(Kingston, Ontario, Canada)
I’m back in Kingston for a few weeks and it seems like a good time to reflect a little bit on this year’s itinerary.
I’ve visited a total of 18 countries so far this year, even though I resolved at the beginning of the year that I wouldn’t be engaging in “checklist” tourism. The number of countries visited is, I think, an unavoidable consequence of catching up on my overflowing European bucket list. While I had not intended to visit so often, I have already been to Europe five times since the beginning of March!
Looking back at some of my early posts, I see that I spent some time discussing Saskatchewan. It remains the only province/territory in Canada that I have never visited. However, I also vowed that any trip to Saskatchewan this year would need to have an “independent’ justification…and not be a destination simply because I hadn’t been there yet. Time is running out for a visit but it is still a possibility that cannot be completely dismissed.
Other than a quick trip next week to one of my favourite Canadian cities, however, there are currently only two more trips in the works. In the second week of October, thanks to my very positive experience in Peru, I will be joining another group tour. I’m not going to give many clues about this one, other than to say that it involves a country I’ve never visited before and it is *not* a European trip. I don’t anticipate saying much more about this trip until approximately October 11, when I quickly post on Facebook that I have arrived in that country’s capital city!
My final planned trip of the year will be in late November. While I’m undertaking it on my own, it will have some parallels with my recent hockey tour because there will be a strong “experiential” element to it. I don’t think the itinerary will surprise anybody who knows me well; perhaps the biggest surprise will be that I haven’t been on such a trip before!
There is at least one destination on my initial plan that I definitely won’t be visiting this year. I had intended to visit Ukraine but it has remained unstable throughout the year and unfortunately I don’t think it would be prudent to push ahead with a visit there.
The Ukraine situation wasn’t the only one to affect my planning. Earlier this year, I had also been concerned about the situation in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Not because of the events of the 1990s, but because of a series of anti-corruption demonstrations that seemed to be getting a little out of control and were threatening to turn into something quite violent. I had bought my ticket prior to the demonstrations so I did a lot of research before departure in order to satisfy myself that there was no heightened risk to me as a tourist. From understanding the history of a country to being aware of current safety threats, it takes a lot of reading to be an informed and effective traveler!
Today’s blog photos are all from the first half of my August trip. Stay tuned for an account of my upcoming Canadian city escape!