I’m starting to think about my next adventure. And it’s exciting. Where in the world (literally) shall I go next?
I was originally intending to trek around Mont Blanc in central Europe. It’s a 180km Alpine route through France, Switzerland and Italy, taking about 11 days. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while now (I absolutely love trekking holidays) and when I couldn’t make it fit with my travel plans last year, earmarked it for next year instead.
As recently as yesterday, I stated I was probably going to trek the Mont Blanc circuit next year.
But I just watched a documentary called Wild China and remembered that I’ve also always wanted to go to Mongolia.
The doco basically covered the people and wildlife and geography in the areas north of the Great Wall, following the wall from east to west and then panning further west to follow the silk road to Kashgar (including a camel trek across an enormous sandy desert, where I’m fairly sure they don’t take tourists). Then the doco took us north over a second lot of mountains into the Junggar Basin.
Stunning scenery. Wild landscapes. Interesting people.
Within 10 minutes of the doco starting I had my enormous Times Atlas out. I can’t remember the last time I looked at it, but — with its various world maps showing vegetation, climate and terrain — it was far more useful than Google would have been.
It’s amazing how it isn’t until you examine a particular section of the world closely on a map that you understand how it’s put together. And that part of China is complex! There are steppes, mountains, deserts all interleaved. Fascinating.
So now I need to go there. A good part of my fascination is due to an intense desire to go hang out on some steppes. See the wild horses.
Writing fantasy as I do, a good chunk of my secondary world involves grassland/plains. They’re not specifically modelled on Mongolia, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to go check them out for myself.
Breathe the air. Smell the grass. Listen to the wind. Embrace the wildlife.
It’s been a while since I travelled anywhere mildly challenging. My last few trips have been to England, Europe and the USA. But I have been to China before (mainly Shanghai and Beijing) and Nepal, where it was harder to communicate and (in Nepal particularly) amenities were basic.
So I think it’s time to stretch myself a bit. Get really adventurous. Northern China and Mongolia would be a fascinating and exciting option. And the opportunity for some experiential writing research is always a plus.
Don’t suppose I’d be travel blogging via my phone in the wilds of Northern China though ~ heh.
Of course, there are plenty of other places in the world I’d like to go as well… Once I start looking at options I may well get diverted.
Oooh, look, shiny!
I’m also open to recommendations, while I’m at it. I’d love to hear about the most exciting place you’ve visited in the comments.