South Asia & Europe 2011

This trip was like a snowball. A snowball in South Asia, but a snowball. I was getting itchy to go abroad again, but the kind of travel I really adore is the kind where you’re there for a long time, become a regular at a coffee shop, learn a little bit of the language, etc. But, I know myself. I would go crazy if I spent several months Not Doing Anything (hell, spending a week not doing anything drives me a little nuts). So I wanted to Do Something – volunteer, intern, take language courses, something. I also needed something affordable that would maximize my travel time. Then I found this program (specifically the women’s development program) in June of 2010. In typical Amy fashion, within a week I had registered and put down my deposit for fifteen weeks (January 15th – end of April).

Coming down from Triund (Indian Himalayas)

Then I started thinking about how most of the flights to India go through London – and hey, Candace1, you should meet me in London and we should do the UK and Ireland. Which turned into a two week trip to Ireland, half of which will involve walking the Dingle Way.
Then I started to think about how really, it’d be so easy to see Nepal while I’m in India. And man, wouldn’t it be awesome to do some hiking around Nepal while visiting historic Buddhist sites? (I spent a lot of my electives in college on Asian/Buddhist studies.)
Then my mother, who hasn’t been out of the country (excluding Canada) since her college biking trip around Ireland, made a half-serious joke about meeting Candace and me in Ireland. Which turned into her meeting me in Scotland (Glasgow), renting a car and driving across the country for a week in search of puffins, castles and scotch and then flying down to France for a week of places we’ve wanted to see since high school French class.

(Yes, that’s really how I ended up going abroad for half of a whole damn year.)

You can read about the people I mention regularly in my posts for this trip here.

In summary:

Leave DC January 15th
Arrival in Delhi January 16th
Depart Delhi April 29th
Arrive Nepal April 39th
Trek Annapurna Circuit May 2 – May 19th (view details)
Leave Nepal May 27th
London, UK May 27th – May 29th
Ireland May 30th – June 13th
Scotland, UK June 14th – June 22th
France June 22nd – June 30th
Back in DC June 30th

1 Candace is one of my closest friends, a librarian, fellow Hollins alum and fellow nerd who is getting her passport specifically for this trip. I think I managed to convince her to come for the glory that is The Old Library in Dublin.