Trip Start Nov 07, 2007
35Trip End Jan 18, 2008
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First Stop, Istanbul. Ill create a base there and visit relatives who I havent seen in 2 years. The plan is to leave no later than a week after arriving. From there I plan on going east in Turkey visiting smaller towns that I have only read about...Mardin, Van, Antakya, Dogubeyazit, Diyarbakir, etc.
Right now Turkey is at the top of all the headlines because it seems they are about to attack northern Iraq because lots of PKK kurds are hanging out there. Ill keep out of trouble zones for the time being but I am really interested in talking to some of the Kurds.
I also plan on visiting some Sufi lodges or dergahs to understand this form of Islamic mysticism first hand. Been interested in it sometime, the prospect of getting into a trance to feel closer to Gods presence seems very close to some other religions and I gotta learn more about it.
I plan on gong to Syria and Jordan after Turkey.
After Jordan, I want to go to Saudi Arabia, attempt the Hajj (which starts on Dec 18)...however from my research so far its going to be impossible to get a visa...but I will try nevertheless...if its meant to be, it is. If not, I will either go to Egypt and across the Sahara to Morocco (kinda the reverse of the Alchemist)...or go back to Turkey as my flight back to Phoenix is currently scheduled for Jan 18.