What a long absence from the blog. I have a lot to write about, and I will get to it!
In the meantime, a quick update: I’ve moved back to Bombay. I’m trying out the working life again, this time with a job that aims to help people (education, kids, JEE, etc.). Hopefully, the fact that I’m working for something meaningful to me will give me some peace of mind as I adjust to this life of routine. Routine does come with its advantages, though!
But yeah, the main thing: I live in Bombay now! Working, and trying to run. I aim to continue writing about my travels soon! I can’t believe I had four years of travel. Four years of stories that I think of every day. I can’t wait to share them here.
I’ve started on my cycling trip! I’ve been in Iran for about 10 days now, and so far its been very, very nice.
I started by taking the boat to Bandar Abbas in Iran. After exchanging money, and buying a sim card, I headed to Hormuz island to meet up with Alice and her dog Canton from Hong Kong and Bang from Korea. They are cyclists who had been in Iran for a while already. Together, we spent a very nice few days doing yoga on the beach, talking a lot, cooking, and swimming in the Persian Gulf.
We got back to Bandar Abbas and relaxed in the city for 2 or 3 days. The days were filled with nice food (both cooked and restaaurant-made), lots of laughter and conversations and a general warmth in the air.
Alice and Bang left for the North of Iran by bus to to get a week or so of cycling in Kurdistan done before their visa expires. I started cycling from Bandar Abbas and had an experience of Iranian hospitality almost immediately. I will write in more detail about all this later.
Suffice to say that so far, Iran has been incredible!
In October and November, I cycled through Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. My plan was to continue all the way by land to Turkey, but I was thwarted by a visa rejection from Turkmenistan, which meant it became necessary for me to take a flight. Instead of simply flying into Iran (which was the next stop after Turkmenistan), I flew back to India and extended the scope of my route.
I got a visa for the Schengen region of Europe. I will talk about this in detail in a future blog post, but having a Schengen visa means I can easily get a visa to Turkey, in addition to being able to visit a few European non-Schengen countries.
So now, I’m cycling from Iran to France!
This is just a tentative plan, but I might end up visiting:
- Bulgaria (and a bit of Romania)
- Slovenia (always wanted to go here!)
When I say tentative, I mean I literally have no idea how far I’ll get after Turkey. A friend plans to cycle with me from Bulgaria to Serbia, so I’ll probably do that. But after that, I don’t know. It depends on time (I have to be out of Europe by August 3), money, and how much I want to volunteer on a farm for a few weeks. We’ll see 🤷. What’s certain is that Cycle and I are going to be on a trip!