I'm off on vacation in a matter of hours but wanted to invite you along - virtually.I'm heading on a very aggressive backpacking tour of 6 countries in 10 days, including the exotic countries of the former Yugoslavia (Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Montenegro), plus 4 hours in Switzerland, and a couple of days in Munich, Germany at the end of the trip. During the trip, I will be posting stories, pictures and video to my blog (and YouTube) using my iPhone. To keep up with me, simply visit this link:If you do check in on my trip, please feel free to leave comments or questions - they'll be automatically forwarded to me. Also, this email address will be active, and I'd like to hear from you.This trip is much more than the standard vacation. (I haven't taken one of those in years, as you can see from the trips that I've blogged about in the past, like Asia in 2007, or 2008 road trip across America.) For one thing, I'll be living out of a backpack small enough to qualify as carry on luggage, and this trip is so free-form that although I take off in 2 hours, I have yet to make a single hotel or other overnight arrangement.(Rough guess at itinerary shows 6 different beds/hotels over 10 days, with stops in Belgrade, Serbia, Kotor and Budva, Montenegro, Sarajevo and Mostar, Bosnia-Hercegovina, and Hvar, Korcula, and Dubrovnik, Croatia.)But what will really make this trip will be the experiences, from seeing a country the US was bombing less than 10 years ago (Serbia) to sea-kayaking around an ancient walled city with a former Miss Universe contestant.So why Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro? The area has always fascinated me for its' combination of recreation and culture. With thousands of islands on the Adriatic Sea, you can guess that there are some great beaches to visit, and with thousands of years of inhabited history, there are some amazing sights to visit, like the walled city of Dubrovnik.The thousands of years of history has also produced an area second only to the Middle East for ethnic conflict. The area that I'm visiting was conquered and held by literally dozens of cultures, and has never gone more than 40 years without intense war. As the crossroads of the Muslim Middle East, Catholic central Europe, and Russian and Balkan Eastern Orthodox, there's always somebody upset about something, as we all saw in the 1990s. (The war is very much present today, as I expect to see in Sarajevo, even to the extent of guidebooks warning about avoiding fields of land mines. (btw, this isn't my first trip near active land mines.))(The mix of cultures has its' benefits, though, as the food, combining the best of seafood, paprika and other Eastern European spices, grilled meats (Turkish influence), and the Italian influence should be very, very interesting.)So, it should be an interesting adventure. Please join me on this trip via my blog, and please keep in touch, especially if you'd like a postcard.Cheers,Tim Gallagher434-227-0718
Friday, August 28, 2009
Follow me on my way to the former Yugoslavia!
Uncommon Man's Creed
"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous