The year ahead: 2023–2024

I like to say that if I’m not currently traveling, I’m busy planning my next trip(s).

In this case, I have three upcoming trips in the next thirteen months, and possibly will squeeze in one or two more.

Here’s a preview.

Middle East — at last!

You might remember reading about my trip to Israel in 2020 — the one that didn’t happen. 

And you might also remember how I rescheduled the trip twice, first for the fall of 2021 and then for the late winter of 2022.

And then how I canceled it and instead went to Machu Picchu and the Galápagos Islands and to Turkey and the Caucasus.

Well I am finally making the trip this fall.

The itinerary has changed quite a bit from all the previous incarnations. I’m still traveling with Overseas Adventure Travel, but I’m not taking two back-to-back tours. First I’m doing Egypt & the Eternal Nile by Private, Classic River-Yacht, and then Israel: The Holy Land & Timeless Cultures.

Here’s the basic itinerary. (I’ll be back with more details closer to departure.)


Temple of Horus, Edfu
  • Cairo (3 nights)
  • Fly to Luxor (2 nights)
  • Nile River cruise (5 nights — Luxor to Aswan)
  • Abu Simbel (1 night)
  • Fly to Cairo (1 night)

Jordan and Israel

Desert Adventures Camp, Wadi Rum

I have a few nights in between the Egypt tour and the Jordan and Israel tour. So I’ll fly to Amman and get a ride to Wadi Rum, where I’ll stay two nights in a Bedouin camp. Then I get a ride back to Amman for the OAT tour.

  • Amman (3 nights)
  • Petra (2 nights)
  • Haifa (3 nights)
  • Peace Vista (2 nights)
  • Jerusalem (6 nights)
  • Tel Aviv (3 nights)
  • Bethlehem (2 nights)
  • Jericho (3 nights)

This is a trip I’ve been dreaming about since long before I was preparing to make it happen four years ago. Right now it doesn’t even feel like it is really happening in about ten weeks. And I can’t stop thinking that something will happen between now and then to make it not happen yet again. I’m trying my best to stay optimistic about it. But given the history, it’s hard to be a believer.

Australia and New Zealand

Milford Sound, New Zealand

I’ve booked another OAT trip for March/April 2024 (fall in the land down under). It’s called Pure New Zealand, but there’s a pre-trip extension in Australia. In addition, I’m thinking about flying Fiji Airways and including a stopover in Fiji.

Here’s the itinerary.

  • Sydney (3 nights)
  • Fly to Cairns; Great Barrier Reef (3 nights)
  • Fly to Auckland (4 nights)
  • Rotorua (3 nights)
  • Fly to Christchurch (2 nights)
  • Dunedin (2 nights)
  • Overnight cruise on Milford Sound (1 night)
  • Queenstown (3 nights)
  • Paihia (3 nights)

I have a lot of logistics to work out on this trip. It makes the most sense to fly from LAX, so I have to get there first. Then I have to decide about the Fiji stopover. Depending on schedules and prices, I might consider some alternatives. The main thing is to have a few days to get over jet lag. But I might as well do that somewhere worth going.

African Safari

Another bucket-list adventure has always been to do an African safari. My friend Mary Ann and I are going together, and we just booked the trip for July/August 2024.

We worked with Wilderness Destinations to put together an exciting trip in a number of different countries. I hate having to wait a year for this!

We will start in Cape Town, South Africa, probably for three nights. From there, we fly to Maun, Botswana, to begin the actual safari trip. Wilderness owns a number of private reserves, so we won’t be dealing with crowds.

We’ll stay a total of nine nights at three different camps in Botswana. Two of the camps are in the Okavango Delta; the third is in northern Botswana along the border with Namibia. We’ll travel by light aircraft between all the camps.

From there we will head to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, where we spend two nights. Next we fly to Kigali, Rwanda, with a few hours’ stopover in Lusaka, Zambia. We arrive late into Kigali, so we will have an overnight there and a city tour the next morning before we drive to Musanze, where we will spend three nights. There we will have a gorilla trek and a golden monkey trek.

Finally, we go back to Kigali and fly to Nairobi, Kenya. We have a friend whose daughter has an Airbnb in Nanyuki, Kenya, about a four-hour drive from Nairobi. We’ll plan to get a driver to take us there, where we will spend our last few days in Africa before returning to Nairobi for our trip home.


I haven’t planned anything definite yet, but there are a few trips I’ve been wanting to take in Mexico. One is to Oaxaca, where I would stay for maybe a week. The other is a road trip to visit Pueblos Mágicos in Guanajuato, Queretaro, and San Luis Potosi. I’m not sure if and when I’ll do either of these trips, but I’ll see how I’m doing after I get back from the Middle East this fall and maybe plan something for the winter months.

8 Responses

  1. Tammy

    Hi Lane, sounds like some fantastic travel coming up. Having been to Africa three times, I hope you don’t find that your African safari is a lot of moving around. It reads that way. However, maybe you don’t mind that. On our trip last summer to Tanzania, we had 2 nights in Tarangire, 3 nts Ngorongoro and 3 nts Serengeti. We drove between the three different camps and afterwards, we flew on small plane to Uganda. The thing is, you are also moving around during the day in the safari vehicle. Well, anyways, we had a fantastic trip, but next time I go to Africa, I’m moving around less.
    Here’s my upcoming travel;
    Sept-11 nts London, 3 nts Bath
    Sept-Katmai NP for brown bears
    Road Scholar Best of Central Mexico
    Cuba (scuba diving with land time in Havana)
    Cheers to more travel!

    • Lane

      I’m not too worried about the moving around. My friend I’m traveling with has been on safari before, and she chose this from among various options we looked at. 

      I went to Cuba in February 2020 (when Covid was looming but not yet a reality in our part of the world). It’s a fascinating place. Don’t know much about the diving, but I’m sure you’ll love it and all your upcoming travels.

      • Tammy

        Well, I can’t wait to read all about it! My best tip is to start practicing your photography skills. Being a wildlife photographer is so hard. I hope you will have the safari vehicle private. On our first trip, every time I was about to press the shutter release button, someone in the vehicle moved, resulting in less than sharp pictures.

  2. Mardee

    Hey Lane, I’m planning on taking the same Egypt tour you are but not until early 2025 (with the Jordan extension). I would love to hear more about your experiences as you prep and of course can’t wait to see your posts about it! OAT has gotten very good reviews on the RS forum so I’m looking forward to it — it will be my very first tour! 🙂

  3. Lane

    Hi Mardee, that’s so exciting! I’ll look forward to sharing my experiences with you. I’m not doing the Jordan post-trip extension because I’m doing the Jordan pre-trip as part of my Israel tour. I would have liked to do the Alexandria pre-trip extension, but there were no slots available when I booked.

    I just got my visa information packet from OAT. They suggest waiting to get your Egypt visa until you arrive; but it seems Egypt now offers an e‑Visa option you can apply for online, so I think I’m going to do that. For Jordan, apparently waiting until you arrive is the best option.

    • Tammy

      Hi again, Lane the Egypt visa is so easy once you arrive at the airport. Bring $25 cash only and before you go through immigration line, there is a sign to pick up your visa. It could not have been easier!

      • Lane

        Tammy, I ended up doing the eVisa for both Egypt and Jordan. It’s just one less thing to worry about when I arrive. I like to get out of the airport as quickly as possible!

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