This is also just a plan at the moment; nothing has been booked yet so changes may have to be made to account for differences in available round-the-world flights, timings of the trip, etc etc.
If you don’t know me, I’ll say now that I own a business.
None of this umm-ing or ahh-ing over whether I should leave my job and bugger off for a few months. I’m well and truly stuck until I CAN get out of it. My original plan was to leave on pretty much October 1st, hit Oz by December, traipse around the country looking for any job I can get for a few months, fly from NZ via Brazil on the way back (just in time to miss the “World Cup traffic”) and come home for a family event at the end of May. That would let us get away again just before summer prices hit.
However, the original plan also involved getting my shop on the market in March. After being royally screwed over by my agent, it didn’t go on the market until the end of May. It’s now the end of July and the end isn’t even in sight. I had planned to have been moving on right now, relaxing in my home town (or on my home island) to wind down from the business stress before hopping on a plane to the other side of the world. But it’s not happening. Therefore, the itinerary is very much in the air now (even if I’m not).
So, here it is: THE PLAN
This is the part Ash isn’t looking forward to. He’s mostly scared of getting lost and having no way of finding our way; he’s scared of language barriers and scams; he’s scared that he’s going to starve to death as he’s not big on spicy food (neither am I). I tell him this is the fun in travelling, however it doesn’t help that what started as a whirlwind two-week tour of Thailand has transformed into at least (AT LEAST) six weeks around SE Asia.
Flight to Hong Kong, stay for a few days
Possible side-trip to Taiwan or the Philippines
Overnight train to Nanning, China
Bus to Hanoi, Vietnam
Visit Halong Bay
Travel through Vietnam, hitting Hoi An, Nha Trang, and wherever else we fancy, ending in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). I haven’t decided whether to put up with bussing it or if we should risk scooters for the countrysideBus into Cambodia, to Phnom Penh. A visit down to Sihanoukville before heading up to Siem Reap
Bangkok… if our plans don’t go haywire BEFORE this point, I’m fairly sure they will from here
Chiang Mai. We’ll either fly or get the overnight train from Bangkok
Tubing in Vang Vieng? If this is no longer much of an option, I may plan a trip to Luang Prabang instead
Head to some Thai islands. I’m really trying to narrow down the list.
Hopefully make our way down Malaysia
End in Singapore
I’ve had this part planned since the first time I even thought of a round-the-world trip. However, times have changed and you can no longer seem to fly to Alice Springs from anywhere other than Sydney. This has scuppered my fly-to-Perth-to-Uluru-to-Cairns plan, but although the route will have changed, we will be hitting all the same places eventually!
It also COMPLETELY depends on where we get jobs and how soon into the trip. Ash is hot on marine biology and one of his dreams is to learn to scuba dive. Where would be better than Cairns? Imagine him GETTING A JOB THERE. It would be absolutely amazing for him, but equally I know we could easily end up in Melbourne.
Here’s the main itinerary:
Road trip from Cairns to Sydney, stopping at Magnetic Island, Brisbane for the zoo and as many places with stupid names as possible
Stop off in Sydney for a few days
Another road trip to Melbourne
Who knows how it’s going to work out now, but whichever way we do it, it’s gonna be AWESOME.
New Zealand is one of the few places I haven’t really planned out yet. My itinerary currently consists of Queenstown (canyon swing!!) and Milford Sound. Ash is a huge LOTR fan and so our visit is also going to be heavily based on those locations. Other than that? We’ll have to wait and see!
This is a recent addition. Firstly, we originally wanted to come back via the States/Canada and road trip to our hearts’ content; perhaps pick up a job (fruit-picking, anything) in Canada, stay with relatives and friends, and basically spend the summer there. Since my parents arranged a big family gathering (which in part is to celebrate my 25th) at the end of May, this isn’t really going to work out with the rest of the trip so we’re going to fly out on a separate ticket after that.
Secondly, I have always been wary of countries like Brazil, however I now have an awesome Brazilian friend (from Rio) who is planning to go out there in time for the World Cup and would LOVE to road trip with us down to Argentina and Iguazu Falls. I really have no idea if this is going to work out yet, but thanks to his recommendations, Rio has regardless made it high up on my list of places to go.
It’s beautiful, it’s colourful, and you can paraglide from the mountains, over the city, and land on the beach.
And to be fair, coming back before America could work out for the best…
UNITED STATES / CANADA
During our time back in the UK, we’re definitely going to consider applying for Canadian (or American) work visas. I have worked in America before, at a beautiful Christian summer camp in New Hampshire. I’ve also done an amazing coast to coast trip with Trek America, but while there are many places I’ve still got to see, I’ll definitely be returning to some of those, too! Here’s a very rough itinerary which will definitely be added to:
Visit relatives in eastern B.C. and Alberta
Road trip down to San Francisco (originally we would have done this the other way around)
Yosemite National Park
Possibly give Los Angeles another chance…
Looking to do a Trek America tour of national parks as I honestly think that was an incredible way to experience them (Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon, Monument Valley & perhaps others)
Salt Lake City, visit family friends of Ash’s
New York City
Boston & New Hampshire, visit camp, the old hangouts & a few friends
Back to New York for a bus up to Toronto, visit a friend in Kitchener
Back to New York to fly home!
Anyway, Tuesday was supposed to be it. The day we left on our amazing adventure around the world.
People make excuses constantly for why they haven’t done what they wanted to do. They couldn’t find the time; life got in the way; they were going to get around to it eventually but it never happened. For travelling in particular, they’re scared of leaving commitments behind, or they’d rather go out for cocktails every weekend and never quite start saving. As anyone who knows me can tell you, I don’t have such things as “pipe dreams”; if I want something, I go for it, and therefore I have a very real excuse. Sure, I could just up and leave – but where is the money that I plan to use for travelling? Invested in the business, of course. So I do need to sell it, and sadly this is becoming more of a problem than I thought it would.
October 1st has come and gone, but to, err, “make up for it” (because obviously this makes up for a year-long+ trip around the world), we had a nice day out instead. In Italy.
This is now a fairly regular occurrence, thanks to easyJet and its wonderful route map, prices (this one was just £42 return!!) and schedules. Sadly, week-long holidays are a thing of the past for me at the moment – my longest trip since owning the shop has been five days, but only inside the UK. So to get away more often, I came up with this amazing and ridiculous (or “silly fantastic”, as my flatmate put it this week) idea to day trip it around Europe.
I will aim to record my experiences of each of my day trip destinations from the UK, as I see just what you can do in a city in such a short space of time – and learn many lessons about how to do it better than I did.
So, coming up very shortly: posts on Italy, Germany and Denmark (with a side order of Sweden). And wherever we decide to go next!