I know John Frankl from my former association with the SBGi organization. He is a school teacher in South Korea, where he is also running a BJJ gym. He visited me briefly here in Copenhagen a while back, so I thought I would invite myself to his place this time :) He is a very good instructor, so I am looking forward to pick his brain for a few days.
The situation in Korea is pretty tense right now, but I never liked to stay away from danger in general. Anyways, I can’t think of many cooler ways to die, than being nuked by my favorite dictator of all time, Kim Jong-Il, while I am practicing BJJ at the same time? Definitely on my top three list of best ways to die.
I got in touch with the guys running Evolution MMA in Mumbai and Tiger’s Gym in Nashik, India. They invited me to come by for a week to train in both gyms. I have no idea what to expect from India, but I am really looking forward to meet the guys, do some training and hopefully taste a lot of good Indian food ;)
This is a special day in my preparations for this trip, as I just bought my first ticket. Suddently it all feels so real, I can’t believe I am actually doing this :)
I just spend a few hours deciding what tickets to buy to get the best deal with minimum hassle, and I finally settled on something and paid it. On February 21st, I will be flying out of Copenhagen in the morning, arriving in Paris around 10:00 am. From there, I have about five hours to walk around the city and play tourist a bit, before I take the train (four hour trip) down to Montpellier, where I will stay with my friend Thomas and get some good training done in his club Arte Suave. I talked to the owner of the club, and he told me I was very welcome to train there for free, which I am very grateful for. I should just be able to make it to training already monday evening when I get there – first training on the globetrotter trip!
I ended up paying 560 DKR for the flight to Paris (about USD$100). I found tickets to roughly half that price, but then I would arrive really late at night at an airport with no real train connections and in the end it would be more expensive because I had to stay one night in Paris then. The train from Paris was only 164 DKR (USD$30), much cheaper than flying. It is offseason for Montpellier, so either I had to take and expensive flight there, or fly to another city (Marseilles) and take a train from there anyways. So I will spend some hours strolling around in Paris before I take the train down south. Actually I am more excited about the train ride where I get to see more of the country, than if I fly.
Next mission: Find cheapest transportation from Montpellier to Bucharest to hook up with Robert and go to Moldova.
Took some time today to look into the different options I have for travel insurance. The danish national health insurance only covers me within Europe and my regular insurance covers travel for up to one month, so I needed something else for the rest. I ended up buying an insurance from Gouda, which should cover everything for the entire trip, including theft, baggage, medicine, transportation and so on. Most importantly, it fully covers in case of injuries or accidents from all sort of sports (only exception is skiing), so that was the selling point for me. Ended up paying 3377 DKR for the insurance, which is equivalent to about US$620.
Ready to go!
Ok so my original plan was to go to the European Open tournament with my kids team in Disneyland, Paris and then travel on from there. We have prepared for this tournament for almost a year, but I have had real problems getting some info about it and even a date. I have asked everywhere for the last four months, and finally today I received a reply. Seems like the tournament is not gonna happen this year, so that kind of changes my plans a bit.
I had expected the tournament to be in late February, but no I have no plans in that month. We are going to the Europeans in Portugal in end of January, so maybe I should start my trip there instead? That would just extend it by almost a full month since I don’t wanna go home before the Estonia camp (I know when I get home on my couch, I am not going to get back up :D). Or maybe I should just start the trip the same date as planned but without going to Paris first. I don’t know, gotta sit down and plan it and see what flight tickets I can get.
At least I now have something that I can plan my trip accordingly to.
So I finally bought me a flashcard reader for my iPad so I can download, edit and upload photos from my camera while I am away. I decided to try it out right away, so I took this photo, copied it to my iPad, edited it a bit and posted it with the WordPress application. Hope it works? :)
UPDATE: Damn the WordPress app is really, really buggy. This might take some patience :(
For the last two years, I have been to training camp in Estonia. The training there is really good and the place is awesome for a summer trip. This year, it was held in the city of Pärnu by the beach, which is where most estonians go for vacation. There is no way I am going to miss the camp this year and since it is being held in the beginning of July, where I planned to come home, I thought it would be a great place to end my round the world trip.
So the plan is to go straight from Brazil to Estonia and spend a week or so there before I finally head home :)
South America is a place I would love to explore a bit on this trip, since I don’t really know much about it and have never been there before. One of the places I have heard good things about, is Medellin in Colombia. A swedish guy contacted me and said he was going there for 6 months to train, and it sounded awesome. Then the other day, I got an email from the founder of Gracie Barra Colombia, Carlos, who invited me to come and train there.
Since I am already going to Panama and Colombia is only an hours flight from there, it was an easy choice for me. Can’t wait to see the place and get some good training done!