David S. Demarest

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Travel Plans at a Glance!

Check out my latest post on our upcoming 2010 trip – you will find the link to the right under Recent Posts.

(July 28, 2009.  To allow me to broaden my writing, I have created what I am referring to as my “Home Blog”.  You may get there by clicking here, or going to www.ddemarest.com.  Once there, you will find a handy link under the Blogroll to this “Travel Blog” to allow you to return.  Please note that my primary focus will be on my “Home Blog” – when the Travel Blog is updated I will note such update on my Home Blog.  Thanks!)

(Remember, you may click on any photo to enlarge.  You may also in the left column click on Categories/Travel to see a listing of all posts in that category.  You may wish to do this if you would like to read older posts.  Or go to Archives, again on the left, and review posts by month.  On this page,the original plans are at the bottom – most recent at the top.  To get the full story, start at the bottom!) 

April 30th Update! 

My date of departure has finally arrived!  I leave Seattle tomorrow afternoon, fly for about 14 hours or so, and arrive in Beijing Friday evening at 9:40.  It occurred to me the other day  – I may never see the sun set on this Thursday, the first of May!

For those that like details, and there are certainly those that say I am one, I include my anticipated itinerary.  Before you jump to the conclusion and say that my trip is fully structured, look more closely and you will see three separate weeks that are largely unplanned and flexible.  They include a week or so in northeast India and Nepal, a week or so north or south of Delhi, and a full week between Turkey and Vienna.

Date Event Airline / Lodging
May 1 Fly to Beijing Northwest Airlines
May 2 – 4   Zhongan Hotel
May 4 Tour Great Wall and Ming Dynasty Tombs
May 5 Fly to Bangkok Thai Airways
May 5, 6   Royal Hotel
May 7 Fly to Calcutta Jet Airways
May 7, 8   Fairlawn Hotel
May 9 Fly to Bagdroga Jet Airways
May 9 – 18 Bagdroga, Darjeeling, Sikkum areas, then transit to Nepal ending in Kathmandu
May 19 Fly to Delhi from Kathmandu Jet Airways
May 19   Metropolis Tourist Home
May 19 – 26 Agra, Jaipur possible, or north to Little Tibet area
May 27 Fly to Istanbul Turk Airlines
May 27 – 29   The Side Hotel
May 30 -8 Sarajevo, Mostar, Croatia, Budapest, etc.  The options are many!
June 9 Arrive Vienna  
June 9   Airporthotel Vienna
June 10 Fly to Seattle Lufthansa Airlines

Stay tuned for my first overseas post.  It should be from Beijing, assuming no problems with Chinese immigration!

April 16th Update!

Having racked my brains – as well as those of Karen at Adventure Travel this morning – and having scoured the Internet looking for optional tours that would be of interest and fit with the time frame that has been established by my flight to Beijing and from Delhi, I came to a conclusion.  A tour will not work.  As a result, instead of 15 days with a group, and 25 days solo, I will now be solo for 40 days.  That said, a much shorter tour could be arranged enroute – and I will certainly be open to that idea!

By now, you are no doubt wondering what conclusions I arrived at.  Believe me, it was not easy, and I am sure it is far from perfect.  It will, however, still accomplish much of what I had hoped for – an opportunity to explore different places and cultures, to experience places that may be strange and alien to me, but perfectly normal to those that call them home, and to challenge myself in ways that I would not otherwise do or have the opportunity to do here at home.

The new plan is (and it really is only an outline at this time):

May 1 fly to Beijing
May 5 fly to Bangkok
May 7 fly to Calcutta.  From Calcutta, I will make my way by train north to the Darjeeling area, and then west into Nepal to the Kathmandu area
May 19 fly from Kathmandu to Delhi, spending the next week either visiting the Jaipur/Agra areas (Taj Mahal) or north to the area known as “Little Tibet”
May 27 fly from Delhi to Istanbul, Turkey, rejoining my original itinerary.  (See original entry below for details)

April 15th Update!

I received word today that the May 4th tour referenced below has been cancelled due to ongoing concerns with Tibet and the upcoming Olympic Torch Relay that is scheduled to pass through the area later in June.  It appears that until the torch has passed Tibet will likely stay closed.

Given that I still plan on arriving in Beijing on May 2nd, and flying from Delhi to Istanbul on May 27th, the task is to now figure out what I will do for those three plus weeks!  Gap offered another tour located entirely in China, but timing was unworkable and my interest was low.  Given the short notice, other tours are limited. 

