I can feel my wanderlust returning.

Even though it seems like I can’t think past my trip to Vegas, and hopefully a trip to Chicago this fall and maybe a trip to Miami, or back to Montreal, but I know that I have to start thinking about my next BIG trip.

I miss Europe — I haven’t been in nearly two years.

Also, it’s time for me to take my first trip alone.  I want to travel completely by myself and I am READY!

I was at Borders yesterday and thinking wistfully to myself that while I want to want to visit the Balkans, I would have to wait until I have a long time to travel, because there’s so much I want to see there.  And then I picked up the Lonely Planet Western Balkans book and realized that they have a two-week itinerary that is PERFECT for me!

When you travel alone, also, you get to see a lot more because it’s easier to spend less time in places.

Here it is, but tweaked to my preference:

  • Fly to a European hub.  Grab a cheap flight to Trieste, Italy, right on the Slovenian border.
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Lake Bled, Slovenia
  • (Possible additions: Skocjan Caves, Slovenia; Plitvice Lakes, Croatia; Zadar, Croatia)
  • Split, Croatia (maybe)
  • Hvar Island, Croatia
  • Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • (Day trip from Dubrovnik: Mostar, Bosnia)
  • Kotor, Montenegro (with gorgeous Sveti Stefan!)
  • (Possible addition: Sarajevo, Bosnia)
  • Belgrade, Serbia (clubbing MADNESS!)

The itinerary in the book ends in Zagreb, Croatia, but I don’t have much desire to visit there.

But two weeks!  You can do so much!!

Then I started thinking.

This will be my first solo trip abroad (though I’m aiming for summer 2009 with this).  Many destinations on this itinerary, while they interest me greatly, aren’t as popular with the backpacker trail and aren’t quite as social, especially for a solo traveler.

Though I eventually do want to get off the beaten path, I think my first solo trip should be more social.  And I do love the whole party of traveling (typo, it’s supposed to be part, but I’m keeping it) when you’re always meeting new people.

Then I had a thought…GREECE!

I’ve wanted to go to Greece for quite some time, and I could do a FABULOUS itinerary there in two weeks!  Granted, I wouldn’t add five new country stamps to my passport, but I would be experiencing an entirely new country.

An itinerary of my preference:

  • Athens
  • Brief stop at Corinth
  • Olympia
  • Corfu — staying at the Pink Palace, famous for clothing-optional cliff diving!
  • Thessaloniki, which everyone agrees is one of THE up-and-coming cities of the moment
  • Overnight it back to Athens
  • CYCLADES!  Mykonos, Ios, SANTORINI!
  • Hopefully have time to sail to Crete before heading back to Athens

Those places are SO on the backpacker trail, and I would love that.

I’ve got plenty of time to decide…