can’t wait to see what she picks!
I will also be doing a lot of work on the way as I prepare for throwing the 3rd year of Meet Plan Go Events across the country. When I’m not traveling – then my main focus is to inspire other people to travel – and that’s just what Meet Plan Go is all about. This unique travel event is going to be held in 10 cities this year on October 16th. If you are a reader of my site and have often wondered how you can take off and travel the world like me, then this is your chance to get answers to that question. At each event we will be teaching people how to put their career on hold (or take it on the road with you) and travel the world for 3 months to a year. We are working on a stellar lineup of speakers and resources that will help you turn your travel dreams into reality! If you want to learn more about the events and tickets – just make sure you sign up for the Met Plan Go newsletter where we announce ticket sales and event information.
And finally I will be spending time in the US preparing for my next set up upcoming travels…
The Next Travel Plans
This year of travel has been great so far – walking across Spain on the Camino de Santiago has certainly been a highlight. However – the best is yet to come believe it or not. This November and December I will be going to two vastly different climates – which is going to provide some packing challenges!
First up is a big trip to the little known island of Lanai in November. (what’s that – you’ve never hear of Lanai? Learn more here!) I love traveling to the lesser known places in the world and even though the Hawaiian islands are extremely well known – the little island of Lanai is not. It’s like the little quiet smart girl in the back of the class with the nerdy glasses and wild curly hair. Lanai is a the smallest island in the Hawaiin islands – so small that there are only 3 hotels on the entire island. Learn more by following the hashtag #visitlanai and get a preview of what is to come for Ottsworld! From what I’ve seen and heard of other people’s travels to Lanai – it’s seems a little quirky, rugged, and wild…my type of place!
Then I end the year with something I only dreamed about and never really thought would happen. I’m going to Antarctica this December with my father! Since the day he and I crossed over the Thorung La Pass on the Annapurna Circuit – this has been a quest of mine. We are in the very early stages of planning – but I can hardly wait to get to South Dakota and plan with my dad in person. Going from the prairie of South Dakota to Antarctica will be quite a trip for him at 76 years old. We are heading to Antarctica with Expedition Trips – so we are in the early stages of working with their expert expedition team to get all prepared for our Antarctic father-daughter journey!
If you want to follow our preparations, follow the hashtag #OttAntarctica on Twitter and Facebook! Expedition Trips started this cool Pinterest Board that I look at daily and get goose bumps of excitement for what lies ahead! Penguins…need I say more?!
I’m sure my time in the US will fly by as fast as my latest travels have. After all – times flies when you are having fun.