Stay tuned for my answer.  I will be sure to post when I have news!


 May 1 fly to Beijing
May 4 through May 18 with Gap Adventures
For more information on this trip, you may go to:

May 19 fly from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India
May 27 fly from Delhi to Istanbul, Turkey
June 10 fly from Vienna, Austria to Seattle

The Why Now, and How, of Taking this Trip
Last fall I knew I was getting tired. I found myself at times impatient, cranky, and even bored. After all, I have been doing the same thing now for almost eight years. No matter how good one’s work, there comes a time when it can get old. In addition – and this was entirely my fault – I had done a lousy job of taking time off!

As a result, as early as last August, I was feeling a strong need to “take a break”. At the time, I felt that in order to do so, I needed a plan. Right or wrong, my belief was that if I did not have a plan, I could not justify to myself taking the time off. Instead of making that plan, I procrastinated and did nothing. That is, until the holidays.

In December, between Christmas and New Years, I met with my manager, Dan Givens. Over lunch, I said, “Dan, I have made a decision. I want to take some commercial real estate classes during the next three months, and then I want to take the next three months off.” He said “OK”. I shared that I did not know what I would do, but that I wanted to take a trip.

As you can probably imagine, saying I wanted to take a trip and taking it are a long ways apart. I had always been interested in Tibet and Nepal, so they were high on the list. Other places on interest included Mongolia, the former Soviet Union, Asia, and Eastern Europe. So much to see, and so little time to see it! Two weeks, four weeks, or even longer? I had the time – I needed a plan!

To make a long story short – and believe me it is a long story when it comes to all that has been involved in the planning – I came up with the somewhat structured and somewhat loose itinerary set forth above. I quickly learned the only way to access Tibet is with a group, so I decided on the Gap Adventures trip that takes me from Beijing to Kathmandu. From there I will fly solo to Delhi, spending a week traveling to Agra (Taj Mahal) and Jaipur (the Pink City).  My plan, and it certainly is open to change, is to travel by train from Delhi to Agra to Jaipur and back to Delhi.

From Delhi, I will fly to Istanbul.  After some time in Istanbul, my plans are open.  I may fly to Sarajevo, and then go via train to Mostar and Split, where I would spend a few nights.  From Split, I am contemplating the train to Budapest for a few days, and then by train to Vienna by way of Bratislava in Slovakia.

On the other hand, from Istanbul I may fly to the Yalta area in the Ukraine, spending ten days or so exploring the north Black Sea area and traveling westward by train via Odessa and other surrounds.

Either way, come June 10, I will board a flight to Frankfurt and then home to Seattle – forty days (minus one for crossing the dateline enroute to China) from when I left Seattle.

That is the plan.  Stay tuned – we will see how it works out!


6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 dsd // Mar 10, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Hi folks:

    Bear with me, as this is a work in progress. Hopefully it will be up and running by the time I leave town! Any comments you have will be appreciated.

    Thanks, David

  • 2 steve knox // Apr 8, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks for stopping by today and bringing me up to date on your travel plans. I am excited for you and look forward to tracking your journey on your blog website.

    Be safe!

    oh and – let me know if you need me to wire bail money!

  • 3 Sergio // Apr 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Dave
    I hope you have lots of fun en Mejico, I wish you and Sally the best times during your vacations, and let me know when you guys will be back in town so you can come home for dinner, Mary and I would love to.

    (Cheers) Salud!! Dave

  • 4 David Bagnard // May 8, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Big D…

    Slightly furious that you did not see fit to take me along as your man-servant and charming confidant. I also would have made a wonderful body guard and press secretary.

    Sure hope you are packing a decent camera.

    Fond regards,

    David Bagnard

    P.S. Somehow I do not think you will ever feel the same way about real estate after this adventure.

  • 5 steve knox // May 28, 2008 at 10:34 pm

    Dave –
    Sorry i have not logged on for a while.
    Please continue with your updates. You probably feel alone on your journey and that feels good some days but other days you probably wonder if anyone is watching over you. As you travel remember that you are not alone and we all await your return and look forward to hearing all of the side stories including what new you learn about your self on this journey. Hope you are safe and having a fun and intersting adventure.
    Steve Knox

  • 6 Linda Demorest // May 30, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Looking forward to some word from you….where are you?
    Keep us updated. I’m envious.
    Be safe.

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