I've been planning my trip for the field season for a few weeks now. It's hard to get it all done with the end of semester also playing havoc with my schedule, but some things had to be arranged early. I've gotten my plane tickets and my Syrian visa, now I'm doing the fine tuning of things to see on my time after the dig. I've decided not to come back the traditional round trip to Damascus way, but rather to continue around the world, as I did in 2004. I'm using Bangkok as a base to explore SE Asia for about a month, then on to Australia before coming back to the States. It will be a grueling trip, I leave May 17 and don't return until August 30.
I hope to keep up with my thoughts in this journal as I travel, though much of my dig time in Syria will be away from the internet. Things are modernizing in Nafileh, but the closest internet cafe is still in Raqqa an hour and a half away. Some do have cell phones capable of surfing, I think, but cost is pretty high.
Here's my basic route. Dark blue lines are flights, light blue are projected ground travel.