Every year, I try to plan a rather lengthy travel period. The reason for the length is to try to stay in a place long enough to get a better sense of it (than that of a mere tourist), and how it is to live there. I also combine a light work schedule with my travels so that I am not completely cut off from my sources of income, and because I think it is interesting to lead a somewhat “normal” life while one is in a new place, mixing the routine with the new. This year, I will be going for a week to the Greek isle of Mykonos to meet my friend Arnaud and really do nothing but relax on the beach, eat, drink, and stare at the Eurogays. I have never been to Mykonos, and it has long been on my gay bucket list, so it should be fun. This part of the trip will also be the standard “vacation” part. After that, I am headed to Istanbul, Turkey for about 25 days. I have rented a full apartment in the Taksim neighborhood, and will use it as a base for exploring Istanbul and interesting places nearby in one or two day mini trips. I will work a light schedule and try to get to know some locals, as well as catch up with a couple of Turkish friends of mine who live there. At a couple of points in my sojourn friends will come to stay with me and explore a bit.
This year, much more so than in years past, I am really feeling in need of the change of pace my travel will afford. I am not joking when I tell you I have consistently had 3 times the amount of work I had last year. Between that and some recent personal disappointments, I really need a change of scenery. I leave in just a few short days, on Thursday, and I can’t wait!