Old City, Riga, Latvia

My Travel Plans For The Rest Of The Year

Derek Everything Else, Finland 61 Comments

Old City, Riga, Latvia
Oops. I forgot to publish a post yesterday. I wanted to write about my travel plans for the rest of the year but Monday came and went and between getting ready for my next set of travels and actually flying to my first destination, I apparently didn’t have any time to sit down and write something.

So, here we go, here are my travel plans for the next few months, one day late.

Right now, I’m writing to you from Riga, Latvia where I’ll be spending another day before taking the bus to Tallinn, Estonia for a three-day visit. From Estonia, I’ll hop onto a Silja Line ferry that will take me to Finland, where I’ll visit Helsinki, Hanko, Turku and Tampere.

Not only that but one of those nights will be spent sleeping in an old lighthouse keeper’s room at the ridiculously unique Bengtskar Lighthouse, which is located on a small rocky island in the Gulf of Finland, eighteen kilometers off the coast. Will this be the highlight of my trip? It certainly has potential, especially considering that the lighthouse has a sauna as well!

On September 17th, I’ll fly back to Bucharest where I’ll spend another month before flying to the USA to visit my family for about eight days. Then, towards the end of October I shall fly to Delhi in order to meet the wonderful group of travelers who are taking part in my very first Wandering Earl Tour.

Once the tour is over, my plan is to remain in India for a few more weeks. I hope to participate in another 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat and also visit some parts of the country that I have yet to experience.

And that should take me to the end of the year…at which point, my plans end. I have no idea what I’ll be doing for New Year’s and as for next year, I’m still working on which parts of the world I’ll visit.

However, one thing is certain. Due to all of the requests I’ve been receiving, I will definitely be offering more small group tours next year, so if you’re interested, please stay tuned. Once the destinations and dates are finalized, I shall announce it all right here on the blog of course.

Actually, maybe you can help. So far I’m thinking that the next tour I’ll offer (around February/March) will be to either Thailand, Turkey, Mexico/Guatemala or another trip to India. If one of those options calls out to you, please let me know in the comments as that will give me a better idea of which destination I should choose next!

Thank you as always and on Thursday I’ll publish a post about my time spent here in Riga, which has basically involved getting lost in the Old City and eating a lot of cake.


Any preferences for my next tour? Please leave your thoughts below, not only about destinations, but also, which months work best for you if you’re interested.

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Comments 61

  1. Kacie

    Hey Earl!
    I just made it to Georgia a few days ago to start my ten month contract teaching ESL. Selfishly, I’m going to have to vote Turkey for your tour since its near enough to me to be feasible! Please please let me know if you come to Georgia any time between now and late June!
    Kacie

    1. Earl

      Hey Kacie – There will definitely be a tour that includes Turkey happening at some point next year. I’ll keep you posted! In the meantime, enjoy the start of your stay in Georgia and yes, I still hope to make it there next year as well!

  2. Greg

    Good to hear! Hey, if you wind up in south east asia or thailand during mid may-june-early july, I’ll be there. Finally bought my ticket a couple weeks ago, so now it’s just keep up with classes and I’m good to go for the summer. Thanks for having all sorts of information and making me realize that my desire for solo long term travel isn’t completely out of the question. Keep on being awesome.

  3. Carly

    I’m all for Turkey or Thailand! I’ll be leaving mid next year for my travels…teaching, cruise, solo traveling…not sure just yet but I know I will be on the move. Would love to join at tour at some point. Thanks for all you do 🙂

  4. Lauren

    Hey Earl! Enjoying keeping up with the posts, as always.

    I would cast my vote for India (provided you aren’t sick of it come Feb!) because it’s the country out of those four options I’d be most apprehensive to tackle alone at first 😛 Plus, I’m currently in Thailand, though I’m sure I could be schooled on how to travel through it more…deliberately.

    Anyway, good luck with the November tour — sucks I’m too late to get in on it!

    Loz.

  5. Paul Fuller

    Wow – the trip from Latvia to Finland sounds awesome, I particularly like the sound of the Lighthouse! I googled it and it looks creepy but very interesting! Hope you enjoy it! I am going to Thailand from New Years and staying for a couple of weeks and having never been there before i am very much looking forward to it! Hope to go to Cambodia too for a couple days to see the Angkor Wat temples! So this could be an idea for you for new years too!

    1. Earl

      Hey Paul – That does sound like a great plan you have and while I would love to put together a program for New Year’s, I have to be in the US in early January so it’s just not possible this time around. But the next trip will be a good one nonetheless!

