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In the planning stages of a new trip! Actually I’m leaving most of the planning to Barbara, my travel agent and travel partner on this trip! Barbara has been my travel agent, trip planner, and friend since my first international trip in 1992. I met her on the internet in a travel chat room when I was looking to go to Asia for the first time. She’s helped me plan and arrange all of my trips since then. Yet we have never met! We’ve spoken on the phone and corresponded through email and are now Facebook friends…but we have never met. Two years ago she put me in touch with one of her other clients, Sara, who had also traveled to Antarctica. Sara is in her 80’s and helped me with the planning of the Antarctica trip. We became long-distance friends and met in person last summer in La Jolla, where we stayed together for a few days getting to know one another in person. It was wonderful! So this much I know: Barbara is a good matchmaker for friends and trips. So I can only imagine how much fun we’ll have actually traveling together!

Barbara and her husband Richard will go on this trip along with me and two other women – – a total of 5 of us! We are all clients of Barbara’s and all have similar travel interests. I’ve never done an actual tour before with people I don’t know! The closest I came to doing something like this is when I went to Tibet with my cousins, Terry and Eileen, and their friends (and now mine) Hoe and Son. I expect it to be a remarkable trip.

The plan now is to depart 15 March, 2012 on a week-long cooking class in Marrakech and then to travel in to the Sahara desert (camels will be involved!) and Atlas Mountains for a few days. We will then take a train on the Moroccan coast through Casablanca up to Tangier where we will cross the Gibraltar Strait on a ferry to Spain. I will spend a few days on the coast of Spain and then fly to Istanbul, Turkey for a few days before returning home 1 April, 2012. It will be a packed-full trip in a relatively short period of time and I can’t wait!