I subscribe to the notion that the joy of a trip should be in the journey as well as the destination or more often than not the destinations.
I love getting somewhere by train if possible. For example, SNCF strike permitting, I am off to Marseille by train from London in a few weeks. Eight hours to get there but airport free, hurrah!
I have long been at the stage that unless I have a few trips booked, I get decidedly itchy feet and a distracted mind. I have written before about the wonders of planning, but actually taking the plunge and firming up plans with a booking is a thrilling experience.
Once you have parted with your hard earned, there is no turning back, you are committed to the adventure, the theoretical plan has become that much more tangible.
Well I have just booked Turkish Airlines flights to Turkmenistan and back from Uzbekistan via Istanbul for my travel buddy Hamish & I. The in between bit is still flexible due to fluid train timetables, but I have mapped out half a dozen intended train journeys and a fair portion of the Silk Road.
Legendary Islamic sites such as Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara are on the itinerary, as are the capitals of Ashgabat & Tashkent , plus the ancient settlements of Urgench & Merv. The intention is to also visit the natural gas crater at Darvaza and a lot more besides.
At some stage in the near future I will start the visa application process and closer to departure I will get the Lonely Planet and rewatch the excellent BBC Silk Road trilogy with expert guide Dr Sam Willis. Then the excitement will truly start to build!