    1. Earl

      Hey Ryan – Unfortunately I won’t be making it on the Fiji trip anymore. My schedule is just too full and I’m off to India soon for the rest of the year. I have no doubt I’ll be quite jealous when I read your posts about the trip though!

  6. Michelle Montgomery

    I vote for Mexico/Guatemala for two reasons: 1) I have just returned from both Turkey and Thailand and 2) (more importantly), I am taking Spanish classes right now and plan on joining the tour the second I see it released!!!

    Safe travels for the rest of the year Earl 🙂

    1. Earl

      Hey Michelle – That’s a good reason to vote for Mexico/Guatemala! And it would be great to use the Spanish you are learning now…I can say that there will be a tour to that region at some point next year and I hope to see you on it!

  7. Nomadic Translator @latinAbroad

    “ridiculously unique” – I like the sound of that 😀

    I need some mind cleansing… I wish I were going on that Vipassana retreat with you…

    great plans as always, Earl. I keep hearing about Riga everywhere lately by the way… Will have to look into Eastern Europe more closely

    – Maria Alexandra

    1. Earl

      Hey Maria – You should definitely travel to this part of the world…I’m in Tallinn, Estonia now and it’s been wonderful as well. So many interesting destinations over here!

  8. Jenna

    I love that you are doing your own tours. What a great guide you must be! I actually have been planning to start leading tours that highlight art and architecture in Europe…I hope to do that in the next couple of years. Have a great rest of 2012!

  9. Simon

    I am incredibly jealous, my friend – sounds like you’ve got a very exciting couple of months ahead! I’m looking forward to reading about it – particularly the group tour, which is a really cool idea innovation. A travel blogger running his own tour; who would have thunk it!

  10. Tyler

    Hi earl! Mexico would be really awesome, probably the only one I might possibly be able to afford. Romania would be another really amazing tour location!

    1. Earl

      Hey Tyler – Mexico would definitely be the most affordable for North Americans, which is why I thought it would be a good option. And it’s great to see so many people interested in visiting Romania so I’ll have to put together a trip here as well!

  11. Tom

    I have just arrived in France to begin my travels in Europe, but I would love to stay in Thailand for a while, if you do a tour of Thailand I would be very interested, it would be great to meet some like minded people out there.

    1. Earl

      Thanks for your vote Tom and at the end of the day, visiting Thailand is always something that sounds very appealing. Stay tuned and hopefully I’ll see you on such a trip. And if you make it to Romania during your European travels, let me know!

  12. Bram

    My vote would have to go to Mexico. I have never been anywhere near Mexico so far, but it definitely is on my list. I know you’ve lived there for a while, so it would be interesting to be shown around by a ‘local’. Mexico it is!

    1. Earl

      Hey Bram – Mexico sure is a wonderful destination and it usually surprises visitors (in such a good way!). I will definitely set up a trip to Mexico next year!

  13. Someday I'll Be There - Mina

    Two things I have to say:
    1- The picture of Riga is really amazing! I love those buildings!

    2- Don’t do the tour in Thailand, it is already a very easy place to travel to and in…I don’t have a preference from the other countries but I’d definitely give a negative vote for Thailand (I love Thailand! But it is not worth an organized tour…I guess)

    Oh and one more thing; I really missed spamming your blog with comments 😀 Been a while! 😀

    1. Earl

      Hey Mina – I was wondering where you went! Welcome back and I did miss your comments 🙂

      And that is a good point about Thailand, although I think some people don’t have much time and so they prefer to have something organized so they don’t have to do any planning. Also, my ‘tours’ are not normal so it basically is like traveling independently, or close to that anyway!

      Hope you’ve been well my friend! Perhaps I should be doing a tour to Egypt!

      1. Someday I'll Be There - Mina

        I just don’t have proper internet connection everyday that’s why :S But it’s getting better now!

        And yes a tour to Egypt that would be great! 😀 Many people would love to visit but they are always afraid of going on their own! Specially females!

        If you decide to do something like that I’d be really happy to join you in preparing it! A joint tour maybe? 😉

        1. Earl

          That sounds good to me Mina…I will definitely be in touch with you if I add Egypt to my list of tours for next year! Would be great to work together!

  14. expatkerri

    it’s so great that you have all these travel plans coming up. a big part of the fun of travel is choosing the destinations and making plans 😀

    i really enjoyed Tallinn when I was there on my Europe trip in 2006.

    looking forward to all your posts from Finland and India too!

    1. Earl

      @expatkerri – I’m in Tallinn right now and loving it as well! If it was a little warmer I could see myself staying for quite a while.

