Travel warnings on the route
Planning

Line on the map

In October 2016, I got to know my work will be transferred to India, time to go home I thought. I stayed in Australia more than I planned primarily. I pondered, it might be a good idea to reach Polish Woodstock festival overland on my motorcycle. First question that came to my mind was “How am I going to transport my motorcycle overseas?”. The solution was easy, send it with cargo ship from Darwin, Australia to Dili in Timor Leste. I promised myself, I will do it!

I started planning immediately by drawing the line on the map. My first plan considered going through Bangladesh, Pakistan tribal areas and close to Iraq…. Places looked amazing, look at the picture on the right.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hunza_Valley_Karimabad_Northern_Area_Pakistan.jpg
Hunza Valley viewed from the village of Karimabad, Northern Area, Pakistan

Not long after drawing the line I started sharing my idea with friends, some of them asked me if the places I would like to go to are safe. I did not know much about them so I could not answer, the only dangers I was aware of was Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan so my line omitted them. I started my research, I queried Google about the safety which directed me to UK and Polish governmental websites showing tourist and safety information about all countries. This led me to first roadblock, some of the areas I wanted to visit were considered as dangerous! I marked all this places on Google map. After having all the pins on, some of the countries looked like after being shot by machine gun! I tried to re-plan my trip by going between the bullets through Pakistan towards Europe, but unfortunately

Pakistan - Smart Traveller
Pakistan – Smart Traveller

whole border between Iran and Pakistan had status “do not go”! I needed to re-plan and choose safer route as I will be traveling solo. Avoiding danger zones made trip much longer and now final plan is going through:

Australia > Timor Leste > Indonesia > Malaysia > Thailand > Laos > China > Kyrgyzstan > Tajikistan > Uzbekistan > Turkmenistan Iran > Turkey > Greece > Macedonia > Serbia > Hungary > Slovakia > Poland

After deciding on the plan, I registered my trip on polish governmental website by providing the countries and dates I will visit them. I know other countries have similar websites. This will allow me to stay informed of any essential travel warnings that might affect my trip. I know now I need to be flexible with the plan as the world is constantly changing.

This exercise allowed me to gain knowledge about world conflicts and that we cannot go everywhere we want. I hope someday world will live in peace and we will be able to travel wherever we will point with the finger.

Safe trip checklist:

  • Check the governmental travel advice pages
  • Draw the danger points on the map
  • Plan your route
  • Register your trip with your government
  • Be prepared to change anytime as the world changes
  • Do all the steps once more before the trip

Links:

English

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

http://smartraveller.gov.au/

Polish

https://odyseusz.msz.gov.pl/

https://www.msz.gov.pl/pl/informacje_konsularne/ostrzezenia/ostrzezenia_dla_podrozujacych

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