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Last update: Monday, September 05, 2005

162 Days in the East


....The goal was comprehension, and the only way to comprehend the world was by making myself vulnerable to it so that it could change me. The challenge was to lay myself open to everyone and everything that came my way. The prize was to change and grow big enough to feel one with the whole world...

Ted Simon in Jupiter's Travels 1979.


  • Who are those guys ? We're a couple in our early 30's living in the south of the Netherlands. One of our main interest is travel, to which we've dedicated most of our free time the past 8 years. We're used to traveling on a budget while staying away from commercial mass-tourism as far as possible.

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  • Why ? Having spend 10 years as professionals in IT and finance we're ready for a change in our lives and to leave the western rat-race for a while. We choose to dedicate our sabbatical to the Middle-East, a region within our reach with a fascinating culture. Our standard 6 weeks off can't cover a trip like that so we took the decision to plan a sabbatical and thereby realize our dreams.
  • But where in the Middle-East ? : In the second half of 2000 we plan to drive through the Middle-East by car. Starting in Greece we head for Turkey and Iran and cross the Persian gulf for the UAE. Next we hope to enter Oman and drive through Yemen and try to cross Saudi Arabia heading for Jordan. From there we'll try to enter Israel and make a loop back to Jordan and drive to Syria heading for Turkey again.
  • How : We travel in a small "slide-in" camper unit powered by a Nissan Diesel Pickup truck. We're used to camping out in the wild, but most likely we'll spend our nights at petrol stations and around hotels starting in Turkey.
  • Time span : We'll start our trip in the beginning of August 2000 to Greece and heading for Iran in September/October. We plan to travel in UAE, Oman
  • and Yemen in October/November and Jordan and Israel (and maybe Egypt) in
  • November/December 2000.
  • Voluntary work : Being on the road for a few months, we feel strongly about devoting our time not mainly by covering the route planned. During our trip we try to get involved into voluntary work in the countries we pass through.
    In the second half of 1999 we experienced it's not easy to find an organization which deal with voluntary work in the Middle-East.
  • Leisure activities planned: Backpacking trips in Turkey, Iran and Jordan, Skiing in Iran, Diving in the UAE, Oman and Israel.