  15. Bonnie

    As I’m new to ALL of this (just retired!), I’d be interested in any of your suggestions or those noted above. I WOULD like to see Turkey one of these days…

  16. Matthew Cheyne

    To be staying in a lighthouse with a sauna? I can only quote Charlie Sheen and his famous one word quote: “WINNING!”

    It’s great to hear that you’re doing another Vipassana retreat or at least intend to. I need to seriously get off my butt and do one as well. It’s been nearly five years since I did my one and only retreat. I would need to stop and start my studies though and I’ve already just done that switching from a Psych degree to doing an Arts degree majoring in Professional and Creative Writing – part one of my quest to become a Buddhist writer and teacher. I did get to see the awesome Lama Surya Das speak for the first time in Australia in Melbourne a couple of months ago (highly recommend seeing him speak if you’re able to see him in the States) and I’ve been reading his books and listening to his teachings on my iPhone before I got to bed so I haven’t been at a complete standstill spiritually.

    How about New Zealand as a possible tour option for next year? You could do both islands and explore the Maori culture while you’re at it. Always an option, but I guess it comes down to getting enough people to sign up for a particular destination at a particular time.

    I wish you well with everything Earl – you’re travels, the tour and of course the Vipassana course. May it all work out for you and may your travels be safe and happy ones. 🙂

    1. Earl

      Hey Matthew – Winning indeed! I feel the same way about the Vipassana. All of a sudden I really feel as if I need to do another retreat, but it is difficult to find the time (which is quite absurd given the benefits of the meditation).

      And I never thought of NZ as an option but shall look into that one too. That’s for that suggestion!

      And maybe I’ll run into you at a Vipassana retreat sometime…of course, we won’t be able to talk to each other though 🙂

  17. AJ Aerni

    I vote Thailand! I may be heading there mid/late January for a few months and would love to join the tour. Be well and safe travels! -AJ

    1. Earl

      Hey AJ – There will definitely be a tour to Thailand at some point, and if I can squeeze one in around January, I’ll certainly do that!

  18. Chris

    From that list I’d pick Turkey but I know any of them will be great. I’d also be interested in a tour of the area of the world you’ve spent a lot of time in recently, eastern Europe.
    Any time between 16/03/2013 and 15/04/2013 and I’m signing up!!

    1. Earl

      Hey Chris – Great, thanks for adding your input and the date information helps a great deal too! Eastern Europe probably won’t happen until the summer (no sane person would want to visit this region before May due to the weather!) but Turkey just might be the winner. I shall keep you updated!

  19. Mary

    Have you considered Romania? You seem to be spending an awful lot of time there lately and I’m sure you must know a bunch about it by now. It’s also on the list of countries I would like to visit in the near future, so I might be a little biased in my answer. =P
    Have a fun time in Estonia and Finland!

    1. Earl

      Hey Mary – I didn’t really think of Romania but now that a couple of people have suggested it, it seems like quite a good idea. The only thing is that I would want to wait until after winter as it can be brutal here in terms of the weather until May!

  20. Sky

    I think Turkey would be a great place to hold a tour! Though, I am partial to Guatemala as well and that’s actually where I’ll be during that time. I think any of those countries would make great options, though!

    1. Earl

      Hey Sky – Well, that would work out quite well if you were in Guatemala. But yes, I also agree that Turkey is a great option…I would love to show people around Istanbul!

  21. Barbara

    Wow! I’m looking forward to your posts on the Balts and Finland.

    I’ve been enjoying your posts on Romania so much and especially appreciate your travel there. I visited Romania two summers ago and was so impressed. I felt like I was engaging in “Impact Travel”, that is, slow travel that pumps money & (more importantly) pride into a culture, while learning about a culture that tends to be off-the-beaten-track. Since you have spent so much time in Romania, I wish you would offer a tour there that included the Painted Monasteries, a jaunt into Moldovo, the Delta, & of course, the Vampire tour. 🙂

    1. Earl

      Hey Barbara – That’s not a bad idea at all…maybe I’ll offer a trip to the Romania/Moldova region after the winter, maybe during the summer when it is really beautiful over here!

  22. Earl from iPadNomads

    Enjoy Estonia! We have a few friends there but, even with 4 months in Europe, we were unable to make the trip up there this year. We’ve heard great things though.

    I think you could probably offer a tour to each of those countries you’ve listed. Having traveled through all 3 of those countries, I’m sure your followers would appreciate seeing the less travelled areas of all of them.

    Have a blast on your travels. Look forward to reading about them.

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