Justins World

Planning for the Middle East

So planning a trip to the Middle East can be very easy, it can offer challenges or for many people they just avoid the region altogether and give me a look like I just poked a tiger with a stick, when I suggest I’m going there.  Its a shame because I’ve never heard bad things from travellers to the region. Every traveller to the middle east raves about the people and the hospitality. So planning for this next trip started by finding a place I wanted to visit, which was Tunisia. OK Technically in northern Africa, but culturally Middle Eastern and it all steamrolled from there.  Jordan and more specifically a visit to Petra was next in line, when my friend Claire suggested she has always wanted to go there.  So I tagged that on before Tunisia. Claire was going to visit Jordan and Tunisia with me and I had no other takers for this trip.  I wanted to add Oman but in the end a 2 day stopover in Dubai, didn’t allow for Oman and after Tunisia, it just seemed easy to head to Morocco when I was told I could do a 2 week tour for $1000. Morocco is another country I’ve wanted to visit for a while but just about the furthest place you can visit from Australia!

So my trip was all set, many wondered why I was going anywhere near those ISIS terrorists and was it safe. Well Jordan and Tunisia were as moderate and friendly as any country in the region. Their economies depend on tourism and they both have amazing things to see.  Then some terrorists decided they didn’t like the lifestyle Tunisians lead and probably not the type of islam practiced either.  The Terrorists waited and shot at tourists and that is when Claire and I decided with much reluctance that we couldn’t go.  I wanted to support the Tunisian people.  Despite what the media has you believe most of the people in this region are friendly and want people to visit their wonderful countries.  I will visit Tunisia one day.  I’ve read so much about it and there is more to it than roman ruins and star wars filming locations!

So now that a change of destinations was settled finding an alternative destination that neither Claire or I had been to became the next challenge. Cyprus…. maybe its close but expensive.  We noted that Albania and Macedonia were a possibility, but flights became a problem. We finally settled on Bulgaria.  It looks to be a great place to visit and I’ve been to its neighbour in Romania, but lacked the time to visit Bulgaria.  Claire had been to Greece and Turkey so those were out.

Changing flights when you have the cheapest fare possible then becomes a problem, due to the complex fare calculations done when you have 9 or so legs in your fare….. after a few weeks of stuffing around I finally managed to change my airfares for significant cost.  Still probably less than a flexible fare in the first place though.  So I’m off again (according to work colleagues I’m always on leave, even though my last trip was May 2014!!!), I’m looking forward to Petra next week, not sure if I’ll have a fedora and a whip and if you don’t get that reference I suggest you watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Stay tuned for updates and hopefully this new blog will keep working while I’m away!

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